FEMA Professional Series Programs | Department of Emergency and Military Affairs

Professional Development Series (PDS)

The Professional Development Series includes seven Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Independent  Study (IS) courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the emergency management profession. Many students build on this foundation to develop their careers.

Please follow this link to FEMA’s website for the most current listing of the Professional Development Series courses.


PDS Certificate of Completion. Students who complete all of these courses will receive a PDS “Certificate of Completion” from FEMA. For questions about obtaining your PDS certificate, students can contact FEMA’s Independent Study Office directly for assistance at (301) 447-1200.


Advanced Professional Series (APS)

The ability to perform essential work in a disaster requires skills in emergency operations and management. These skills may be developed through this series of courses that offers “how to” training focused on practical information. This new series emphasizes applied skills in disaster operations, alongside of and building on Professional Development Series management and coordination skills.

The APS program consists of 5 required courses and 5 elective courses. APS courses are all classroom courses unless otherwise noted.

Please follow this link to FEMA’s website for the most current listing and descriptions of the Advanced Professional Series courses.

To see what’s currently scheduled in your area, you can visit the Acadis Training Portal, dematraining.az.gov. 


APS Certificate of Completion. Students who complete the 5 required courses and any 5 of 16 elective courses are eligible to receive the EMI Advanced Professional Series Certificate of Completion.

Click the APS Checklist link to the left to download a personal checklist to track completion of your APS requirements, or to request your APS certificate.


Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP)

The vision of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is to strengthen the field of emergency management by establishing an Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). The EMPP provides a structured and progressive framework for acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter and progress through the field and to meet the challenges of a dynamic and complex environment. The entire EMPP curriculum is designed to provide a lifetime of learning for a career in emergency management.

The EMPP includes three academies:

  • National Emergency Management Basic Academy, which focuses on Foundational Knowledge and Skills.
  • National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, which focuses on Multi-Agency Coordination in an Emergency Operations Center; Specializing in Protection, Prevention, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery Areas.
  • National Emergency Management Executive Academy, which focuses on Strategic Leadership and Critical Thinking.


For more information on any of the Academy programs above, please visit FEMA’s EMPP website.