Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
Guidelines for Endorsement of Media Weathercasters
The purpose of CMOS Endorsement of Media Weathercasters is to improve and acknowledge the scientific level of weather information and forecasts presented in all forms of media (radio, television, social media and print). The media weathercaster is the principal figure presenting the weather to the public and, as the Society most closely associated with meteorology in Canada, CMOS wishes to encourage weather presentations of the highest quality. In recognition of the growing public interest in weather and weather-related phenomena, a Weathercaster Endorsement Committee was struck in 2000 to formally develop a set of criteria for the evaluation of weathercasters. The recently updated guidelines recognize the rapid acceptance of social media as a public information source, as well as the availability of on-line and remote meteorological training and education programs. They reflect the need for increased scientific competence, as well as effective communication skills across all media sources. Ideally, the Society would like to see the presentation of weather information carried out by professionally trained meteorologists with appropriate communication skills, or by media professionals with appropriate training in weather analysis and forecasting, applications of meteorology, climatology and climate change.
- Receipt of a completed application form. The application form to apply to become a CMOS Endorsed Weathercaster is available here.
- An applicant may apply for endorsement in television, radio, or social media presentation, or in any combination thereof.
- A post-secondary degree in Meteorology, or an associated Atmospheric Science. CMOS approves the use of the term "Meteorologist" by the successful applicant if the applicant holds such a degree. Alternatively, a combination of the following credits obtained at a university, college, or on-line from a recognized institute or source as deemed acceptable by the committee: relevant mathematics and science courses, weather analysis, forecasting and weather presentation, and applications of meteorology, climatology and climate change.
- Copies of any degrees, diplomas, or certificates of course credits should accompany an application.
- A combination of professional education and training and/or experience of a minimum of one year in media presentation.
- Two letters of reference from individuals for whom the applicant has provided media presentation services, or from a supervisor of the media position the applicant presently holds, or has held in the recent past.
- Submission of samples of media presentations as stipulated in section 3.
- A successful applicant for endorsement is required to become a member of CMOS, if they are not already, and renew his or her membership annually.
- Samples of Media Presentations
The applicant must provide four electronic copies of actual weather presentations in the media appropriate to their application. Applicants must certify that these presentations are substantially the result of their own work. A "dropbox" facility, or some similar on-line capability, will be provided for submission.
The recordings will be reviewed under the following criteria:
Scientific Competence: The evaluation of the submissions will be used to determine whether the information is scientifically and technically valid.
Informational Value: This category will be used to evaluate whether the candidate has given the audience sufficient information about recent, current, and anticipated weather conditions locally and nationally.
Explanatory Value: This criterion will be used to determine whether or not the candidate has given sufficient explanation of the processes that produce the recent, current, or anticipated weather conditions.
Communication Skills: This criterion is intended to measure the effectiveness of the means chosen by the candidate to communicate information and explanations. Since this is a highly subjective area, only a candidate's clear inability to communicate the information will be judged as grounds for failure.
- Notification of Endorsement
A Certificate of Endorsement will be issued to successful candidates, upon approval by the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee and their acceptance into the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS). In addition, a CMOS "logo" will be provided which can be displayed on visual media. Endorsed Weathercasters may use the CMOS logo during the period for which the endorsement remains valid. The logo may also be used for professional purposes by the Endorsed Weathercaster. Successful candidates may use their endorsement in all present and future media positions they hold without further application to the Society.
- Suspension or Revocation of CMOS Endorsement
CMOS reserves the right to suspend or revoke the endorsement, and the right to use the CMOS logo, if an Endorsed Weathercaster:
- Misuses the term "Meteorologist" without holding the appropriate post-secondary degree or education.
- Inappropriately interprets or uses editorial license in disseminating an official Weather Warning and/or fails to disseminate a relevant Weather Warning in a timely manner.
- Fails to renew their CMOS membership on an annual basis.
- Clearly fails to conduct himself or herself in a manner that reflects on the trust and respect of his or her position as a weathercaster, or if he or she fails to demonstrate scientific credibility, informational and explanatory values, and communication skills
Any complaint that may be grounds for suspension or removal of the right to use the CMOS logo shall be forwarded to the Chairperson of the CMOS Weathercaster Endorsement Committee.
The Chairperson of the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee will examine and judge the validity of the complaint and if, in his or her judgment, the complaint is valid, the matter is to be brought to the attention of the Weathercaster in question for resolution. The object of this resolution process will be to ameliorate the situation and continue the endorsement of the Weathercaster, if possible.
If a satisfactory solution to the complaint is not found and the complaint is upheld, a letter of reprimand will be sent to the Weathercaster, suspending the use of the logo for a period of time or revoking the right to use the logo.
Withdrawal of an endorsement may be appealed to the CMOS President. Any such appeal will be decided upon by CMOS Members who were not on the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee at the time of the original decision.
An initial fee of $200.00 (as of 2017) is required for Media Weathercaster endorsement by CMOS, payable at the time of the application. This fee is refundable if the application is denied. Thereafter, the annual renewal fee is $20 (as of 2017), in addition to the CMOS membership fee. Fees are payable to the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.
- CMOS ENDORSEMENT PROCESS
All applications should be addressed to the Executive Director of CMOS who shall forward the application to the Chairperson of the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee.
The Council of CMOS shall appoint the Chairperson of the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee
The Committee Chairperson will select three members of the Committee, who will constitute the reviewing panel. Each member of the Committee shall certify to the Chairperson that he or she is aware of no conflict of interest in accepting the appointment to review any particular applicant.
Upon completion of the review process, successful applicants will be notified by letter.
Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified by letter from the Chairperson of the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee. The letter shall contain a statement explaining the nature of the shortcomings and suggesting ways of improving the performance based upon the information received from the Review Panel.
Unsuccessful candidates may appeal the negative decision of the Weathercaster Endorsement Committee to the President of CMOS within 90 days of the date of notification. The applicant will have the right to appear in person, via telephone or video conferencing before the President and selected members of the Executive.
Thereafter, after one year from the date of a negative notification on the applicant's initial application, a new application can be submitted.
Approved by the Executive Director
15 January, 2018