In March 1999, the Arkansas Floodplain Management Association (AFMA) established a statewide program for certifying floodplain managers. The program recognizes continuing education and professional development that enhance the knowledge and performance of local, state, federal, and private-sector floodplain managers. The AFMA certification program is accredited by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc. (ASFPM), recognized as the authority on floodplain management throughout the Nation.
The role of the nation’s floodplain managers is expanding due to increases in disaster losses, the emphasis being placed upon mitigation to alleviate the cycle of damage-rebuild-damage, and a recognized need for professionals to adequately address these issues. Floodplain managers come from a variety of curricula and backgrounds. This certification program will lay the foundation for ensuring that highly qualified individuals are available to meet the challenge of breaking the damage cycle and stopping its negative drain on the nation’s human, financial, and natural resources.
The formation of a professional certification program is recognized as an effective means to:
- Formalize a procedure to recognize and provide an incentive for individuals to improve their knowledge of floodplain management concepts;
- Enhance individual professional development goals;
- Promote an understanding of relevant subject matter that is consistent nationwide;
- Convey new concepts and practices; and
- Build partnerships among organizations and agencies that share the goal of advancing sound floodplain management.
Applicants desiring to obtain initial designation as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM®) must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Minimum two years of related experience in floodplain management or completion of the FEMA course: Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), offered annually at EMI (Emmitsburg, Md.) and Conway, Arkansas. A degree or license in civil engineering is also acceptable.
- Minimum education of a high school diploma or GED. (Experience may be able to substitute for education.)
- Submit a completed APPLICATION PACKAGE for the CERTIFIED FLOODPLAIN MANAGER (CFM®) PROGRAM
- Pay an application fee specified in the application package.
- Obtain a passing score of 70% on the certification examination.
Once an individual obtains certification, the following activities are required for biennial renewal of certification:
- Continuous membership in AFMA if the CFM® maintains status as an “AFMA Member”, which has discounted fees.
- Submittal of a complete ARKANSAS FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC. Biennial Renewal Application.
- Documented evidence of continuing education credits (CECs). A total of 16 CECs must be obtained in a two-year period.
- Pay a renewal fee listed on the renewal form.
Educational materials recommended for the initial exam include, but are not limited to, resources listed in the CFM® Exam Preparation Guide. The AFMA uses the same study guide as the ASFPM, since this is a national certification and the exams are prepared by the ASFPM.
CFM® is a registered trademark of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM).