Certification News

Certification News

Previous CEM News: 2017 | 2015-2016 | 2014 | 2010-2013 

  • Winner of the Bravo Zulu award and AEM/CEM Presentations Posted Online (11 Nov 2020) IAEM has posted the IAEM 2020 Honors booklet, which recognizes IAEM award winners, scholarship recipients, certification presentations, and installation of 2020-2021 IAEM-USA officers. The Bravo Zulu Award is presented by the Certification Commission to someone for their outstanding contribution to the Certification Commission and the Certification Program, as judged by fellow Commissioners. The winner of the 2020 Vikki Stempkowski Memorial Bravo Zulu Award is Tom Ignelzi, CEM, of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, for his consistency, confidence, tact and tenacity. Despite the global pandemic, which impacted all of emergency management in countless ways, Tom’s dedication to the Certification Commission never wavered. He was diligent about reviewing applications, writing great letters, serving on and leading numerous task forces. He also served the profession by giving more time and serving on the Certification Commission Executive Committee. (See pages 22-23 for a history of the award, past recipients, and a profile of Tom's service to the Certification Commission.) The IAEM 2020 Honors booklet also recognizes those who received their CEM or AEM credential, or completed their recertification, on pages 22-37.
  • Updated AEM/CEM Study Guide Published (20 May 2020) Download the updated version here. The following changes have been made to the USA reference list:
         IS-702.a has been retired and is replaced with a new course, IS-29.a Public Information Officer Awareness.
         IS-20.19 Diversity Awareness Course 2019 is now IS-20.10 Diversity Awareness Course 2020.
         IS-703.a has been replaced with IS-703.b.
  • Update on Teaching Hours for Certification and Recertification Applications (27 Apr 2020) There has been an update regarding the number of teaching hours that may be submitted in the Training section for certification and recertification applications. Teaching may be substituted for attending courses for Continuing Education/Training credit. Candidates cannot use the same teaching experience under the Professional Contributions section. Courses taught may not exceed 25% of total hours submitted in each Emergency Management Training or General Management Training. Contact Kate McClimans with any questions.
  • IAEM Call for Certification Commissioners Extended to Aug. 1 (13 Apr 2020) IAEM is extending the deadline to apply for an open position on the Certification Commission. Due to COVID-19, applications will be accepted until Aug. 1, 2020. Application details can be found below. Contact Kate McClimans with any questions.
  • Certification Candidates with Concerns About Deadlines Are Urged to Contact IAEM Staff (17 Mar 2020) Due to the demands of COVID-19, certification candidates concerned about meeting a deadline in the AEM/CEM application/exam process should contact IAEM HQ at info@iaem.com. We recognize that your priority and focus is responding to the pandemic at this time, and IAEM staff will provide a response and further details to each request received.

The IAEM Certification Commission is looking for candidates to fill at least four commissioner openings for the Class of 2023, serving from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023. The Certification Commission conducts electronic reviews using the online system. Every other month, commissioners are expected to review, on average, 12-20 applications, based on volume, within a 30 day window. Interested applicants must be detail oriented, responsive via email and phone, and plan to devote approximately 30 hours per review month (180 hours yearly) to online reviews. Commissioners also draft notification letters to candidates so commissioners must possess clear, concise writing skills.

The Certification Commission has one in-person meeting per year as well as quarterly conference calls lasting between 1-2 hours to discuss policy and procedure changes. Occasionally, commissioners may be asked to serve on a short term ad-hoc working group related to a topic of discussion on the Certification Commission. IAEM is prepared to cover the travel costs for the in-person meeting.

We are specifically looking for individuals representing the Emergency Management fields of: State, Military, Private, Local, and Not-for-profit however any interested USA CEM is encouraged to apply as we are looking to identify people who are willing to serve as alternates to represent each EM category should seats become available mid-term. Chart of Commissioner categories can be found here.  

Commissioners must be current CEMs, and successfully recertified at least once, with a demonstrated knowledge of emergency management, desire to serve, ability to work without bias and maintain confidentiality as well as the credibility of the AEM®/CEM® credential. Lifetime CEMs are not eligible to serve as Commissioners.

Applicants should ensure they have access to a computer without security limitations to access zip, pdf, .msg, jpeg, gif, .mov, Powerpoint, and Word files. Access to publisher is a benefit. Users should be using the current version of any of the major browsers (latest Firefox, Chrome, Safari or IE). Interested individuals should identify themselves as being computer savvy and have a willingness to learn how to use the online application portal. 

Strong applications will provide examples to demonstrate the following desired criteria:

  • Articulates how own experience in emergency management translates into being a good Commissioner
  • Ability to meet time commitment required by the Commission
  • Ability to work in an unbiased and confidential manner
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting the IAEM Certification Program
  • Experience using digital/online tools
  • Ability to work as a member of a team
  • Clear, concise writing skills and attention to detail

Candidates interested in serving on the Certification Commission should submit the following information to IAEM Program Manager, Kate McClimans (KMcClimans@iaem.com), by Aug. 1, 2020:

  • Letter of intent expressing desire to serve as a commissioner as well as willingness to devote the necessary time to participate in online reviews and commission meetings.
  • Personal Commissioner Qualities – a short narrative (maximum of two pages) describing the qualities the applicant will bring to the commission. Include the date of CEM initial certification and recertification(s).
  • Qualification(s) to Serve – up to a one page description of the qualifications for the category(ies) of participation to be considered as described in the chart of CEM Commissioner categories. Application must clearly indicate which category the candidate’s current employment represents.
  • Current Resume
  • One letter of reference from current supervisor to verify and support Commissioner criteria as well as to show support for the time commitment.
  • One letter of reference from a current CEM* to illustrate professionalism as an emergency manager and commitment to IAEM certification program. Additional letters of support may be submitted to help highlight candidate’s attributes.  

*NOTE: If candidate’s supervisor is also a CEM, only one letter is required as long as the reference is able to address both bullet points.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Upon receipt, candidate will receive confirmation that information was received by IAEM HQ. Late submissions may be held over for the following year. Candidates will be notified of the results this fall. 


For 2020, in Exchange for Service, Commissioners are Entitled to: (updated 20 May 2020)

  1. The In-person meeting in 2020 will occur as a pre-conference event at the IAEM Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA on November 14. Travel, one night of lodging, and complimentary registration at the IAEM Annual Conference will be covered by IAEM.
  2. All Commissioners who successfully complete one term of three years will have their next recertification fee waived, if not covered by their employer.
  • Certification Fees Increase Effective June 1, 2019 (25 Apr 2019) Certification and Recertification Fees will increase by 4% on June 1, 2019. Certification Application Fees will now be $410 for members and $620 for non-members. Recertification Fees will now be $260 for members and $340 for non-members. Candidates may click here to pay now and avoid the additional cost.
  • Online Certification Exam (14 Mar 2019) The certification exam has launched in an online format. This exciting change will ensure faster results notification for the candidates, increase exam security, and provide more comprehensive reporting statistics. You can find more information about using the online exam here.
  • Online Certification Exam (20 Dec 2018) IAEM will be launching the online certification exam on Mar. 18, 2019. If you plan to take the online exam after Mar. 18, 2019, please use the updated study guide to prepare for the exam. Further details about the online exam platform will be posted in early 2019.

AEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.