By Brian V. Bovyn, CEM, Emergency Services Supervisor, Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department
The CEM Commission met Feb. 8-12, 2010, during the Washington, DC Blizzard of 2010, to review a record 250+ packets submitted by AEM and CEM candidates. Because of two major winter storms during the week, only 12 CEM Commissioners attended.
Since they could only review about 100 packets, the Commission will hold a special meeting sometime prior to the next regular meeting scheduled during the FEMA Higher Education Conference, held in June in Emmitsburg, Md. The record number of packets received was attributed to the Dec. 31, 2009, deadline for the college degree CEM requirement as well as a wider acceptance of the AEM and CEM credentials.
The CEM Commissioners identified a number of common mistakes, omissions and errors in the packet submissions. Some of these were a sloppy arrangement of the binders, un-tabbed binders, inadequate documentation to support the claims cited, handwritten pages, incomplete or inaccurate reference contact numbers, missing job descriptions, insufficient information to explain the percentages of time practicing emergency management, inaccurate training hours, and more. Below are some suggestions that – if heeded – will improve your chances to earn your certification credential.
IAEM Headquarters will send letters pertaining to each candidate’s success or incomplete packet status approximately three weeks after the Commission’s review. Please do not call about the results of a packet. Staff are not allowed to provide that information.
The AEM and CEM are pinnacle credentials in the emergency management profession. Your portfolio is a reflection of your professionalism. Take ownership and responsibility for your packet. It is not up to the CEM Commissioners to make phone calls, hunt for documentation, or organize your packet.
Consider asking a current CEM to mentor you through the process. While mentoring offers no guarantee of receiving the AEM or CEM, mentoring helps candidates navigate the process more efficiently and with a higher degree of proficiency.
Author’s Note: The author thanks Daryl Spiewak, CEM, for his assistance with this article.
IAEM Bulletin, March 2010
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