Consulting Essay Guidelines for CCM Application

A consulting essay representing the candidate’s professional work is required as the second part of the written assignment. Effective communication skills are essential for anyone contemplating attainment of the CCM credential.1 A CCM candidate must demonstrate that he/she possesses the ability to apply his or her meteorological knowledge beneficially to the affairs of mankind and communicate that knowledge to the public. Usually a client does not have the same technical expertise as the hired consultant; therefore, it is essential that the consultant be able to provide a written product that communicates effectively to any non-technical user. All CCM candidates are required to submit a consulting essay along with the written examination answers. It must adequately address two objectives: 1.) demonstrating meteorological analytical skill, and 2) effective communication to a non-technical audience. To meet these objectives, the following requirements apply:

  1. i. The candidate will be given a set of pre-formed scenarios, usually three to four, of consulting topics to choose from. The topic describes a meteorological problem requiring a response from the candidate. The candidate chooses one scenario and addresses the problem using the scientific method.  

    ii. The essay must be at least 1000 words but not more than 5000 words and should contain no more than 10 graphics.

  2. iii. The candidate must be the sole author of the essay representing the candidate’s original work. Third party review additions, deletions, or edits are not allowed.

    iv. The content of the essay will require a minimum of four sections:

    1. A. Introductory paragraph describing the problem and tasking, 

    2. B. Data:  the candidate is required to gather original data,   

    3. C. Data analysis,

    4. D. Conclusions and/or recommendations using the principals of the scientific method. 

  3. v. The essay must not be one that has been or will be submitted for fulfillment of academic degree requirements.

  4. vi. The essay must demonstrate adequate ability to communicate with non-technical clients. If the essay does not meet this requirement, it will be graded as a failure.

    vii. The essay must demonstrate meteorological analytical skill. Essays on subjects allied to meteorology such as communications, computer algorithms, climatological statistics, etc. without meteorological analyses will be graded as a failure.

  5. Essay's containing superfluous information not directly answering the problem will be viewed in a negative light.

    viii. Alternative to a scenario based report, the candidate may propose to the CCM Board Chair to submit a previously written report. This is helpful to candidates with experience consulting in areas outside of the pre-formed scenarios. This essay should demonstrate your expertise and ability to communicate to your client through a very professional deliverable product.The report must meet all stated requirements for the scenario based report described above.  It is up to the candidate to determine if the report meets all stated requirements of the essay described above. A previous report may be modified to meet essay requirements, which is allowable. However, once submitted, the report will be graded as is.

  6. xi. Journal articles do not meet the essay requirements. If submitted, the journal article will fail by non-compliance with CCM requirements.

Below is a link to a sample technical report that will give you a better idea of what is acceptable.

Sample Consulting Essay

1Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker, and Atmospheric Scientist; © 2009-Author David M. Schultz; -ISBN 978-1-878220-91-2