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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 receive a PDS Certificate of Completion. 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.

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.

IS-235.b 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.

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

IS-240.b Leadership and Influence
Being able to lead others—to motivate them and commit their energies and expertise to achieving the shared mission and goals of the emergency management system—is a necessary and vital part of every emergency manager’s, planner’s, and responder’s job.

The goal of this course is to improve your leadership and influence skills. To that end, this course addresses:

IS-241.b Decision Making and 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.

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.

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.

Advanced Professional Series (APS)
The ability to perform essential work in a disaster requires skills in emergency operations and management. These skills may be developed through this series of courses that offers "how to" training focused on practical information. This series emphasizes applied skills in disaster operations, management and coordination.

The original Advanced Professional Series (APS) course lineup was first established on November 27, 2001, to motivate and challenge students to continue emergency management training. Courses include practical skills from the whole spectrum of emergency management and disaster duties.

APS courses are classroom delivered courses unless otherwise noted. APS courses are delivered through the State Emergency Management Agency.

APS Required Courses

APS Elective Courses (choose any 5)

Original Required Courses as Optional Credit
Required courses of the original lineup will remain as optional credit for persons in mid-stream taking the original series. Students who have taken any or all of the original required courses will therefore not forfeit anything and can use those courses as credit for required courses. State Training Officers can continue to use any of the original required courses to suit their needs.

There are no required prerequisites for the APS courses. It is recommended that individuals take IS100, IS200, IS700, IS800 and/or the Professional Development Series (PDS) to have a better understanding of the concepts of the Advance Professional Series.