I am writing to figure out how we can have some more transparency within the ranks of the CMS, in regards to the attainment of certification within the program.
I have noticed, especially in small markets such as mine, that a lot of people misrepresent their certifications and qualifications within the worlds of wine, beer, and spirits.
I have met several people claiming to be advanced sommeliers in the state of Alaska even though I know that there is nobody in the state who has passed the advanced exam.
Additionally, I have overheard several others talking about being a "certified sommelier" when they have not been through the program with the court, and they have not sat and passed the certified sommelier examination. I have also heard several people say that they are "certified" after sitting through and passing the introductory exam with the court.
Previously, when I had written in to the court to check a job candidates CMS credentials I was told that the candidate would need to be contacted and give explicit consent before they could confirm or deny that this person was indeed an advanced sommelier.
Can the CMS please think about publishing a directory? I would like to know who is advanced and certified. Right now only the names of the Master Sommeliers is published and this does not really help in regards to the situations above that I am speaking about.
In the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) as well as the Cicerone Certification Program in the beer side of our industry they have done an excellent job with 100% transparency. The directory they have with the Cicerone program is all encompassing and includes all 106,695 people who have ever been involved in their program at any level.
The searchable directory makes it very easy to see if somebody is indeed a Master Cicerone, a Certified Beer Server, or somewhere in between.
If I e-mail the BJCP and ask if somebody is a certified judge they can e-mail me back and let me know within the same day. Can we have similar transparency with the court?
After working so hard to become certified and whilst continuing to pursue my advanced sommelier credentials it gets disheartening and upsetting to hear many people throw around these terms without having achieved the certifications. I would like an easy way to follow up on a persons credentials.
I know that the guild is not directly affiliated with the court but I just wanted to share my thoughts with everybody here and see if we can gain any insight to how we may get a directory of court certified Sommeliers started.
Let me know your thoughts on this topic. I thank you for your feedback.
With kind regards,
I’ve noticed this in the past and have wondered as well. Would make for some interesting statistics as well.
Im with Francis on this. Well written friend.
Agreed, 100 percent. I'm managing restaurants across many many states, and it's very difficult to verify the truth in this particular matter.
Good timing to propose this (unfortunately). Thank you.
Agreed, and well said! I've wondered this myself when speaking with people who are clearly misrepresenting themselves.
My favorite is when someone has Introductory and puts, "Level 1 Sommelier".
Very much agreed on this and if you think it's bad in the US, try Europe where it's quite fast and breezy with people calling themselves "sommelier" even if they've never worked the floor, just because they want to. Some jackass here in Spain has "Master Sommelier" in all his social media bios. I called him out on it and he blocked me.
A directory such as this would be fantastic and I would add that the WSET maintains a simple PDF of everyone who has passed the Diploma along with their year which you can download on their website. Very easy and very quick to check. No fancy website needed and needing to deal with additional languages which is a potential issue.
For CMS, it would probably have to be both Advanced and Certified but it'd be a fine, fine thing if it came to be.
I always bring a binder of my credentials to any interview if I listed them in a resume/CV. I’ve also politely requested to see them when I’m the hiring party, but it’s not a 100% guarantee of authenticity either.
Bumping this up for hopefully more input. It would be great if a Master could give some input into whether or not this is something that is implementable....
You would need to send this suggestion/question to the CMS. Individual Master Sommeliers using our website are just people who passed a test and can’t speak to anything regarding the organization itself. GuildSomm is an unaffiliated nonprofit website for wine professionals, many of whom use the site in their CMS or other educational studies.
Thanks for the reply, Geoff. I was just hoping some Masters may wish to share there personal opinion on the matter using this forum as a chance to start a dialogue on this. I, of course, will also contact the CMS directly to ask about this as well.
I'm not sure about certified, but I know that the court announces names of Candidates that pass the Advanced Exam after each exam throughout the year. I would certainly bring my credentials to an interview, but If you have a job candidate saying they are an Advanced Sommelier and nothing to back it up, you could always ask in the interview when they passed the exam. A quick google search should bring up the list of successful candidates for that exam.
That's true Joshua. It's more of a concern for me in regards to certified.
I'm trying to find it, but the Court of Master Sommeliers official site used to list all who had passed by year. I checked a hire using it, and even myself. We both showed up on it. That was over a few years ago, but it was a thing. Now they just have the MS graduates listed, but I think it was more in-depth back then and they didn't have nearly the size of the database they have now.
It would be great if they could "reboot" that in some form. A searchable database like Cicerone has would be ideal but even a list year by year would be great...
I'd be on board with this idea.