A Study of Core Functions in Emergency Management as Reflected in Training Requirements for Professional Certification
This study examined emergency management certification programs in order to understand what the training requirements for state emergency management certification reveal about the core functions of emergency management as conducted by emergency managers working in local jurisdictions. Based on practices in the 23 certification programs managed by state emergency management agencies or professional associations at the time of the study, qualitative content analysis identified a range of core functions practiced by those programs that specified training requirements in terms of specific courses. The application of grounded theory techniques to interview data from certification program managers and state emergency management training officers in 50 states resulted in the development of the theory that training requirements are adopted to meet a variety of goals. These goals include those appropriate to perceived needs of the sponsoring organizations and individual emergency managers, as well as goals that seek to promote competent performance of emergency management tasks. The list of core functions identified in state-level certification programs generally agreed with a list of core functions developed from the literature, indicating that practitioners at the local, state, and federal level have a common understanding of the essential tasks of the evolving profession of emergency management as performed in local jurisdictions.