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Getting Started

Getting Started

Congratulations on your decision to pursue the IAEM certification. 

Remember to fill out the Certification Enrollment General Information Form.

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.

Levels of Certification

There are two types of certification offered: the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) and the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM).

AEM Requirements

  • Training: 100 hours Emergency Management training (considered specific to the profession) & 100 hours of General Management Training (content that can be applied beyond emergency management).
    • No more than 25% of hours can be in a single topic.
    • Must be completed within the last 10 years.
  • Essay: Candidates must demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities through this written submission, as specified in the application.
  • References: One letter of reference, signed and on letterhead from current supervisor, plus contact information, for a total of three references.
  • Certification Exam: Score 75% or higher on a 100 multiple-choice question exam.
    • The exam includes a portion of questions that are considered to be universal, core content for emergency management regardless of location. Additional content is tested depending on the country in which the candidate is based.

CEM Requirements

Candidates must meet all AEM requirements in addition to the following:

  • Emergency Management Work History: 3 years of comprehensive emergency management experience.
  • Emergency Management Experience: Participation in two functional exercises, a major public event, a full-scale exercise, or actual disaster, and cover all phases of emergency management.
  • Professional Contributions: Submit six separate contributions completed with the last 10 years.
  • Degree Requirement: A baccalaurate degree in emergency management reduces the disaster/ emergency management training requirement, depending on how current. Candidates cannot use their degree to both satisfy the education requirement and satisfy the training hours requirement.

Requirements Timeline

    • U.S., Europa, and Oceania applicants: a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution as recognized by the appropriate governing body or bodies of the specific country from which the degree was issued (Example: U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions). 
    • Canadian applicants: Any three- or four-year bachelor program or any post-graduate degree in emergency management or a related field from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Asia, International, Latin America, and Caribbean applicants: Any baccalaureate degree or the equivalent thereof, or additional experience, may be substituted as two years of full-time EM employment per year of college/university.


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