Certification Examination Standards – Planning Standards 1 – Planning Design and Process

Certification Examination Standards – Planning Standards 1 – Planning Design and Process

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By Daryl Lee Spiewak, CEM, TEM, Lead Trainer for the CEM Commission

Last month we discussed the Program Management standard, with a concentration on Records Management. This month we begin our discussion of the Planning Standards, with a concentration on the Planning Design and Process requirements.

Planning Standards: Planning Design and Process

  • The NFPA® 1600 version 2013 Planning Standards: Planning Design and Process requires the entity to “follow a planning process that develops strategies, plans, and required capabilities to execute the program.” These strategies then “define the entity’s vision, mission, and goals of the program.”
  • The standard next requires that “a risk assessment and a business impact analysis (BIA)” be used to prepare prevention and mitigation strategies as well as to “develop information to prepare emergency operations/response, crisis communications, continuity, and recovery plans.” This part of the standard only requires that the emergency manager rely on the Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis results to develop strategies and plans. Details regarding the Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis requirements will be covered in the next two articles.
  • The third requirement is for the entity’s crisis management planning to “address issues that threaten the strategic, reputational, and intangible elements of the entity.” The reputational requirement is a concept that at first glance may appear new to many emergency managers, but it is part of a comprehensive, risk-driven program emergency managers already implement.
  • The final requirement states, “The entity shall include key stakeholders in the planning process.” This is nothing new either. The standard maintains the concept of comprehensive and integrated emergency management under the Principles of Emergency Management.

To summarize this part of the standard, emergency managers need to:

  • follow a planning process to develop strategies, plans, and capabilities;
  • ¡ use the above strategies to develop the program’s vision, mission, and goals;
  • ¡ develop risk-driven plans based on risk assessments and Business Impact Analyses;
  • ¡ develop emergency operations/response, crisis communications, continuity, recovery, and crisis management plans; and
  • ¡ involve key stakeholders in the process.

So don’t let the new terms in the standard scare you or unduly influence your preparation/study for the CEM® Exam. Focus on things emergency managers need to know and do based upon the references specified in the next section.


For information and discussion on Planning Design and Process, refer to these recommended FEMA Independent Study courses and other related references mentioned below. Do not confuse these general planning requirements with the specific procedures found within your organization. While an emergency manager needs to understand and know local procedures to be effective in the position, those procedures could easily differ from the general procedures discussed in the study references and are not found on the certification exam. The applicable FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses candidates should review when studying the Planning Design and Process are:

  • IS 1a – Emergency Manager: An Orientation to the Position
  • IS 11a – Animals in Disasters: Community Planning
  • IS 15b – Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies
  • IS 22 - Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
  • IS 100 (any version) – Introduction to ICS 100
  • IS 111 - Livestock in Disasters
  • IS 230c/d – Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • IS 235b – Emergency Planning
  • IS 328 – Plan Review for Local Mitigation Plans
  • IS 362a – Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
  • IS 366 – Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
  • IS 775 – Emergency Operations Center Management and Operations
  • IS 453 – Introduction to Homeland Security Planning
  • IS 547 – Introduction to Continuity of Operations
  • IS 554 – Emergency Planning for Public Works

IAEM-USA candidates should also consult these four additional references:

  • IS 208a – State Disaster Management
  • IS 800b – National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • IS 910a – Emergency Management Preparedness Fundamentals
  • IS 2900 – National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) Overview

Next Month’s CEM® Corner

Next month we will continue our description of the Planning Standards with a concentration on the Risk Assessment requirements. We will also provide a recommended list of FEMA Independent Study courses and/or other references to study.

IAEM Bulletin, February 2014

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