Guidance & Training

As part of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is charged with managing and maintaining the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a comprehensive, nationwide, systematic approach to incident management, including the command and coordination of incidents, resource management, and information management. NIMS guidance includes a standardized resource management preparedness process that enables coordination among different jurisdictions or organizations. Provided below is information on three NIMS Guidelines that specifically focus on resource management practices. Additional NIMS Guidelines and Supporting Guides are available on

Resource Management Guidance

NIMS Guideline for Resource Management PreparednessNIMS Guideline for Resource Management Preparedness | This guidance enables many organizational elements to collaborate and coordinate to systematically manage resources—personnel, teams, facilities, equipment, and supplies. The NIMS Guideline for Resource Management Preparedness supplements the NIMS Resource Management component by providing additional details on resource management preparedness processes, best practices, authorities, and tools. The audience for this guide is any authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) that is responsible for acquiring, inventorying, storing, or sharing resources.

NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification SystemNIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System | The National Qualification System (NQS) supplements the Resource Management component of NIMS by establishing guidance and tools to assist stakeholders in developing processes for qualifying, certifying, and credentialing deployable emergency personnel. This Guideline is for use by any AHJ, including all levels of government and organizations, private sector entities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with incident management or support responsibilities. It describes the basic principles of standard qualification, certification, and credentialing processes and introduces primary tools to help AHJs establish their own processes.

NIMS Guideline for Mutual AidNIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid | This guideline supplements the resource management component of the NIMS by providing guidance on different types of mutual aid agreements, the key elements of a mutual aid agreement, and the key elements of mutual aid operational plans used for implementation.  The mutual aid network - an integrated nationwide network of mutual aid systems - enhances the Nation's overall preparedness and readiness by allowing jurisdictions and organizations to account for, order, mobilize outside resources efficiently and effectively.

Specific Qualifications Guidance

FEMA also provides position-specific qualifications guidance. This is comprised of Job Title/Position Qualification Sheets, Position Task Book (PTB) Templates, and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Skillset Templates. Provided below are the links to access each of the position-specific qualifications guidance released by FEMA:


NIMS-related courses offered online by FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Independent Study Program (IS) include:

  • IS-100 - (ICS 100) Introduction to Incident Command System
  • IS-200 - (ICS 200) Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response
  • IS-700 - National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
  • IS-29 - Public Information Officer Awareness
  • IS-703 - NIMS Resource Management Course
  • IS-706 - NIMS Intrastate Mutual Aid - An Introduction
  • IS-800 - National Response Framework, An Introduction

More information on NIMS Implementation and Training, including the NIMS Training Plan, is available on

Core Terms & Definitions

A number of the core terms you will encounter in reference to the National Resource Hub are defined in NIMS doctrine. These core terms are identified and explained below.

  • Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ): An entity that has the authority and responsibility for developing, implementing, maintaining, and overseeing the qualification process within its organization or jurisdiction. This may be a state or Federal agency, training commission, NGO, private sector company, or tribal or local agency such as a police, fire, or public works department.
  • Certification: The process of authoritatively attesting that individuals meet qualifications established for key incident management functions and are, therefore, qualified for specific positions.
  • Credentialing: Providing documentation that identifies personnel and authenticates and verifies their qualification for a particular position.
  • Incident: An occurrence, natural or manmade, that necessitates a response to protect life or property. “Incident” can include planned events as well as emergencies and/or disasters of all kinds and sizes.
  • Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction has two definitions depending on the context:
    • A range or sphere of authority. Public agencies have jurisdiction at an incident related to their legal responsibilities and authority. Jurisdictional authority at an incident can be political or geographical (e.g., local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal boundary lines) and/or functional (e.g., law enforcement, public health).
    • A political subdivision (e.g., municipality, county, parish, state, Federal) with the responsibility for ensuring public safety, health, and welfare within its legal authorities and geographic boundaries.
  • Position Qualifications: The minimum criteria necessary for individuals to fill a specific position.
  • Resource Management: Systems for identifying available resources at all jurisdictional levels to enable timely, efficient, and unimpeded access to resources needed to prepare for, respond to, or recover from an incident.
  • Resources: Personnel, equipment, teams, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained. Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational support or supervisory capacities at an incident or at an emergency operations center (EOC).
  • Resource Typing: Defining and categorizing incident resources by capability. Resource typing definitions establish a common language for discussing resources by defining minimum capabilities for personnel, teams, facilities, equipment, and supplies.