Certification Examination Standards – Program Management 3 – Records Management

Certification Examination Standards: Program Management 3 – Records Management

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

In last month’s CEM Corner, we discussed the Program Management standard with a concentration on Laws and Authorities. This month we continue our discussion of the Program Management standard with a concentration on Records Management.

Defining the Standard – Program Management: Records Management

The NFPA® 1600 version 2013 Program Management: Records Management Standard states that the emergency management “entity shall develop, implement, and manage a records management program to ensure that records are available to the entity following an incident.” Further, it states, “The program shall include the following:

  1. Identification of records (hard copy or electronic) vital to continue the operations of the entity;
  2. Backup of records on a frequency necessary to meet program goals and objectives;
  3. Validation of the integrity of records backup;
  4. Implementation of procedures to store, retrieve, and recover records onsite or offsite;
  5. Protection of records;
  6. Implementation of a record review process; and
  7. Procedures coordinating records access.”

Many of the detailed procedures are developed and implemented by others outside the emergency management program. The certification examination does not cover those procedures as they are organization and jurisdictional specific. The certification examination does cover the general principles emergency managers need to “ensure records are available following an incident.”

Two examples would be (1) to know what kinds of records should be kept and (2) how emergency managers may use the data found in the records. Many planning references, as well as references on various hazards and threat assessment procedures, discuss using data found in historical records. While this may prove useful in understanding records management principles, it is not specific to this topic.


For information and discussion on Records Management, refer to these recommended FEMA Independent Study courses and other related references. Do not confuse these general records management requirements with the specific procedures found within your organization.
While an emergency manager needs to understand and know local procedures to be effective in his or her position, those procedures could easily differ from the general procedures discussed in the study references and are not found on the certification exam.

Applicable FEMA IS Courses

The applicable FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses candidates should review when studying Records Management are:

  • IS 1a – Emergency Manager: An Orientation to the Position
  • IS 100 (any version) – Introduction – ICS 100
  • IS 130 – Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning
  • IS 208a – State Disaster Management
  • IS 230c – Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • IS 235b – Emergency Planning
  • 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 775 – Emergency Operations Center Management and Operations

Additional IAEM-USA References

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

Next CEM® Corner

Next month we will begin our description of the Planning standards with a concentration on the Planning Design and Process requirements. We will also provide a recommended list of FEMA Independent Study courses and/or other references to study.

IAEM Bulletin, January 2014

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