By Daryl Lee Spiewak, CEM, TEM, MEP, Lead Trainer for the CEM® Commission
This month we are taking a break from discussing and analyzing a few example examination questions and instead discussing the revised recertification requirements and process that became effective this year. We are doing this because of the questions many current AEMs and CEMs have regarding recertification. Next month we will return to another examination topic area and sample examination questions.
Certified professionals have been reporting their desire to have an online submission process for recertification. They also offered suggestions to modify the recertification requirements to more closely reflect professional progression.
Based on a recommendation from the CEM Commission, the IAEM-USA Board approved a streamlined approach to the recertification process without lowering standards or lowering the quality and value of our certification credentials. The following revisions are the result of their efforts.
The IAEM-USA Board’s first revision is the new AEM/CEM online recertification application. The online recertification application has been available since February 2015. Current AEMs and CEMs now must submit their recertification applications using the online application portal rather than submitting a hard copy application. The recertification application can be accessed on the Recertification page of the IAEM website. The CEM Resource Center has a helpful user guide with step-by-step instructions for using the online system.
If you have any questions or experience any technical difficulties with the application, please contact CEM staff. They will be happy to assist you. A huge benefit to professionals seeking recertification is that they don’t have to wait until their fifth year to begin collecting and collating the required documentation.
Certified professionals may begin filling in their recertification application immediately upon becoming certified or after their most recent recertification. Simply log in to your account on the IAEM web page, navigate to the Recertification link and open an application. Then upload your documentation as each requirement is completed. The recertification fee is not due until you hit the submit button once your application is complete (use the SAVE feature instead of submitting the application).
This new process makes it easy for a professional to maintain the required documentation online as each requirement is completed rather than holding the documentation in a file and uploading it all in the fifth year. This was a change that members wanted, and the IAEM-USA Board listened.
The next big change was in the requirements themselves. The IAEM-USA Board’s concern, and the concern of many current AEMs and CEMs, was the difficulty of obtaining the necessary training hours in emergency management and general management topics. During its research, the CEM Commission found it was very difficult for longtime AEMs and CEMs to obtain advanced training courses. They recognized that repeating the same introductory and basic courses every few years, without those courses undergoing significant revision, was counterproductive.
Another difficulty cited was the reduction in organizational resources across the world coupled with increased workloads. This combination prevented many AEMs and CEMs from having the resources necessary to complete six different professional contributions within the specified five-year time frame. The IAEM-USA Board also recognized that experienced AEMs and CEMs should be giving more back to the profession
through the professional contributions than less experienced AEMs and CEMs.
After much contemplation and effort by the IAEM-USA Board, along with input from certified professionals, our recertification requirements were revised and approved. They are briefly discussed below.
Below is an easy-to-read table outlining the revised recertification requirements. Keep a copy handy as you work on your recertification packet. Or, you may find it on our website on the Recertification page or in the online recertification application.
As you can see, the training hours required for recertification are reduced with each subsequent recertification. They start with 100 hours total for the first recertification.
Both emergency management and general management require a minimum of 25 hours each, with the remaining 50 hours divided between emergency management and general management topics as the CEM® or AEM decides. Remember to claim no more than 25 hours in any one topic area.
For each subsequent recertification the training hours required are reduced until the fifth recertification, where only 25 hours are required. A minimum of 10 hours each are required for emergency management and general management topics with the remaining five hours allocated to emergency management and/or general management topics.
The number of professional contributions increases from three to six over subsequent recertification. Your first recertification requires three professional contributions. Then you need one additional professional contribution for each succeeding recertification until reaching a total of six during your fourth recertification.
The type and amount of documentation required for recertification is the same as that required for initial certification. The commissioners want to see independently produced documentation with your name on it, the date, the organization providing the documentation, its contact information, and details regarding your specific claim.
The criteria for training and professional contributions remains the same too, with one additional professional contribution – CEM® Mentoring/Proctoring Exams – available. To gain credit for this additional contribution, you will need to document officially guiding a CEM®/AEM candidate through the process.
Proctoring the exam involves receiving the exam, administering it, and returning it to IAEM Headquarters. Proctor/venue guidelines are outlined in the Study Guide Brochure. Both require prior approval from the CEM Commission before being officially conducted. You must include a copy of the authorization with your submission in order to receive credit.
As stated on the IAEM website, “These changes [to the recertification requirements] were designed to streamline the recertification process as well as make the recertification process more relevant to a certified professional’s progress in the emergency management field. As individuals maintain the certification, the training requirements decrease while the professional contribution requirements increase.”
I believe the IAEM-USA Board did a great job, and our certified professionals should find the revised recertification process and requirements to be more relevant.
On June 1, 2015, the recertification fee for non-IAEM members increased to USD $325. It remains at USD $250 for IAEM members. The IAEM-USA Board made this adjustment in order to balance the CEM Program’s budget and to take into account that IAEM-USA member dues already support in part the CEM program infrastructure.
Next month we will continue our discussion with a new examination topic – the Program Manager – and we will analyze some practice exam questions. Please send any questions you have about the examination or the certification process to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will address them in future articles.
IAEM Bulletin, June 2015
AEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.