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Illinois Professional Development Series (PDS)

Individuals enter the emergency management field with a variety of backgrounds and training which are often unrelated to the wide range of responsibilities to be fulfilled by today's emergency management professionals. Thus, seven on-line and six discussion-based classroom courses were developed.* These courses, known as the Illinois Professional Development Series (IPDS), present a variety of subjects pertinent to the emergency management field. The discussion-based courses are designed to complement the on-line courses by: allowing the opportunity for the students to demonstrate competence in the skills that are discussed, promoting the ability to interact face-to-face with emergency management professionals from other jurisdictions at the local and state level, and allowing first responders from different disciplines the opportunity to develop a better understanding of what each one does individually so that hopefully they can work together more efficiently during future exercises and real events.

To receive the Illinois PDS Certificate, which is required for the IPEM application, all of the following courses must be completed:

FEMA Independent Study Courses

  • IS-120 An Introduction to Exercises
  • IS-230 Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • IS-235 Emergency Planning
  • IS-240 Leadership and Influence
  • IS-241 Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • IS-242 Effective Communication
  • IS-244​ Developing and Managing Volunteers​

IEMA Classroom Training Courses

  • Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
  • Principles of Emergency Management
  • Emergency Planning Process
  • Leadership in Today’s World
  • Effective Communication
  • Volunteer and Donations Management

These courses may be taken in any order over an unspecified time. Persons completing both the online and classroom portions will be awarded the Illinois PDS certificate. This certificate, signed by the Governor of Illinois and the IEMA Director, will be awarded at the annual IEMA Training Summit. The Illinois PDS certificate is a requirement for those applying for the Illinois Professional Emergency Manager Program (IPEM).

In order to be considered for the Illinois PDS Certificate, individuals must email the completed Illinois PDS Application to the IEMA Regional office serving your county​, no later than July 1st.

If you want to learn more about the Training Program or are interested in attending a specific course, please contact the IEMA Regional Coordinator serving your county. Registration must be made in advance to attend any course. To check the status of your Illinois PDS, log on to our online registration and check your transcript.