The National Incident Management System (NIMS) Training Program defines the national NIMS training program. It specifies National Integration Center and stakeholder responsibilities and activities for developing, maintaining and sustaining NIMS training. The NIMS Training Program outlines responsibilities and activities that are consistent with the National Training Program, as mandated by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006. This program integrates with FEMA training offered through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and United States Fire Administration (USFA).
Inquiries regarding certificates or EMI online courses should be directed to the Emergency Management Institute's Independent Study Office by phone: (301) 447-1200 or e-mail: Independent.Study@fema.dhs.gov.
This document supersedes the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan of 2008.
Emergency Management Institute (EMI)
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD, offers a broad range of NIMS-related training.
NIMS-related courses offered online by EMI include:
- IS-100.b - (ICS 100) Introduction to Incident Command System
- IS-200.b (ICS 200) ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
- IS-700.a National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
- IS-702.a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Public Information Systems
- IS-703.a NIMS Resource Management Course
- IS-706 NIMS Intrastate Mutual Aid - An Introduction
- IS-800.b National Response Framework, An Introduction
For more information on EMI, please visit www.training.fema.gov.
Q: What is the NIMS Training Program?
A: The National Incident Management System (NIMS) Training Program defines the program as it relates to the NIMS components of Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management and Command and Management. It specifies the National Integration Center (NIC) and stakeholder responsibilities and activities for developing, maintaining and sustaining NIMS training. The NIMS Training Program outlines responsibilities and activities that are consistent with the National Training Program, as mandated by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006. This program integrates with FEMA training offered through the Emergency Management Institute and United States Fire Administration.
Q: I still have not received my training certificate for a course that I took on the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) website. What should I do?
A: Inquiries regarding certificates or EMI online courses should be directed to the EMI's Independent Study Office by phone at (301) 447-1200 or e-mail to Independent.Study@fema.dhs.gov.
Q: Is the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan still in effect?
A: No, the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan is superseded by the NIMS Training Program.
Q: Who should read the NIMS Training Program?
A: The NIMS Training Program is intended for emergency management officials and administrators responsible for budgets, planning and procurement, who require guidance on the development and provision of NIMS training. The NIMS Training Program informs local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal policy-makers; elected and appointed officials; government emergency management agencies and trainers (i.e. NIMS Coordinators); managers overseeing those in mission-critical positions and organizations and professional development; and human resource managers setting and overseeing personnel policies and personnel with responsibility to develop NIMS-related guidance or training, credentialing, or personnel qualifications information.
Q: If I follow the guidance within the NIMS Training Program will I be compliant with NIMS?
A: No, the implementation of NIMS consists of much more than just completing the training courses. It also includes the adoption and use of the Incident Command System (ICS), a plain language requirement, the inventorying and typing of resources, and more. Your organization should coordinate its NIMS implementation efforts with the local and state emergency management agencies.
Q: Can my jurisdiction require that I complete more training beyond what is recommended in the NIMS Training Program?
A: Yes, your organization will also have to adhere to any additional NIMS requirements that are passed down through local governing bodies. Some jurisdictions and organizations may train their personnel beyond the scope of the current training recommendations.
Q: Is the NIMS Training Program just for firefighters and law enforcement officers?
A: No, the training is intended for all personnel who are directly involved in emergency management and response. This includes all emergency services related disciplines such as EMS, hospitals, public health, fire service, law enforcement, public works/utilities, skilled support personnel and other emergency management response, and support and volunteer personnel. This training is intended to aid people who don't usually work together or even know each other to work together to respond to and recover from a disaster, either natural or man-made.
Q: Has the NIMS coursework contained in the NIMS Training Program changed from those that were in the Five-Year NIMS Training Program?
A: Yes. The categories for each level of training have been simplified from those that were in the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan. Training recommendations are now based upon the level of an incident's complexity (Complexity Guide found on pages 16-17 of the NIMS Training Program) that a person may become involved in, from Type 1 to Type 5. Organizations should consider the complexity of incidents that their jurisdictions are most likely to face and tailor the NIMS training for their personnel to meet those needs.
Q: Who should take NIMS and ICS training?
A: Everyone involved in emergency management (to include emergency operation center personnel in support of the field), regardless of discipline or level of government, should take the NIMS baseline curriculum courses (Independent Study-700 and ICS-100). The NIC recommends that only individuals with a command and general staff role take advanced ICS courses. Fulfilling the training associated with this plan helps emergency management organizations, departments and agencies to develop preparedness capabilities for effective and efficient incident management. As a result, trained emergency responders are available as mutual aid to support incident management in other jurisdictions, if requested. The NIMS Training Program should sustain a personnel qualification system that is coordinated, maintained and meets the needs of the emergency management community.
Q: What qualifications does an instructor need to meet in order to deliver the NIMS and ICS courses?
A: The NIC develops and regularly reviews the courses that are part of the NIMS core curriculum according to professionally-recognized instructional standards that include adherence to established adult learning models. The NIC collaborates with course managers to define instructor qualifications and the number of required instructors per course. However, this does not prevent any stakeholder from prescribing stricter instructor qualifications. To assist in course instruction, FEMA publishes subject matter guidelines and instruction requirements for specific courses. Course instructors have a responsibility to deliver course materials and activities according to the minimum standards identified in the NIMS curriculum instructor guides and/or course summaries.
Q: Which courses are recommended for elected and appointed officials?
A: Elected and appointed officials should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for successful emergency management and incident response. To that end, it is vital that elected and appointed officials understand and receive NIMS training. Therefore, FEMA recommends the following training for senior elected and appointed officials:
- G-402 Incident Command System (ICS) Overview for Executives/Senior Officials
- G-191 Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface
- Additional training based on jurisdiction risk and/or specific interest