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National Qualification System

FEMA is leading a whole community effort to strengthen the Resource Management component of the National Incident Management system (NIMS), which provides a nationwide approach to enable stakeholders to work together to manage all threats and hazards, regardless of the incident’s cause or size.  FEMA has developed the National Qualification System (NQS), which provides a foundational guideline on the typing of personnel resources within the NIMS framework, plus supporting tools.  FEMA also has crafted the NIMS Job Titles/Position Qualifications and accompanying Position Task Books (PTB), the NIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid, and the EOC Skillsets and User Guide.

September 27, 2018: Release of NIMS National Qualification System (NQS) EOC Skillsets

Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) across the nation play a critical role in managing incidents, both large and small. FEMA developed EOC Skillsets as a part of NQS to support standardized qualifications for EOC personnel, while remaining flexible enough to accommodate EOCs of all sizes and kinds. EOC Skillsets let individual EOC leaders build position qualifications according to their organization’s needs and resources while building a national vocabulary for EOC personnel qualifications.

To learn more about the EOC Skillsets and register for an informational webinar, visit:

National Incident Management System Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools

The NIMS Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools published here include:

  • The NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System (NQS), which describes the components of a qualification and certification system, defines a process for certifying the qualifications of incident personnel, describes how to stand up and implement a peer review process, and provides an introduction to the process of credentialing personnel.
  • Two NIMS NQS Supplemental Guides that provide processes, procedures, and tools to assist authorities having jurisdiction develop and maintain their qualification, certification, and credentialing programs.
  • A set of NQS Job Titles/Position Qualifications, which define minimum qualifications criteria for personnel serving in defined incident management and support positions. These documents can also be found on the Resource Typing Library Tool: (
  • A set of NQS Position Task Books (PTBs), which identify the competencies, behaviors, and tasks that personnel should demonstrate to become qualified for a defined incident management and support position.
  • The NIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid, which provides an overview of common mutual aid practices; defines common terminology and processes; and describes an approach for creating legal agreements and operational plans.
  • The EOC Skillsets documents, which present a modified PTB approach to qualify EOC personnel while remaining flexible to accommodate diverse EOC organizational structures.



Last Updated: 
12/16/2019 - 16:14