New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services
Training - FAQ
How do I confirm that I am registered for a class?
- Class roster confirmations are generally sent out 10-14 days prior to the course and after a course manager has a chance to review the roster. Typically, these are sent via email.
I cannot register online - is there something wrong with the website?
- If you are typing the address in your web browser, you may be missing a character or the link does not reveal all the characters. The best way to avoid either of these errors is to click on the link within the electronic announcement. In addition, the course may be full, in which case you can be added to a waiting list automatically.
Can I provide registration information over the phone?
- With limited staff, we are unable to take registrations over the phone.
What do I do if I cannot register online?
- You can fax a registration form to (518) 322-4987. Please note that incomplete forms will not be processed.
How do I request special accommodation needs?
- Special accommodations requests are required during the registration process or over the phone (post-registration) a minimum two (2) weeks in advance. Reasonable accommodation requests may be offered and/or filled through alternate means, such as offering the course at another location and date. Most OEM courses are not held at OEM-owned facilities. Facilities are screened to evaluate most accessibility issues - those that are ADA-compliant (not "certified") facilities are chosen. However, those facilities are not under OEM's control or management. Expectations of host facilities are that physical barrier limitations are minimized. Hearing and visually impaired needs are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Where do I find a course not listed on the calendar?
- The best resource is your local Emergency Manager, usually at the county or large city level. Other New York State resources for emergency management-related training is the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC). You can also access Federal FEMA training
When can I expect to receive my certificate?
- Many of OEM's training courses offer college credit through Onondaga Community College (OCC). All of these courses have a post-test, which is sent to OCC for grading. It can take as long as two months for OEM to receive a grade report back, especially during the college's busy times. If it has been longer than two months since you completed your course, please call OEM Training Section at (518) 292-2351.
Course Records Access - Prerequisites
Have I completed the prerequisite? Where can I get my pre-requisite copy?
- OEM checks internal databases only for prerequisite completion. See Transcript FAQ section (link). You will need to contact the agency that sponsored the course in any other circumstance.
Can I take an ICS-300 course online?
- No - an accepted, NIMS-compliant ICS-300 course is not available online.
Registrations and Withdrawals
Enrollment Eligibility, Selection and Registration
Enrollment is open to anyone interested in public safety and/or emergency management. Enrollment is limited in some cases due to economic, facility, and/or instructional considerations. Early enrollment is encouraged. However, acceptance is not necessarily first-come, first-served as OEM attempts to maximize audience outreach and broaden participation.
Course announcements are located on the Training Calendar, which outlines specific course details, including target audiences, locations, dates, times and registration information.
Pre-registration is required for all OEM courses and, in most cases, is accomplished via online registration. In some cases, course registration is provided via the hosting entity. Please review course announcements for additional registration information.
Canceling / Withdrawing from a Course
Accepted participants who withdraw from a course should notify the Training Section at (518) 292-2351 or via e-mail at least one week prior to the start date of the course. Repeated short-notice withdrawals may jeopardize or delay future course enrollment.
"No Show" Policy for OEM-Sponsored Courses
Space in most OEM classes is limited and frequently requires formation of waiting lists. For this reason, a strict "no-show" policy has been implemented. Please try to notify this office within one (1) week of the class for cancellation, so that the vacancy might be filled.
Highly interested students have been turned away needlessly due to notification failures. It is not cost effective to provide training to partial audiences and it is not practicable to manage registrations and the variety of learning environments by over populating courses due to the tangible impacts on course management and students at large.
- Students who have been accepted for a class, and then fail to attend without notification to the State Training Officer or Program Manager, will be considered last for acceptance into future classes for a period of six months.
- A second infraction will bar the person from all classes for six months.
- A third infraction will bar a person from all classes for a year and a letter from the supervisor or agency director indicating the reasons for failure will be necessary for entry into the next course.
Short Notice Cancellations
More than two short notice cancellations in a calendar year less than one week will require a letter for entry into the next class and carry the same penalties as described above.
Can a person take a course even if they have not completed a prerequisite?
- Generally, no - you will be asked to provide certificates as proof for new course registration. Sometimes an independent study can be completed in a short time frame that overlaps a beginning course date of course, which may be allowed by the course manager. If others have completed the prerequisite and the course is full, you will be denied entry to the course.
Can I register for a course after it is closed? Do you have a waiting list? Can I register on-site?
- When courses are full, waiting lists are established. If there is a chance for an opening, a student on a waiting list will be contacted with short notice first. Pre-registration is generally required for all courses (see course announcement for specific information).
Can I reschedule and change to another course?
- Contact OEM's Training Section and provide the course name(s)/dates(s) of the course you wish to withdraw from or enroll in. OEM does not carry waiting lists over to the next course offering.
How do I get directions to a facility?
- Course participant confirmation is sent by e-mail to the individual and will include up-to-date information, including potential course logistical changes.
Can I register a group of people?
- OEM does not currently offer group registration; individuals must register with personal contact information and preferences.
If I am already registered for a course, can I withdraw and be replaced by a co-worker?
- OEM's policy is to accept students on an individual basis. Entities do NOT "own" registered slots, as someone may be on a waiting list. OEM can accommodate this request only when the course is not full.
In the event of a disaster/emergency in New York State, the immediate assignment of OEM personnel may necessitate the cancellation of OEM-sponsored training programs on very short notice. OEM Training staff will make all reasonable attempts to notify participants of the cancellation as soon as possible.
Additionally, in the event of hazardous conditions due to winter weather and depending on where training is being held, course postponements or delays will be based on local school district closings.
Should a cancellation occur, OEM accepts no liability or responsibility for expenses incurred by participants for any canceled course. OEM will attempt to make reasonable accommodations for affected participants for a future offering of the same course. Each situation will be reviewed on an individual basis.
We do apologize for any inconvenience that a cancellation under these circumstances may cause. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact the OEM Training Section.
OEM program transcripts may be obtained from the OEM Training Section. Transcript requests must be in writing, signed and include:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number (so past training records can be referenced)
- Driver's License Number
- Mailing Address
- E-mail Address
- Phone Number
Please allow up to 30 days for requests to be processed. To protect your privacy, it is OEM's policy to only process transcript requests from the individual registered for the course.
Can I get educational accreditation?
- Participants may be able to obtain credit toward degree programs, but the decision lies with the degree-granting institution. Collegiate credit recommendations can also be found in The Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs, used by educational institutions throughout the nation.
Are OEM-delivered courses NIMS Compliant?
- OEM-delivered ICS courses are NIMS compliant and use the National Training Curriculum.
Why is a driver's license number required for course registration?
- For purposes of tracking registrants and participants, the Training Section requires a unique ID number - a driver's license number meets this requirement.
What if I do not have a driver's license?
- The number from a DMV State identification card will also be accepted.
Since the Training Section now requires a driver's license number for tracking registrants and participants, why are you still asking for a Social Security Number?
- The Training Section requests does not require that you enter a Social Security Number to assist in matching your old records with your new records. However, if your question is related to educational credit - the accreditation colleges usually do require it.
I think I took a course with you, but I am not sure - can I have a copy of my certificate?
- In order to look up records, OEM requires a written request (see Transcripts above).
Are training databases linked?
- No - New York State is developing some learning management databases for State government and studying the feasibility of other levels to the New York State emergency management community. Please contact the sponsoring agency (i.e., State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) or Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) directly for your records.
Course Sponsorship and Training Managers
How do I request a course?
How much notice is needed to request a course?
- Course requests must be in writing (via established form) no less than three (3) months in advance and possibly longer depending on the curriculum. If a course is regularly held and instructors are available, no less than 10 weeks are required. Facility reservation dates are critical to secure first.
Whom do I need to talk to for arranging a course?
- Please send an email to us with your title, what you are planning, your county phone, and e-mail address.
What kind of facility does it need to be?
- Please see our facility planning tools here (link)
Can I request a course strictly for my organization?
- OEM prefers to conduct courses to mixed audiences. The three main reasons for this policy are (1) adult learning is significantly more beneficial with an audience of mixed professions and backgrounds, (2) as a public state agency, OEM needs to be cognizant to include local, state and federal partners, and (3) we reach more geographic area participation to meet fiscal responsibilities to the people of NY State and grant providers.
Who is in a course and can I have a copy of the roster?
- OEM does not provide "registration" updates. OEM will provide a preliminary roster to the course sponsor when registration closes so that final acceptance can be determined with the course manager. Due to privacy concerns, it is not OEM's policy to provide a course roster to course participants.
When do you cancel or reschedule a class?
- Due to instructor, travel and material costs, courses are generally not cost effective unless they are a minimum of three-quarters full. OEM does extend registration periods to prevent this inconvenience, but needs to be reasonably sure of conducting the course to send confirmations to those already registered - usually five to days maximum.
Can I teach for OEM or can I set up regional training team with OEM?
- At present, OEM is not actively looking for instructors. When needs arise, OEM employ a rigorous qualification standard.
Travel and Lodging
- All transportation costs are the responsibility of the participant.
- Lodging costs for certain courses may be covered by OEM.
- Lodging cost provisions are specified within the cost section of course announcements.
- Per Comptroller regulations, lodging will only be provided for participants who travel more than 35 miles from their official station and/or place of residence.
- Double-occupancy lodging (two participants per room) is standard, unless otherwise specified. Single occupancy lodging (one participant per room) may be available and requested. However, OEM will only pay half the double occupancy rate.
- Example: The rate for a double room is $76.00. OEM will pay $38.00 ($76.00 / 2 = $38.00) per person. If a participant requests single occupancy lodging, OEM will still only pay $38.00 (1/2 the double occupancy rate). If the single room rate is $70.00, then the participant will be responsible for the remaining $32.00 ($70.00 - $38.00 = $32.00).
- Participants are responsible for any incidental expenses incurred (e.g., phone calls, movie rentals, room service, etc.).