Removal of Essay Requirement FAQ.

AEM®/CEM® Removal of Essay Requirement FAQ.

The IAEM Certification Program is pursuing ANSI accreditation. There are many steps IAEM must complete to prepare for the accreditation process. One necessary step was to complete an updated job analysis. Information collected through job analysis prompted a review of the certification requirements to ensure the certification requirements align with the knowledge, skills, and abilities outlined for emergency managers. It was determined that the KSAs assessed in the essay are also assessed in the exam and in other sections of the application.

It is! Through this process, the Commission identified that only written communication skills were exhibited within the essay format, but the job analysis identified interpersonal skills, and verbal communication skills are equally important for emergency managers. The Commission is considering another way to access this – perhaps through verification of skills through the reference letters or incorporated into the exam.

No replacements have been proposed to date. If an additional component is added to the certification requirements, IAEM will announce the change with ample time for candidates to submit under the current requirements. But any new requirements will only apply to candidates who have not yet completed their application, not to those who are already certified.

IAEM worked with a psychometrician to conduct an independent review of the certification requirements to ensure the KSAs identified in the job analysis are assessed in the certification requirements. During this review, the requirements for other comparable certification programs were reviewed and it was identified that most other professionally accredited certifications do not require an essay as part of the certification requirements. In fact, this holds true for certification programs that assess professionals whose jobs require communications as a critical component of the job performance. IAEM’s continued focus is to keep the Certified Emergency Manager as the gold standard certification for emergency managers. The current requirements for CEM certification are rigorous with the work history, work experience, references, training, professional contributions, and exam.

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