Those of you at last year’s EMPA conference may recall my presentation on our proposed accreditation program to build an industry benchmark for public information officers (PIO) working in emergencies. After our conference I spoke in Washington DC at the FEMA PIO conference and presented the same concept which was very well received. Like Australia, the US has no program to develop and recognise the skills and experiences of PIOs in this specialist area. We have since attracted attention from Canada as well.
The good news is the program is being launched at this year’s conference.
The program brings together a number of elements which have been suggested by EMPA’s senior practitioners and researchers, many of whom will continue to contribute through formal inputs at EMPA Fellows. The program is intended to take around 6 months and involves a number of essays, demonstration of practical experiences on major operations or exercises, an exam and finally sitting before an expert panel.
Accredited Emergency Public Information Officers are the future of this important field and as the peak body, EMPA is committed to providing them with a program to demonstrate their capabilities, while giving their employers a structured and recognised professional development program.
For more information contact Rebecca Riggs, the Program Manager at AEPIO@emergencymedia.org.au