Sample Certification Exam Questions – Program Management, Part 2

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

Last month we resumed our discussion on the certification examination under the topic of Program Management, emphasizing the Program Manager, followed by an analysis of a couple example examination questions. This month we continue our discussion on the Program Manager, with a focus on Records Management and Finance and Administration.

Finance and Administration

Under the topic of Finance and Administration, NFPA 1600 version 2013 specifies, “The entity shall develop finance and administrative procedures to support the program before, during, and after an incident”... the procedures are “flexible and timely,” and “uniquely linked to response, continuity, and recovery operations.” These procedures shall include “procurement, payroll and accounting, identification and management of funding from external sources, crisis management procedures, expenditure documentation, and budget management.”

Records Management

Under the sub-topic of Records Management, NFPA 1600 version 2013 states, “The entity shall develop, implement, and manage a records management program to ensure that records are available to the entity following an incident.” It goes on to say that the program shall include “identification of vital records; backup of records with validation; implementation of procedures to store, retrieve, and recover records; protection of records; a record review process; and records access procedures.”

IAEM recognizes that these procedures are specific to the country and organization to which the entity belongs. Therefore, the majority of questions in these subtopic areas will be country-specific rather than core questions. Candidates should prepare accordingly, reviewing the country-specific references for the examination they will be taking. However, here are two core-type questions for our analysis in this article.

Sample Questions

1. Documentation is a legal and administrative requirement for an emergency management organization. As an emergency manager, you will document which of the following records, except:
a. incident records.
b. mutual aid activities.
c. routine staffing records.
d. situation reports.

Analysis: The question is telling us that three of the four responses are documents that the emergency management organization is required to prepare and maintain. A fourth response is not a requirement. So our task is to determine which document is not required of the emergency program.

The first response is incident records. These are generated by incident command staff, EOC staff, and other supporting staff during incidents, so they are a requirement. In the second response, these documents also are generated by the EOC staff and are a required document.

The documents in the third response are not related to emergency operations and are usually maintained by the entity’s human resources department and not the emergency management program department. In the fourth response, the situation reports are generated by the EOC staff and other supporting departments, so these are required too. Therefore, the only documents specified in the question not required for an emergency management organization are the routine staffing records, so the correct response is “c.”

2. Anticipated emergency operations is a budget item consisting of estimates for emergencies that may occur during the budget cycle. What type of data may be needed to support these estimates?
a. Emergency operations plan.
b. Exercise training plan.
c. Historical records.
d. Weather reports.

Analysis: In this question, we are provided with a defined budget term with which many emergency managers are familiar. The specific question we must answer is how to justify our budget estimate. Our emergency operations plan describes procedures before, during, and after an emergency. It may even describe some budgeting requirements. However, the plan normally does not contain any specific budget information related to the cost of emergencies, because each one is unique. So we can probably discard this response.

An exercise training plan is part of preparedness activities and has nothing to do with anticipated emergency operations, so the second response will not help justify anticipated emergency operations. Historical records are a great source for documenting how much it cost our entity for past emergency operations and will definitely help us justify our anticipated emergency operations costs, so this is probably the correct answer.

The last response is weather reports. While certain weather reports could provide some insight into future weather events, by themselves they do not offer any details to justify how much it might cost for future emergency response. Past weather reports, on the other hand, are part of our historical records and could be used to help justify future costs, because they provide additional information about our previous responses. From the four answers provided in the question, then, historical records are the best resource for us to use to help justify our anticipated emergency operations. Therefore, response “c.” is the correct answer.

Next Month

Next month we will begin a new topic area – Planning – with a focus on Risk Assessment. We also will analyze some practice exam questions. Please send any questions you have about the examination or the certification process to me at info@iaem.com, and I will address them in future articles.

IAEM Bulletin, September 2015

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