Professional Contributions, Part 2

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By Brian V. Bovyn, CEM, Emergency Services Supervisor, Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department

This article is Part 2 of a three-part series on meeting the Professional Contributions requirement of the CEM application requirement.

Leadership Role. The “leadership role” validates a CEM candidate’s demonstrated work in a leadership activity supporting emergency management. This role typically takes the form of committee chair or task force leader, or supervisor of a committee, organization or program tasked with supporting an emergency management-related activity. The activity cannot be a normal role or function of the candidate, as identified in the job descriptions that the candidate must provide with his or her CEM application packet.

An example of a leadership role might be assessor team leader on an EMAP on-site assessment, chair person of an organization or program’s emergency management committee, exercise designer or administrator, CERT team leader, or similar role.

Service Role. The “service role” validates a CEM candidate’s demonstrated work in a service activity supporting emergency management. This role typically takes the form of committee member, task force member, volunteer or employee in an activity related to emergency management (that is not part of the candidate’s job function). The activity cannot be a role or function of the candidate, as identified in the job descriptions that the candidate must provide with his or her CEM application packet.

Examples could include EMAP assessor, exercise role player, or volunteer with the Red Cross, Salvation Army or a faith-based organization supporting emergency management activities. Additionally, volunteering at an emergency management conference could meet this requirement.

Special Assignment. “Special assignment” is a requirement with maximum latitude in how the CEM candidate meets the requirement. The candidate may perform a role, duty or function that is part of his or her normal duties.

Some examples might include: serving as an exercise evaluator, serving as a responder to a disaster outside of the candidate’s jurisdiction, serving on a committee or task force, or serving in a volunteer assignment supporting emergency management.

State Certifications. “State certifications” are state-based emergency management certifications, which in some manner replicate the IAEM CEM® certification requirements. Many states offer this type of certification for professional development of their members (internal and external, outside of the state EMA). While some state-based certifications are more rigorous than other state emergency management certifications, no formal standard has been established. Some states use training and education objectives to meet their requirements, while other states include an examination, professional contributions and more. Note that recognition in this area of Professional Contributions is for certification programs that go beyond simply tracking continuing education/training, which some state certificate programs do.

The U.S. armed services also have a credential that meets the intent of the state certification, and this credential from the military is acceptable to meet the state certification category.

Special Skill Identifiers or Badges. “Special skill identifiers or badges” may be used to prove certification in emergency management. A couple of examples include the medical badge, senior or master EOD badge, and the “R” skill identifier. Others are acceptable too. Remember to explain how they relate to comprehensive emergency management in order to receive credit. (IAEM Bulletin, November 2002).

Course Development. “Course development” is a contribution that requires the candidate to design an EM-related course. The course must be a minimum of three hours of platform instruction. To meet the requirement, a candidate must develop a course syllabus and content to support at least three hours of classroom, online or independent study with an emergency management theme. The intent is that the course provides new subject matter material or significantly modifies a previous course. Clearly, the intent of this requirement is not to apply a candidate’s name to an existing course. A PowerPoint presentation alone (without a syllabus) does not meet the requirement.

It would be acceptable to take an existing course such as “Special Needs Emergency Planning,” and make significant additional changes and modifications to reflect organizational, program or local community attributes, as long as adequate supporting documentation is provided. (Syllabus, letters, quizzes or other assessment tools, and course rosters are examples of adequate documentation.) The course must be delivered at least one time, with adequate supporting documentation provided. This contribution may be a job-related function of the candidate, as identified in the candidate’s job description.

The key to all of the above professional contributions is that adequate supporting documentation be provided. Examples of such documentation include letters from supervisors, sponsors, organizational heads and volunteer agency heads. The letters must be on official letterhead stationery of the organization. Additional documentation might include newspaper articles, photos, newsletter articles, course syllabi, course registration forms, and more.

The key to receiving credit for all professional contributions is for the candidate to provide adequate supporting documentation to prove that the attestations are authentic and that the activity has occurred and can be validated by a CEM Commissioner. Inadequate, missing documentation or solely providing a telephone number will not validate the candidate’s claim or submission, and the contribution will not be counted. Most of the professional contributions may be job role related (as identified in the candidate’s job descriptions), with the exception of leadership role and service role (which cannot be part of the candidate’s job roles or functions as identified in the candidate’s job descriptions).

Author's Note: Thanks to Daryl Spiewak, CEM, TEM, TCFM, for contributing to this article.

IAEM Bulletin, February 2011

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