Professionalism: Certification for emergency management leaders

Russell Dippy

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Disastrous bushfires in the summer of 2019–2020 in Australia were part of a series of climate-related emergency events previously unimagined. Australia, coming out of its worst-recorded drought, has been hit by long-running bushfires, floods, coastal erosion and the global COVID-19 pandemic. To combat concurrent and compounding events like these, emergency services personnel and police, including paid and volunteer-led teams, had to adapt their response and recovery activities. For the first time, these activities were supported by a large Australian Defence Force contingent. Many emergency management teams were also supplemented by international colleagues, thus forming integrated and multi-agency teams. In such response environments, team leaders applied learning and experience they had developed in operational settings to be effective in response and recovery efforts. The human capacities of leaders are different and are founded on recruiting, cultural background, training, education and experiential opportunities. Recognising each person’s leadership capacity can be difficult and can reduce the efficiency of response and recovery. This paper examines current options and arrangements that exist through national and international certification systems. The purpose is to establish a simple and recognisable understanding of emergency managers’ skills.This paper draws from research that examines the human-capacity leassons from past events that develop future emergency managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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