By Brian V. Bovyn, CEM, Emergency Services Supervisor, Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” – Spencer Johnson
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.” – anonymous
Ethics are critically important in emergency management. For this reason, IAEM has embraced and promoted the IAEM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. This concept of operating and practicing with a high degree of moral character is a core value of the AEM and CEM Program. The concept of ethics needs to be practiced in day-to-day operations, as well as holistically in all administrative aspects connected to the field of emergency management.
When emergency management practitioners enroll in the AEM or CEM application process, the candidates are making an affirmative statement that they promise to abide by the high moral, ethical code expected by IAEM – and as a matter of public trust, by their constituency, agency, company or organization.
Over the past couple of years, the CEM Commission has observed activities that are not consistent with the best traditions of the International Association of Emergency Managers pertaining to ethical behavior. Here are several examples:
Additionally, there have been practitioners who have used the AEM or CEM credential inappropriately. This has included:
The Certified Emergency Manager credential by the International Association of Emergency Managers is a registered trademark in the industry. Inappropriate uses of this credential are not sanctioned by IAEM, and should be ceased immediately. For those practitioners of emergency management who have earned a state-specific, state-sanctioned credential for emergency managers, the candidate should precede the letters "AEM" or “CEM” with the two letter state abbreviation before "AEM" or “CEM” or the specific abbreviation that the state has designated for their state certification.
Submission of documentation which is intentionally inaccurate in support of one’s CEM or AEM application packet, or use of the AEM or CEM credential by a practitioner who is not sanctioned to be certified as a AEM or CEM by the International Association of Emergency Managers, is a direct violation of the IAEM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
The best suggestion for ensuring that a packet is completed in an ethical manner in accordance with the IAEM Code is to ensure that:
As this writer has often said, the AEM/CEM credential is neither easily attained nor maintained. The CEM is the pinnacle credential in emergency management. IAEM strives to maintain a high level of integrity in the AEM and CEM credentialing programs, as well as with its members who have not yet achieved the AEM or CEM.
IAEM Bulletin, July 2010
AEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.