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Arkansas Emergency Management Association

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Arkansas Emergency Management Association

Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager (ACEM) Program

The Arkansas Emergency Management Association (AEMA) is a nonprofit service and educational organization that promotes education and professionalism in the field of emergency management and emergency response within the State of Arkansas. Membership includes emergency managers, emergency responders and agencies or organizations that support the role of emergency management.

OBJECTIVE: The Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager (ACEM) Program was created by the Arkansas Emergency Management Association (AEMA) to recognize individuals who serve in the emergency management, emergency response and other roles in support of emergency management that have achieved and displayed a high level of expertise in the emergency management or response field.

PURPOSE: The Arkansas Emergency Management Association created the Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager (ACEM) Program to allow emergency managers and emergency responders a certification to raise and maintain professional standards and to certify achievements within the professions of emergency management and response. The ACEM program has been designed to be a stepping stone to the International Certified Emergency Management Program administered by the International Association of Emergency Managers. Any emergency management, responses professional or support personnel who meet the requirements of the program are welcome to participate in the program. Membership in AEMA is not required for participation in this program.


Currently employed or associated with an emergency management, emergency response or agency or organization in direct support of emergency management or response agencies.

Must have a minimum of 3 years experience in an emergency management/response/support role. One year of experience may be waived if the individual holds the minimum of a Bachelor Degree in emergency management. (NOTE) Experience must be in an emergency management, response or support field. Fringe employment such as security guard, night watchman, auxiliary police officer etc. will not be considered as EM experience. Military experience will not meet the requirement unless the individual served directly in a field that relates to emergency management. Decisions as to whether employment meets this requirement will be made by the ACEM Commission.


The ACEM program will be administered by the ACEM Commission which will be nominated by the board of directors and elected by the membership of the AEMA. The Commission will consist of six voting members and the current AEMA president who is chairman but is not a voting member of the Commission. The President of AEMA or his/her designee will issue certifications.

Terms of service will be three years and will be staggered terms requiring an election each year to replace two members of the Commission

The initial Commission will be made up of current members of the AEMA, after three years all commission members must hold the ACEM to be eligible to serve. One member may be an employee or representative of ADEM and one must be a member of AEMA board of directors. Membership of this committee requires a current membership of AEMA. .

Commission members will be nominated by the Board of Directors and elections for Commission members will he held each year during the ADEM/AEMA Emergency Management Conference.

The first election will fill two Commission positions for one year, two for two years and two for three years.

The ACEM Commission will meet a minimum of two times per year prior to the ADEM Mid-Year Conference and prior to the AEMA Emergency Management Conference to review applications. Testing will be done at ADEM Mid-Year and Annual Conference. Additional review and/or testing dates may be established by the Commission if needed. The Commission may meet as many times as necessary to administer the ACEM program.

The Commission may have an additional non-voting member appointed by the Commission as an advisor. This position if staffed would be an individual who holds the International CEM.

All awards of the ACEM will be tracked by a member of the ACEM Commission and written notice will be provided to individuals within 12 months of expiration of their certification.

The designation of ACEM may be used only by those who have been awarded the AEMA ACEM. The ADEM ACEM is not grandfathered and that program has been terminated. The use of CEM is not permissible as it is a registered trademark of IAEM.

The ACEM program will be administered by the ACEM Commission. All changes or revisions to the program must be approved by the AEMA board of directors.


The AEMA Certified Emergency Manager (ACEM) certifications are not in any manner intended to serve as a warranty, representation, guarantee, or promise with respect to the quality of performance of or procedures utilized by Arkansas Certified Emergency Managers in the performance of their duties. The program is intended only to establish education, training and experience criteria relevant to emergency management, and to certify that the AEMA Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager has met the established criteria. AEMA specifically disclaims any and all liability for any third party claims, actions, causes of action, judgments, liabilities, monetary losses or injuries or damages to persons or property arising out of or resulting from the services performed by or any errors or omissions on the part of any AEMA Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager.


Application Fees:

$100.00 for initial application

$50.00 for recertification or Lifetime application

Each applicant will submit the following:

  1. Three letters of recommendation on official letterhead. One must be from immediate supervisor.

  2. Documentation of emergency management experience. You must include the contact information for the official who can validate your experience.

  3. Proof of 100 hours of training. 25 hours must be general management courses and 75 hours must be emergency management courses. In addition to certificates a course description must be attached to show the content of the course. These should be available from the website of the agency sponsoring the training. There is no prescribed or required training other than it must be emergency management/response/support related to qualify for the ACEM, the Commission will provide a list of suggested training and you may use any course taken within the prior 10 years only. Training that is tactical in nature will not qualify for either category i.e. Active Shooter, defensive tactics, exercises etc.

  4. If utilizing a waiver for one year of experience due to an emergency management degree you must provide a college transcript and a copy of the degree inferred.

  5. Documentation to five contributions to the emergency management profession and must include the contact information of the individual who can validate your contributions. Contributions will be defined by the Commission.

  6. Complete a 1000 word essay based on an emergency management scenario provided by the Commission. You must have a signed certification attached to your essay that states you completed all work on your own and had no assistance.

  7. Submit a signed acknowledgement of the AEMA disclaimer.

  8. Enclose application fee of $100.00 for initial application.

Mentoring applicants or presentations pertaining to the ACEM is strictly forbidden without written permission from the Commission.

Upon approval of your application by the ACEM Commission you may sit for the 100 question exam. The exam will be based on all aspects of emergency management. A bank of questions will be created, maintained and secured by the ADEM training section. Exams are proctored by the ACEM Commission members. Exams will be administered in an environment appropriate for testing, no visitors, no interruptions, no reference materials, notes etc.

Applications may be submitted a maximum of two times, if application is not accepted after the second attempt you must wait 12 months to apply again.

Once your application is accepted you may sit for the exam two times only. If unsuccessful, the individual must wait 12 months to apply for the exam again. A new application is not required for the exam after a 12 month wait.

Individuals who hold a current Arkansas Certified Emergency Manager (ACEM) at the

adoption of this program, or a current International Association of Emergency Managers

CEM please see following requirements.
Current Arkansas Certified Emergency Managers must adhere to the following guidelines to

retain certification.

Current International Association of Emergency Managers CEMs must complete steps 1-4 to

receive Arkansas certification.

  1. Complete Page 1 and 13 of the application

  2. Provide documentation verifying that individual is either employed by an emergency management, response or support agency, retired from such agency or serving in a volunteering position with such agency or organization.

  3. Provide copy of current certification (will be verified with ADEM or IAEM)

  4. Pay an application fee of $50.00

Individuals who meet the above guidelines will recertify using the new program requirements. In order to allow sufficient time to complete the training requirements, a two year extension to current certification will be permitted. All certifications will expire on December 31st.


Current Expiration New Expiration

June 2014 December 31, 2016

All required documentation and fees should be submitted as follows:


PO Box 578

Star City, AR. 71667


ACEM certifications are valid for five years from December 31 of the year certification is awarded.

Due to the discontinuance of the ADEM sponsored ACEM program the ACEM designation provided by that agency is no longer valid.


Recertification must be completed prior to December 31 of the fifth year of certification.

Recertification requirements:

  1. Documentation verifying that individual is either employed by an emergency management, response or support agency, retired from such agency or serving in a voluntary position with such agency or organization.

  2. Provide to the Commission evidence of 20 hours per year continued education (total of 100 hours). One course must be a management/leadership course with duration of six hours or more.

  3. Five contributions to the profession. Contributions with explanations are listed on pages 9-11 of the ACEM application.

Lifetime Certification

Any individual who has held the AEMA ACEM for ten or more years and retires 100% from emergency management/response or a support agency or function may be awarded a lifetime certification with a written recommendation from a member of the ACEM Commission and a $50.00 fee. Lifetime certification will terminate if the individual returns to work in the emergency management, emergency response or support role. In this case recertification every five years will be required. The only exception is that of a volunteer (unpaid or compensated) position.

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