According to the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security (ABCHS), professionals who have experience in areas that work with homeland security may be eligible for certification in homeland security. Some of these career areas include emergency management, communications, transportation, firefighting, rescue, hazardous materials response and public safety and security. There are multiple levels of homeland security certification.
CHS I, II and III
The first three levels of homeland security certification are all built around homework and tests. Level I is designed to provide a beginner overview of manmade and natural disasters and hazards. Participants will also begin to cover the vocabulary associated with homeland security. Certification is awarded after successful completion of a 50-question test. Level II provides an overview of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism itself and possible weapons that may be used in the event of an attack. Certification is awarded after the successful completion of a 75-question test. Level III introduces participants into procedures for large-scale responses and requirements for multijurisdictional efforts. Students learn about the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF), as well as the Incident Command System (ICS). Successful completion of a 75-question test is required to receive level III certification.
CHS Advanced Levels IV and V
Once you have successfully earned the first three certifications, you are eligible to move on to level IV. There are three required courses for this level: an introduction to the incident command system, an introduction to NIMS and an introduction to NRF. Level V coursework covers chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives preparedness. These courses and the corresponding exams are offered in a classroom setting at the annual Certified in Homeland Security National Conference, as well as online.
People who hold certifications in homeland security are advised to take 15 credits of continuing education every year. This is possible through participation in seminars and events at CHS national or regional events, as well as through self-education via homeland security journals and publications. Work experience and additional training related to homeland security may also be considered.