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Professional Development Series (PDS)

The Professional Development Series includes seven Emergency Management Institute independent study courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the emergency management profession. Many students build on this foundation to develop their careers.

Students who complete all the courses will automatically receive a PDS Certificate of Completion from FEMA. The courses, in recommended order of completion, are:


IS-120.a An Introduction to Exercises

This Independent Study course introduces the basics of emergency management exercises. It also builds a foundation for subsequent exercise courses which provide the specifics of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEPP) and the National Standard Exercise Curriculum (NSEC). IS-120.a, An Introduction to Exercises, replaces IS-120, An Orientation to Community Disaster Exercises. At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the five phases of the exercise process.
  • Distinguish the tasks necessary to complete each phase of the exercise process.
  • Understand how exercises complete the emergency preparedness cycle.
  • Comprehend the role of exercises in the testing of facilities, equipment, and personnel in a performance-based environment.
  • Recognize how exercises prepare communities to respond to and recover from major emergencies.

 

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: .5


IS-230.d Fundamentals of Emergency Management

The revised and renamed Fundamentals of Emergency Management course introduces the fundamentals of emergency management as an integrated system, surveying how the resources and capabilities of all functions at all levels can be networked together in all phases for all hazards. It is one in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Professional Development Series. 

This course was previously titled “Principles of Emergency Management.”  The title was changed to reflect the content and intent of the course.  Persons who previously took Principles of Emergency Management (IS 230) are not be required to take Fundamentals of Emergency Management and will be given credit toward completion of the series for either.

At the conclusion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Explain the all-hazard emergency management process that integrates the resources of local, tribal, State, and Federal governments and voluntary and business assets.
  • Explain the local, tribal, State, Federal, and individual and family roles in emergency management.
  • Explain what individuals and families can do to protect themselves in emergencies.
  • Describe the elements of an emergency management program.
  • Discuss the role of individuals and organizations, as well as their relationships with one another, in emergency management.
  • Explain the importance of networking to emergency management.
  • Explain the social, political, and economic implications of a disaster.
  • Describe alternate models for organizing emergency management programs.

Primary Audience:This entry-level course is designed for individuals new to the field of emergency management or persons with a desire to understand the fundamentals of emergency management.
Prerequisites: While there are no prerequisites for this course, it is recommended that persons taking this course also take IS 700a (National Incident Management System, an Introduction) and IS 800b (National Response Framework, an Introduction).
CEUs: 1.0
Study Hours:The length of this course varies according to an individual’s reading and study styles.  There are approximately 200 pages, including activities and knowledge checks in this downloadable course.


IS-235.c Emergency Planning

EMI has made revisions to this course. The course was aligned to the NRF and NIMS changes. This course is designed for emergency management personnel who are involved in developing an effective emergency planning system. This course offers training in the fundamentals of the emergency planning process, including the rationale behind planning. It will develop your capability for effective participation in the all-hazard emergency operations planning process to save lives and protect property threatened by disaster.

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: 1.0


IS-240.b Leadership & Influence

EMI has made revisions to this course.  The course was aligned to the NRF and NIMS changes.

Being able to lead others - to motivate them to commit their energies and expertise to achieving the shared mission and goals of the emergency management system - is a necessary and vital part of the job for every emergency manager, planner, and responder. This course is designed to improve your leadership and influence skills. It addresses:

  • Leadership from within.
  • How to facilitate change.
  • How to build and rebuild trust.
  • Using personal influence and political savvy.
  • Fostering an environment for leadership development.

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: .9
Study Hours: 9
Point of Contact: Independent Study Office at 301-447-1200


IS-241.b Decision Making & Problem Solving

EMI has made revisions to this course.  The course was aligned to the NRF and NIMS changes.
Being able to make decisions and solve problems effectively is a necessary and vital part of the job for every emergency manager, planner, and responder. This course is designed to improve your decision-making skills. It addresses:

  • The decision-making process
  • Decision-making styles
  • Attributes of an effective decision maker
  • Ethical decision making and problem solving

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: .8
Study Hours: 8
Point of Contact: Independent Study Office at 301-447-1200


IS-242.b Effective Communication

EMI has made revisions to this course.  The course was aligned to the NRF and NIMS changes.
Being able to communicate effectively is a necessary and vital part of the job for every emergency manager, planner, and responder. This course is designed to improve your communication skills. It addresses:

  • Basic communication skills
  • How to communicate in an emergency
  • How to identify community-specific communication issues
  • Using technology as a communication tool
  • Effective oral communication
  • How to prepare an oral presentation

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: .8
Study Hours: 8
Point of Contact: Independent Study Office at 301-447-1200


IS-244.b Developing and Managing Volunteers

EMI has made revisions to this course.  The course was aligned to the NRF and NIMS changes.

This course is for emergency managers and related professionals working with all types of volunteers and coordinating with voluntary agencies. The course provides procedures and tools for building and working with voluntary organizations. Topics include:

  • Benefits and challenges of using volunteers
  • Building a volunteer program
  • Writing job descriptions
  • Developing volunteers through recruitment, placement, training, supervision and evaluation
  • Coordinating with voluntary agencies and community-based organizations
  • Special issues including spontaneous volunteers, liability, and stress

Prerequisites: None.
CEUs: 1.0
Study Hours: 10
Point of Contact: Independent Study Office at 301-447-1200

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