Certification Examination Standards: Program Management 2 – Laws and Authorities

Certification Examination Standards: Program Management 2 – Laws and Authorities

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

Last month we began our description of the Program Management standard, covering the duties and responsibilities of the Program Manager regardless of the position’s actual title. This month we continue our discussion of the Program Management standard with a concentration on Laws and Authorities.

Program Management: Laws and Authorities

The NFPA® 1600 version 2013 Program Management: Laws & Authorities standard states, the emergency management “program shall comply with applicable legislation, policies, regulatory requirements, and directives.” It goes on to require the establishment of and maintenance procedures for that compliance. Finally, the standard requires a revision strategy.

U.S.-Specific Laws and Authorities

In the United States, we have a number of applicable laws and authorities that emergency program managers need to know.

  • The Robert T. Stafford Act specifies policy for an “orderly and continuing means of assistance by the federal government to state and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to alleviate the suffering and damage which result from such disasters.” It covers FEMA’s Role and Responsibilities, Emergency Declarations, Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, Federal Coordinating Officer, State Coordinating Officer, Damage Assessments, and grant programs.
  • The National Incident Management System (NIMS) describes the system consisting of Concepts and Principles, Command and Management, Preparedness, Resource Management, Communications and Information Management, and Supporting Technologies.
  • The National Response Framework “covers the capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred.” The 2013 version “incorporates a focus on whole community and core capabilities.”
  • The National Disaster Recovery Framework “provides context for how the whole community works together to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community. The Framework also emphasizes pre-disaster and post-disaster planning.”
  • The National Mitigation Framework “provides context for how the whole community works together and how mitigation efforts relate to all other parts of national preparedness.” It seeks to “foster a culture of preparedness — centered on risk and resilience.”
  • The National Prevention Framework describes the various roles in information sharing and other actions related to preventing imminent terrorist attacks. The Framework also “provides examples of prevention-related activities as well as a context for how the whole community works together and how prevention is an important part of national preparedness.”
  • The Principles of Emergency Management provides definitions of the eight principles “used to guide the development of a doctrine of emergency management.”

The various Presidential and Homeland Security Directives specifically are not made a part of the certification exam. Their provisions and directives are covered in various other laws and authorities, so candidates do not need to study them. Specifics on the Incident Command System (ICS) are not made a part of the certification exam either. However, the general concepts of ICS are covered on the exam.


For information and discussion on the U.S. Laws and Authorities, refer to these recommended FEMA Independent Study courses and other references. Those countries/ regions with country-specific certification exams have a list of applicable references provided on the website at www.iaem.com/page.cfm?p=trainingallocationtables. International exams do not include questions referring to particular country-specific standards. The applicable FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses candidates should review are:

  • IS 1a – Emergency Manager: An Orientation to the Position
  • IS 11a – Animals in Disaster: Community Planning
  • IS 75 – Military Resources in Emergency Management
  • IS 100 (any version) – Introduction – ICS 100
  • IS 111a – Livestock in Disaster
  • IS 208a – State Disaster Management
  • IS 230c – Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • IS 235b – Emergency Planning
  • IS 301 – Radiological Emergency Response
  • IS 302 – Modular Emergency Radiological Response Transportation Training
  • IS 403 – Introduction to Individual Assistance (IA)
  • IS 546a – Continuity of Operations (COOP) Awareness
  • IS 547a – Introduction to Continuity of Operations (COOP) Awareness
  • IS 548- Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program Manager
  • IS 634 – Introduction to the FEMA’s Public Assistance Program
  • IS 632a – Introduction to Debris Operations
  • IS 650a – Building Partnerships with Tribal Governments
  • IS 700a – National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
  • IS 701a – NIMS Multiagency Coordination System (MACS) Course
  • IS 800b – National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • IS 910a – Emergency Management Preparedness Fundamentals

Additional references candidates should consult include:

Next Issue

Next month we will continue our description of the Program Management standard on Records Management. We will also provide a recommended list of FEMA Independent Study courses and/or other references to study.

IAEM Bulletin, December 2013

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