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​Information for Partners

PEMA provides public education, professional development training, and technical training to public safety volunteers from state government and local communities across the commonwealth.

It also administers a statewide Emergency Exercise Program and oversees the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Coordinator Certification Program.

Professional Development and Technical Training

PEMA offers a wide variety of courses tailored to fit the ever-expanding role of public safety. A course announcement for each course will be sent to every county emergency management office and state agency prior to the course.

Professional development training is provided for all members of the public safety community and includes one-day and multi-day classes on topics that help the emergency volunteer or professional to better do their job. 

Pennsylvania law requires that the emergency management coordinator at each level of government earn two levels of certification. A large part of the certification involves completing training offered by PEMA or the Federal Emergency Management Institute.

To maintain the proficiency of its staff and to keep its procedures current, every emergency management agency should conduct regular exercises.

Certification Program

The purpose of the certification program is to set a baseline of knowledge and continuing education for emergency management practitioners in Pennsylvania whether they be municipal, county, state, private sector, student, or NGO.

Emergency management is a rapidly evolving field and keeping current on technology, policies, programs, and resources available is key to being able to prepare for and respond to disasters in the Commonwealth.  This was a collaborative effort, with feedback and input provided by stakeholders both internal and external to the Commonwealth.

In adding a recertification aspect to the certification program, we are also moving our program in line with what other states are doing in their certification programs, helping our emergency management peers work towards additional certifications or recertifications (such as the AEM/CEM), and working towards professionalizing the field of emergency management within the Commonwealth.  Authority for this program can be found in Title 35, subsection 7502.

Certification Packets

As outlined in Directive 2022-02, those completing certification packets under Directive 2017-02 had until July 5, 2023 to submit.  From this point on, only certification packets under Directive 2022-02 will be processed.  Anything submitted under Directive 2017-02 will be returned asking the applicant to re-submit under the Directive 2022-02 criteria. 

Certification Checklists

Checklists for the various levels of government and levels of certification have been created to help the applicant document the required training and experience. Specific instructions on completing the checklists, time-in-service requirements, and appointment letters are contained in the directive.

The various checklists may be viewed and downloaded:

County personnel should apply to their respective PEMA area office.

Local level emergency managers should apply to their county emergency management coordinator and practitioners can submit their applications to PEMA Training and Exercise Division.