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IAEM Webinar Recording:
Thursday Learning Webinar Series #1:
"NIMS National Qualification System"

June 15, 2017

This was the first in a series of IAEM Thursday Learning Webinars, on the topic of the NIMS National Qualification System, with speaker Ryan Buras, senior program advisor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Over time, FEMA has learned that catastrophic disasters can quickly overwhelm jurisdictions and the disaster workforce supporting the community. Findings in after-action reports, such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone Exercise, demonstrate that region-wide staffing and resource shortages occur frequently. Cascadia Rising proved in 2016 how the emergency management community needs to build additional capabilities and resources for responding to incidents. In response to this challenge, FEMA is developing the National Qualification System (NQS), which aims to operationalize resource-sharing opportunities for disasters and incidents by creating an agile disaster workforce that is well equipped, educated, and trained to rapidly mobilize, deploy, and conduct missions. Developing a disaster workforce with the right people in the right place at the right time is a critical step in improving preparedness for all disasters. The NQS will result in a more capable disaster workforce, expanding the Nation’s capacity to respond rapidly and to sustain incident operations. NQS will also provide tools and guidance to support implementation of a qualification system, nationwide. NQS will result in a comprehensive set of standardized position qualifications and position task books, which facilitate the implementation of a consistent qualifying and credentialing process. Developing the NQS has been a collaborative effort with stakeholders from around the country. Ultimately, the good work on the part of many experts produces a system that fosters interoperability, is comprehensible and useful to a wide range of users, and is easy to adopt for all jurisdictions involved in mutual aid.