CERT Advanced Training

The CERT program provides free advanced training opportunities to all CERT members who have completed CERT Basic Training. There are several categories of advanced training:

  • Advanced training for local CERT Specialized Teams
  • CERT-related training available through Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM)
  • Miscellaneous local CERT-related training
  • On-line training courses from FEMA's Emergency Management Institute

Advanced Training for Local CERT Specialized Teams

The Traffic Team, Chainsaw Team, InfoTeam, and Search & Rescue Team all have their own advanced training programs. Some or all of a team's advanced training must be completed in order to become an active member of that team. See the descriptions of the specialized teams under the Advanced Teams page for explanations of their advanced training.

CERT-related training available through VDEM

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management provides a number of classes that are useful to CERT members. Past VDEM training taken by various CERT members included: "train-the-trainer" for CERT Basic Training, "train-the-trainer" for Campus CERT Basic Training, Public Information Officer (PIO) Training, and Mass Casualty Event Management.

Miscellaneous Local CERT-related Training

CERT provides small group advanced training in response to member interest and local CERT needs. In many cases active CERT members volunteer their time and expertise as instructors (for example, they may be certified instructors for CPR). Previous examples of this type of training include: First Aid/CPR/AED, two-way radio procedure, GPS device operation, map reading, and digital camera operation.

On-line training courses from FEMA/Emergency Management Institute.

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) web site hosts many online courses of interest to CERT members. One of these courses is IS-317, Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams. It provides an overview of CERT Basic Training for those who may be interested in joining CERT, and is also useful as a refresher for existing CERT members. (Note: IS-317 cannot be used as a substitute for taking local CERT Basic Training.)

National Incident Management System (NIMS)

The National Incident Management System courses are part of the FEMA training. If you have an interest in responding to an emergency scene as a CERT volunteer, it is important that you complete FEMA IS 700: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction and ICS-100: Introduction to ICS (Incident Command System). These courses are now required. You can read the material and take the test on FEMA's website. You should anticipate 2 1/2 - 3 hours for each section. For those of you who took the CERT class but do not plan to respond to an emergency scene, you do not need to take these classes. However, it is beneficial to become educated on and to stay current with how emergency responders manage an emergency scene. If you are interested in a supervisory role with CERT in the field, you must also take ICS-200.