Three Essential Strategies for Emergency Management Professionalization in the U. S.

March 2005 (VOL. 23, NO. 1)

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Emergency management in the United States today is not yet a profession, but as a trade it has reached the necessary institutional maturity to advance toward a profession. Emergency management is professionalizing by pursuing the principal characteristics of a profession, namely autonomy or self-regulation and monopoly or exclusiveness (Oyola- Yemaiel and Wilson 2002, 2001, Wilson 2001). We have analyzed the current status of emergency management professionalization by investigating the efforts of various organizations at the U. S. national and state levels to organize the trade as a profession. In particular, we have examined the processes of structural formation, accreditation and certification. In essence, professional status relates directly to the institutional and individual acquisition of autonomy and monopoly to exercise the trade. We conclude that hierarchical structure, individual certification, and institutional accreditation are essential strategies for emergency management to develop as a profession.