Iowa Certified Emergency Manager Program


The Iowa Emergency Management Association has long provided the Iowa Certified Emergency Manager Certificate (IACEM,) designed to provide professional certification for Iowa Emergency Management Professionals, and a tool by which persons occupying a Coordinator’s position can be evaluated. In July of 2021, the IACEM Program was significantly redesigned to provide varying levels of certification, based on an emergency manager’s expertise, adding the Advanced IACEM and Executive IACEM. The IACEM Program was also modified to provide lifetime, non-expiring certification.

The Iowa Certified Emergency Manager Program is completely voluntary, and is in no way tied to Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA) membership.

Check out our IACEM Benefits Sheet by clicking here!


Application Fees

IACEM fees vary based on the level of application, the table below indicates the fee for each application and accompanying award if certified. Application fees support the Association’s certification review, testing program and the purchasing of awards.

Level of Certification IACEM Advanced IACEM Executive IACEM
One-Time Fee No Fee $ 100.00 $ 200.00
Award Certificate Yes Yes Yes
Plaque None Yes Yes

Application fees shall accompany each application, payable to the Iowa Emergency Management Association, Memo: [Applicant Name] IACEM [Level] Fee.

Review Process

For all levels, individuals seeking certification are responsible for submitting an application via the Association’s electronic form. Once form submission is complete, individuals must send associated documentation to iacem@iowaema.com.

The IACEM Committee is responsible for validating the submission and recommending certification to the IEMA Executive Committee. The IACEM Committee receives and reviews all applications for certifications, using their professional judgment and the guidelines listed below:

  • Applications must be received by the Committee a minimum of 7 days prior to the regularly scheduled Executive Committee meeting.
  • The Committee shall review and make recommendation to the Executive Committee to approve or reject the application. The Committee is authorized to request the applicant provide additional details or reject an application that is incomplete or requirements not yet met.
  • The applicant shall be notified of the decision of the Executive Committee.
  • A certificate shall be mailed to the applicant.
  • Acknowledgment of the certification will be made at the awards ceremony at the next Iowa Emergency Management Association Annual Conference.

Required Experience

The IACEM program contains varying requirements based on the certification level sought. The IACEM Requirement Matrix document provides a listing for each level of certification.

Each level of certification includes a requirement to complete professional and program enhancement required elements and electives from each category. These categories are planning, training, exercise, and professional contribution. An elective can be used only once. Once completed and awarded a certificate, the recipient must continue to meet annual state code requirements to maintain certification level status.

The IEMA IACEM Program tasked the IEMA IACEM Committee with formally establishing a procedures and criteria for each level in 2019. The revised multi-tier IACEM program was launched in July 2021.

Planning Electives

  1. Participation in a LEPC
  2. Participation in a Healthcare Coalition
  3. Complete or sustain a Community Storm Ready Program (3 year certification)
  4. Completion of a published essay
  5. Participation in a special project/advancement in the field
  6. Utilize and sustain a social media platform
  7. Development of an EM software tool
  8. Serve as a project manager for the development of an educational product (EM-related topic)
  9. Development/enhancement of a specialty team
  10. Develop/enhancement of a CERT/Citizens Corps team’
  11. Development/enhancement/active participant in a VOAD, COAD or LTRC

Training Electives

  1. Business/leadership/management training for a certificate
  2. Completion of instructional skills course
  3. Skills-based training for a certificate (must be unique skill for each level, must include justification, not accepted at Executive level.
  4. Serve as an instructor
  5. Completion of a college course (pass/fail credit?) pertinent to the profession
  6. Completion of a college degree pertinent to the profession (Associates or Bachelors)
  7. Completion of training related to other disciplines associated with EM (with justification)
  8. Certificate for a suite of attended courses with a specific-focus and progressive learning approach (cyber, infrastructure, terrorism, leadership, management, WMD, etc.)
  9. Completion of the Naval Post-graduate Executive Leaders Program
  10. Completion of a FEMA master course, applied experience
  11. Completion of the FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Course
  12. Completion of an Advanced degree (Naval Post-graduate Degree, Public Administration, Community Planning, etc.)
  13. Locally approved training

Exercise Requirement

The exercise Electives for all three levels of certification shall be to adhere to annual state requirements.

Professional Contribution Electives

  1. Participation in a mentor program
  2. Participation in program specific speaking engagements for professionals
  3. Receive an award/ recognition in the field of emergency management
  4. Participation in a special assignment/specialty team member
  5. Collaborate with legislature on matters related to emergency management
  6. Serve on an IEMA Committee or project working group
  7. Serve at the district or state level on a board as an active member
  8. Participation in research/publication in peer-reviewed journal
  9. Participation in national or international speaking engagements
  10. Serve as an adjunct faculty at a college/university instructing an EM course
  11. Write or revise a local ordinance (each ordinance gets credit once)
  12. Participation in an EMAC deployment/Specialty team deployment in a leadership role
  13. Manage a major project (new building, mitigation, communications, etc.)

The Application Process

  1. Complete a cursory review of required components for the IACEM level sought.
  2. Complete the Iowa Certified Emergency Manager application form.
  3. Send all documentation required for the application level to iacem@iowaema.com.
    • When conducting an evaluation of the application for IACEM, the IACEM Committee will utilize the following forms:
    • Applicants are encouraged to review the evaluation form while preparing their required documentation for submission.
  4. Await additional requests for information from the IEMA IACEM Committee.
  5. If awarded, please await 60 days for processing of the IACEM and 180 days processing for the Advanced and Executive IACEM.
    • If an application is denied, the individual will be notified of the denial and the reason(s). Applicants who wish to pursue an appeal shall present to the Association’s Executive Committee for final determination.