There are 5 steps to certification. To maintain your certification you must maintain your compliance and every four years go through the certification process again to be rectified.
Procedures for each step of the certification process is available in the Applicant Guide to Certification.
Step 1: Subscription
US&R Resources will subscribe as the first step to the certification process. Subscribing provides a US&R Resource access to the PowerDMS and PowerStandards Tool and other services. An EMAP subscription is valid for one calendar year. Subscribing does not commit a US&R Resource to seek certification; but does allow a US&R Resource to complete their self-assessment.
The subscription package consists of the following:
- Access to PowerStandards Tool and complimentary webinar/training on the utilization for one calendar year;
- Assistance in providing information to aid presentations to executive and/or elected leadership;
- Document peer-reviews of self-assessment (two standard areas) that culminate in a report to the Applicant US&R Resource;
- Unlimited access to model practices and plans; and
- Opportunities to participate on standards development work groups.
Step 2: Self-Assessment and Application
Once the Applicant US&R Resource has subscribed and attended an EMAP US&R Standard Training Course, it is time to begin the process of self-assessment. While Applicant US&R Resources have access to the PowerDMS PowerStandards Tool when they subscribe, the first step of the self-assessment is to select an assessment manager. The assessment manager is the individual within the US&R Resource responsible for coordinating the administrative aspects of performing the self-assessment. This includes obtaining and documenting evidence of compliance with the standards and other scheduling and oversight activities. Applicant US&R Resource’s self-assessment involves a review of the US&R Resource against each of 49 standards within the Urban Search and Rescue Standard. As the self-assessment is conducted, the US&R Resource asks, “Is our US&R Resource in compliance with this standard?”, and compiles documentation to support positive answers.
This self-assessment is recorded within the PowerDMS PowerStandards Tool, access to which is provided as part of EMAP subscription. During the self-assessment, additional review or corrective activities can be entered in areas in which compliance has not been attained or cannot be documented. When the US&R Resource believes the self-assessment is satisfactorily completed, they submit the Application of Assessment. The Applicant US&R Resource wishing to apply would complete an application and application fee. An estimate of the costs of the on-site assessments will be provided to the US&R Resource.
Step 3: On-Site Assessment
The EMAP staff provides the applicant US&R Resource information about the proposed schedule for the on-site assessment, the composition of the assessment team and required fees. The applicant US&R Resource pays the fees, reviews the assessment team composition for potential conflicts, and coordinates on-site assessment details with EMAP staff. The final assessment team is selected and the team is provided logistics information and any read-ahead materials. The assessment team travels to the US&R Resource’s site as scheduled and conducts the on-site assessment during the work week, reviewing and verifying information provided in the US&R Resource’s application and documentation materials. The assessment team conducts an exit briefing and prepares findings on the assessment in an assessment report, which is presented to the US&R Resource and to the EMAP Program Review Committee.
Step 4: Committee Review and Commission Decision
The assessment team provides its findings to the US&R Program Review Committee in a preliminary assessment report that includes summaries of compliance issues for the US&R Resource for each of 49 EMAP standards. The report outlines key documentation that supported the assessors’ findings of compliance or non-compliance. The US&R Resource has the opportunity to respond to the report. A copy of the US&R Resource’s comments or response also are provided to the Program Review Committee. The Program Review Committee’s role is to review the assessment report along with application materials, comments from the applicant US&R Resource, and any additional information provided by the applicant US&R Resource and make a recommendation to the EMAP Commission as to certification status. The recommendation will be either certification; conditional certification; or certification denied. For full certification, compliance with all 49 standards is required. If the report includes areas of non-compliance, the US&R Resource should be prepared to demonstrate to the Program Review Committee how it will address all areas of non-compliance within nine months. If the applicant US&R Resource is successful in showing this, the Program Review Committee will recommend “conditional certification”. The applicant US&R Resource may attend the Program Review Committee meeting to consider its certification application. The committee’s deliberation is conducted during an executive session.
The Program Review Committee’s recommendation is forwarded to the EMAP Commission for final action. If the applicant US&R Resource is certified, the EMAP Commission provides a letter and certificate of certification. Conditional certification is available to US&R Resource with deficiencies that can be addressed within nine months. If accreditation is denied, the applicant US&R Resource will be provided with an opportunity to learn the reasons for this decision.
Step 5: Certification and Maintenance
After certification is achieved, certified US&R Resources are expected to maintain compliance with the standards and keep proof of compliance up to date. Each certified US&R Resources will complete and file with the commission an annual report. Certification is valid for four years, after which the entity will be encouraged to apply for consecutive certification. The consecutive certification process involves essentially the same steps as the original application process. Consecutive certification will call for documentation and compliance information of the US&R Resource performance during the maintenance period. The consecutive certification on-site assessment may be less arduous to accomplish in that documentation will have been previously assembled and reviewed annually.
Applicant Guide to Certification. This document describes in detail, the certification process. The Guide is intended for US&R Resources that wish to go through the administrative assessment and certification process.