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Here are just a few of the reasons why many employers now list the CEM as a job requirement when posting open positions for emergency managers:
There are many reasons why emergency managers decide to pursue certification. Here are some of the benefits:
Candidates do not have to be IAEM members to be certified, although IAEM membership does offer you a number of benefits that can assist you through the certification process.
Note: A baccalaureate in emergency management reduces the experience requirement to 2 years and waives EM training if the degree was earned recently.
The certification fee entitles candidates to:
Note: Candidates who do not pass the exam on the second attempt or receive notification that their credential submission has been rejected must pay the certification fee again and start the process from the beginning.
While the AEM/CEM designation is a certification for individuals, EMAP – or the Emergency Management Accreditation Program – is a credential for agencies. EMAP includes a recommendation for agencies over a certain size to employ personnel who have earned the AEM/CEM.
More information can be found in the 2009 CEM Corner article, Benchmarks in Emergency Management – Pinnacles of Success or Just Window Dressing?
The International Association of Emergency Managers U.S. Council (IAEM-USA) Uniformed Services Committee (USC) coordinated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow for the use of GI Bill benefits to pay fees related to IAEM’s Certified Emergency Manager Program. U.S. veterans, active duty members, and others eligible in the Guard and Reserve may use their GI Bill benefits to reimburse 100 percent of the CEM application and testing fees.
Interested service personnel are urged to contact their VA counselors for information on how to apply the GI Bill toward certification. The general rule is that the interested person must first pay for the application and complete the test with a passing grade. The VA will reimburse the application fee upon receipt of a request letter and proof of passing the CEM examination. Additional information is available at www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/LCweb.htm.
The letters should attest to the candidate’s character and explain why he/she is deserving of the AEM/CEM designation. Many of the letters outline individual accomplishments, work ethic, leadership skills/roles, job responsibilities, years of work experience, and initiatives candidates have taken in the emergency management field.
The AEM/CEM applications outline that course work completed to earn the baccalaureate degree cannot also be used to meet any portion of the 100 hours of disaster/emergency management training, unless the baccalaureate degree was in Emergency Management, in which case candidates may use the degree towards the Education requirement and may also use it to reduce the Emergency Management Training requirement. If additional advanced degrees are held, associated coursework can be applied to training. It is considered double dipping to use courses from one’s baccalurate degree toward the AEM/CEM training requirement when that baccaluareate degree will also be used to fulfill the education requirement (either in a CEM application or upgrade application).
As of Jan. 1, 2016, the CEM Executive Board provided clarification on use of a college degree to meet the CEM experience and training requirements:
In September 2012, the CEM® Commission agreed that they would accept webinars for training or conference attendance based on the content and require that candidates show proof of attendance. Candidates may only use 25 hours in one subject area for training and/or must show documentation of 40 hours for conference participation.
Yes, with the right documentation. In order to use a professional conference toward the certification or recertification training requirement, candidates will need to submit the individual session from the conference, not the entire conference, for the commission to review. Candidates will need to include a copy of the agenda showing the length and date of that particular session, independent documentation of attendance, as well as a description or syllabus to show what was covered during the particular session. Note: Double dipping is not allowed. Therefore any conference used toward the training requirement may not also be submitted under the B) Professional Conference Attendance professional contribution.
Candidates may only receive credit for each professional contribution once within each CEM, upgrade or recertification application. Even if the candidate completes multiple submissions for the same professional contribution category, the commission will only approve a maximum of one from each category. Note that several professional contributions may require multiple entries to meet the category requirement. Speaking, Membership, Professional Conference are examples of categories where a candidate may have multiple entries toward fulfilling one professional contribution.
FEMA Independent Study (IS) Program course certificates never expire. If a candidate wishes to refresh their skills, they may retake the exam; however, FEMA’s system will not re-score the exam and the original date of completion will remain on the candidates certificate of completion.
If a candidate is trying to submit an exam for a course that is required to be taken each year, please see the IS course list and look for courses with a yearly suffix. Example: IS-19.14 where .14 indicates 2014.
Contact the IAEM Education & Certification Manager at CEMinfo@iaem.com, or Sharon Kelly at 703-538-1795, ext. 1785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEM® and AEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.