In 2021 a group of members from a variety of agencies and geographical locations came together in a working group co-chaired by the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Canada to continue work previously started to address a fundamental gap in Canada where Disaster and Emergency Management is still not recognized as a true profession, with a binding Code of Ethics, competencies, training standards, and occupational codes to guide the hiring of new practitioners.
This Disaster & Emergency Management (D&EM) National Core Competency Working Group (CCWG) has been meeting regularly over the past few years to review relevant research and work from other countries, as well as the Canada-specific frameworks, legislation, and strategies, to develop a proposal for a baseline competency framework specific to the Canadian context. This work intends to both guide and unite the diverse makeup of Emergency Managers, as we currently understand them, and align with the current and projected (D&EM) priorities for Canada. Hopefully, the competency framework will be used to inform new national training standards/credentialing for emerging practitioners and guide the appropriate designation of new roles/ succession for current existing roles, as one crucial step towards the professionalization of the current discipline of practice.
Our work is guided by these fundamental principles:
- Our recommendations need to be inclusive and support the diversity of Canadians.
- We must remain aware of the unique needs, nuances, and priorities of Canadians, as it relates to the disaster and emergency management system, currently known hazards, and evolving risks.
- Our mandate is to help advance the professionalization of Disaster and Emergency Management in Canada through respectful and informed recommendations of competencies to guide training/education, the development of a Code of Ethics, and appropriate position descriptions and National Occupational Codes.
- We recognize that this project has multiple components (phases) and will require a long-term commitment from current and future working group members to be fully
We have created a short survey that we are asking all current practitioners in the disaster and emergency management field of practice to complete. This will help us better understand broader perspectives about the current identity of practitioners, paths to practice, the pursuit of professionalization, and evolving needs so that we can ensure that we have these considered when making our recommendations for a competency framework. Here is a link to the survey.
We would ask you to please circulate this request broadly to your membership network and related colleagues so that we can gather those necessary perspectives. The deadline to complete the survey is December 31, 2023, after which time the CCWG will review and synthesize the results, to inform the next phase of the project. We thank you for your support in this matter.
Jodi Manz-Henezi, CRHNet President and John MacIsaac, IAEM Canada, PD Committee