The CEM® – Paying It Forward

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By Brian V. Bovyn, CEM, Emergency Service Supervisor, Manchester (N.H.) Police Department, Adjunct Faculty, Emergency Management Program, Frederick Community College, Frederick, Maryland

Are you interested in taking your professional development to the next level? Consider mentoring an aspiring AEM or CEM candidate, and help make an impact on the future of our profession. Recently, I have been asked by several professionals about how they may get more involved in the International Association of Emergency Managers without pursuing a political position or leadership role. One of the best ways to get more involved in IAEM while continuing to professionally develop is to consider sharing your knowledge, skills and abilities through the IAEM CEM mentoring program. This allows the professional an opportunity to pay forward his or her skill and good fortune to professional colleagues who might benefit from the knowledge and skills that the would-be mentor may possess.

Why Volunteer to Mentor?

Why should I help out someone else, when I don’t get paid for that? Fair question; however, sharing your knowledge and skills with a colleague in an effort to develop that colleague will provide the mentor with a professional contribution toward his or her re-certification as a CEM. Additionally, the mentor will be helping to further develop the individual aspiring AEM or CEM candidate practitioner, which helps further develop our overall emergency management profession. So in essence, you do receive a benefit for your time, and we all benefit from having a better educated and skilled profession.

How can I become a CEM mentor? The process is easy. As a mentor, you must have successfully navigated the CEM your CEM certification. Ideally, a candidate would have recertified at least once; however, the recertification is not mandatory. The candidate should access the IAEM website to download the CEM mentoring application. Email or fax the completed application form to IAEM Headquarters (in advance of the start of your mentoring assignment). Your application form will be reviewed, and you will be notified of approval or non-approval by e-mail. The mentor applicant should save e-mail correspondence with IAEM as partial proof of the mentoring assignment, which may later be taken as credit for one professional contribution when the CEM mentor goes through the recertification process.

Clarification on Exercise Participation and References

Recently, the CEM Commissioners have reviewed packets that have contained unacceptable content to meet the requirement for exercise participation. In order to successfully navigate the experiential section pertaining to exercise participation, the CEM candidate must have participated in a substantive role in a full-scale exercise.

Some candidates have been submitting table-top exercises (TTXs) in place of the full-scale exercises. Table-top exercises are not appropriate to satisfy full-scale exercise requirements. Additionally, the candidate must have played a substantive role in the full-scale exercise. A substantive role often takes the form of planning, designing or evaluating the exercise or holding a considerable leadership role within the exercise. A member of a search and rescue team, police officer, fire fighter or technician level practitioner role does not meet the spirit of the intent of this requirement.

Types of documentation necessary to meet the requirement for this portion of the application include documents such as after action reports (AARs), incident action plans, newspaper articles and photos, and letters from training sponsors that clearly identify and validate the candidate’s substantive role. When completing the “references” section of the IAEM AEM or CEM application packet, the candidate must have three references (one of which must be from the candidate’s primary supervisor). All three references must be on official letterhead stationary.

IAEM Bulletin, December 2011

AEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

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