CERTIFIED IN HOMELAND SECURITY, CHS CANDIDATE HANDBOOK

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1 CERTIFIED IN HOMELAND SECURITY, CHS CANDIDATE HANDBOOK EFFECTIVE August 2014

2 The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, CHS Code of Conduct The certificant/candidate must observe the precepts of truthfulness, honesty, and integrity. The certificant/candidate must be faithful, competent, and diligent in discharging their professional duties. The certificant/candidate must safeguard confidential and privileged information and exercise due care to prevent its improper disclosure. The certificant/candidate must not maliciously injure the professional reputation or practice of ABCHS, colleagues, clients, or employees. The certificant/candidate must not have any record of disciplinary action or currently be under investigation from any state, province, territory, or certification board. Certificants/candidates will immediately notify ABCHS of all changes in status of all such actions keeping the Association s knowledge current. The certificant/candidate must not misrepresent or overstate their credentials, education, training, or experience. The certificant/candidate must be forever cognizant of the importance of their role and conduct themselves only in the most ethical and professional manner at all times. The certificant/candidate will be aware of, and comply with, all ABCHS policies and procedures including rules concerning the appropriate use of ABCHS certification marks and the proper representation of ABCHS credentials. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an ABCHS policy or procedure does not excuse inappropriate or unethical behavior. The ABCHS certificant/candidate will not knowingly participate in, or assist in, any acts that are contrary to ABCHS policies and procedures. The certificant/candidate must provide accurate and truthful information to ABCHS concerning all certification related eligibility information, and must submit valid application materials for fulfillment of current certification and recertification requirements. The certificant/candidate must maintain the security, and prevent the disclosure, of ABCHS certification examination information and materials. The certificant/candidate must report possible violations of the ABCHS Code of Conduct to the appropriate ABCHS representative(s) pursuant to the ABCHS Ethics Case Procedures. The certificant/candidate must cooperate fully with ABCHS concerning the review of possible ethics violations and the collection of related information. The certificant/candidate must agree to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct. Disciplinary action can be taken, up to and including revocation of ABCHS certification pursuant to the ABCHS Ethics Case Procedures, for failure to comply with the ABCHS Code of Conduct. -2-

3 About the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, CHS Following September 11, 2001, the nation felt the need for an increase in homeland security. The President issued a call to action to which the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute responded by developing its groundbreaking certifications in homeland security. Immediately, an advisory board was assembled, and their work on developing certifications commenced. Since its inception in January 2003, The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, CHS (ABCHS), a professional membership association, has earned a reputation as the premier certification and continuing education source for professionals in homeland security. However, ABCHS membership is not required for certificants and candidates. ABCHS became incorporated independently in May With a diverse collection of highly qualified professionals including active and retired military, law enforcement and security experts, firefighters and other first responders, physicians, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, accountants, information technology, engineers and others ABCHS has in its membership some of the nation s leading professionals who have significant experience in homeland security. ABCHS continues making significant contributions to addressing the most pressing issues facing our nation. The association is committed to our country s safety. We provide an extraordinary knowledge base and an in-place organizational structure that delivers the highest quality certification and continuing education opportunities in homeland security. The ultimate goal of ABCHS is to facilitate collaborative partnerships and strong working relationships between homeland security professionals from the private sector and the U.S. Government/Military recognizing that each has unique talents and abilities to contribute to the security of our nation. ABCHS Certification Vision/Mission Statement Certification Vision Statement Our vision is to bridge the gap between government and non-government organizations (NGOs) in facilitation of common standards of knowledge in coordinating various scale responses to homeland security and national disaster events. Certification Mission Statement Our mission is to provide homeland security professionals from government and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) with certification to assess their knowledge of the current prescribed response frameworks. -3-

4 G.I. Bill The Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Levels I-V, Certified in Disaster Preparedness, CDP-I, Certified Homeland Security Emergency Medical Responder, CHSEMR, Intelligence Analyst Certified, IAC, and Sensitive Security Information, Certified (SSI) are approved for the G.I. Bill Benefits. Certifications Available (All certification materials are written and distributed in English only.) Certified in Homeland Security Level I (CHS-I) Certified in Homeland Security Level II (CHS-II) Certified in Homeland Security Level III (CHS-III) Certified in Homeland Security Level IV (CHS-IV) Certified in Homeland Security Level V (CHS-V) Certified in Disaster Preparedness, CDP-I Certified Homeland Security Emergency Medical Responder, CHSEMR Sensitive Security Information, Certified (SSI) Intelligence Analyst Certified, IAC Certified in Dignitary and Executive Protection, CDEP Contact Information The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, CHS 2750 East Sunshine Street Springfield, MO Phone: (877) or (417) Fax: (417) Website: -4-

5 ABCHS Examination Policy (Adopted 06/2011) A. Purpose Certification examinations developed by The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security (ABCHS) assess candidates' knowledge in specific areas of Homeland Security as defined by current Job Task Analysis studies. The development of these exams is a complex process involving many subject matter experts (SMEs). This policy articulates guidelines for ABCHS s examination development activities. All ABCHS committee members, employees, volunteers, and contractors are required to agree to, and abide by, the terms of this Policy and are required to sign an agreement document to that effect. B. Development 1. Certification Scope Policy. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programmatic issues determine the landscape of the field of Homeland Security. Professionals experience in the field aligns with DHS programmatic issues. The stakeholder groups for CHS certifications include the private sector and the U.S. Government/Military. Professionals representing these groups sit on the ABCHS Executive Committee, which is charged with ensuring that the content of ABCHS certification exams align to the field of Homeland Security by approving the knowledge domains and content outlines of the exams. Any expansion or reduction to the scope of an ABCHS certification, therefore, will be based on evolving DHS programmatic issues. ABCHS conducts Job Task Analysis studies regularly (see policy below) as a means to verify alignment between its certifications and the field of Homeland Security. 2. Certification Scope Expansion and Reduction Procedure. ABCHS follows this procedure in expanding and reducing the scope of its certifications: a. ABCHS monitors the field of Homeland Security through contact with the Executive Committee (as detailed in the Certification Scope Policy above). b. The scopes of ABCHS certifications will expand or reduce as DHS programmatic issues change influencing the field. c. The relevance of each ABCHS certification scope to the field of Homeland Security will be reviewed at least annually. 3. Job Task Analysis. The content of ABCHS certification exams is based on results from appropriate Job Task Analysis studies. The relationship and linkage between each exam and the relevant Job Task Analysis study will be documented, and such documentation will be available for review by candidates and certificants. Upon request, a candidate or certificant will be provided with a summary of a complete Job Task Analysis study. -5-

6 ABCHS will conduct a new Job Task Analysis study for each certification exam every five (5) years in order to ensure the continued relationship between the examinations and the real-world role of professionals in homeland security. Surveys conducted by ABCHS staff under the supervision of professional consultation and approved by the ABCHS Executive Committee yield the data gathered for these research studies. ABCHS staff members facilitate the work of the Executive Committee in determining final knowledge domain weightings for exams from the results of Job Task Analysis surveys. Final versions of ABCHS Job Task Analysis studies (including the final domain weightings) are subject to approval from the Executive Committee. 4. Test Content Outline. All test content outlines for all ABCHS certification exams are derived from appropriate Job Task Analysis studies and must be approved by the ABCHS Executive Committee. 5. Test Item Construction. Test items are prepared by individuals typically holding the CHS certification for which they are writing questions in accordance with the Item Developers Guide from the Assessment Systems Corporation. Each test item is edited and validated by SMEs for clarity and content. All test items satisfy the exam specifications of the relevant Job Task Analysis study. Questions are developed to assess the candidate's knowledge on subject matter from appropriate domains. Each question is also subjected to editing for grammar and technical adequacy by ABCHS editorial staff. Thus, content experts write the questions and validate their appropriateness for the exam, and experts in testing review the questions to ensure that the questions perform as intended. 6. Cut Score. The cut score (passing point) used for all ABCHS certification exams is established with the Angoff Modified Technique, the popular criterion-referenced approach to establishing defensible cut scores for certification exams. The ABCHS Examination Development Committee uses the Angoff Modified Technique under the direct supervision of a psychometrician, with feedback provided on inter-rater reliability. Committee members pooled judgment is used to establish final cut scores. A new cutscore study is completed each time new test specifications are developed based on a new job analysis, to ensure that the cutscore remains relevant in the evolving field. 7. Item analysis and reliability. ABCHS performs a psychometric item and test analysis annually to document the psychometric quality of the examinations. Testlevel statistics include mean and standard deviation of raw scores, pass rate, standard error of measurement (total and at cutscore), and several indices of reliability. Item-level statistics include difficulty, discrimination, option proportions and correlations, and summary quantile plots. These reports also serve to improve the quality of the test over time by indentifying possible issues such as poorly performing items. -6-

7 8. Form Construction. Under direction of a psychometrician, each new ABCHS certification exam form is equated to the initial or anchor version of that exam to ensure that candidates are not rewarded or penalized for taking different versions of the exam. Forms overlap by at least 20%, allowing for application of a nonequivalent groups anchor test (NEAT) equating design. 9. Examination Development Meetings. The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security (ABCHS) conducts examination development meetings at least annually with the ABCHS Examination Development Committee (volunteer subject matter experts) and a facilitator from a professional examination development company, in order to: revise, validate, and approve newly submitted test items; review item analyses, identify poorly performing items, and select test items to include on new examination forms; conduct cut score studies when needed; draft new examination forms equated to appropriate base forms; and/or ensure that the content of the examinations is still tied, and properly related, to the relevant content outlines established by the most recent Job Task Analysis study. This practice is intended to validate ABCHS certification examinations. C. Administration. 1. Administration Sources. Tests are delivered via computer under secure proctored conditions at testing centers with standardized conditions to ensure fairness. Interested individuals from the private sector sit for their exams with a contracted testing source. As of 2011, ABCHS will deliver exams through the Consortium of College Testing Centers, which is a network of testing centers with professional proctors located at higher education institutions throughout North America, and through Pearson Vue on military installations throughout the world. All attempts will be made to ensure security of the certification exams per procedures established by ABCHS and agreed upon by exam administrators. Examinee identity is verified before any test. Tests are delivered via a secure portal which locks down the computer, preventing the examinee from using the computer for anything other than taking the exam. Test content remains in this secure system, with password-based secure socket layer (SSL) access provided only to examination committee members with need (for example, to enter new items). 2. Experimental Items. For exam development purposes, ABCHS reserves the right to include additional unscored (experimental or pretest) items at its discretion. Decisions relating to experimental items will be made in consultation with a psychometrician. Candidates will not know which questions are experimental. This process allows data to be collected for items before they are included as scored items; the data is analyzed to screen item quality. -7-

8 D. Results 3. Application Requirement. Eligibility requirements to sit for ABCHS certification exams are established by the ABCHS Executive Committee. All eligibility requirements for a particular ABCHS certification exam must be met by candidates prior to sitting for the exam. ABCHS certification applications align with appropriate eligibility requirements and are used to verify candidates eligibility to sit for ABCHS certification exams. The ABCHS Chief Executive Officer must approve all candidates appropriate, completed applications prior to their sitting for an ABCHS certification exam. 1. Grading the CHS-V Examination. Tests delivered by computer have results stored immediately in a secure database. Results are accessed by ABCHS staff and score reports are then forwarded to the examinee via written communication. ABCHS staff will first verify that the individuals who passed have met all of the minimum prerequisites. Upon completion, ABCHS staff will send the individuals the CHS-V certificate. Only the candidate will be informed of the examination results as a pass or fail, but will not be allowed to see the actual test due to security reasons. Scores are not provided to the applicants, but score reports provide feedback for candidates who did not pass, enabling them to better direct efforts to study for another attempt. The pass/fail result is maintained permanently in imis, ABCHS s database. 2. ABCHS Examination Results. All procedures for scoring, interpreting, and reporting ABCHS certification exam results will be appropriate and meaningful. Currently, candidates receive a Pass/Fail result following their attempt at ABCHS certification exams. ABCHS staff members mail Pass/Fail results to certificants within 2 weeks of the exam. As of March 17, 2011, exam forms will not be retained in examinee files. 3. Aggregate Assessment Data Reports. ABCHS will report on its certification exams at least annually. The report will summarize performance data aggregated across individuals in such a way that the identity of individuals is not disclosed. This report will be published by ABCHS. E. Confidentiality The Pass/Fail results of an ABCHS certification exam are confidential and will only be disclosed for provisions pursuant to the ABCHS Confidentiality and Non- Disclosure Policy. -8-

9 F. Opportunities for Evaluation of ABCHS Exams Immediately following ABCHS certification exam offerings, participants can complete an evaluation form to assist in further development and improvements to the exam they sat for. This form gives examinees the opportunity to evaluate the examination environment, the proctor, and the examination. For security reasons, exam material is not available for review. Candidates who have comments about specific questions on ABCHS certification exams should submit their clearly articulated comments in writing to: The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, Attn: Chief Executive Officer, 2750 E. Sunshine St., Springfield MO ABCHS, however, will not respond to such comments individually. The ABCHS Examination Development Committee will have exam evaluations and comments provided by candidates available to them when it meets to revise the exam. G. Appeals (Requests for Review) Appeals will only be considered if they meet grounds pursuant to the ABCHS Appeal Process. Candidates who wish to appeal a certification decision or action should reference the ABCHS Appeal Process and take action accordingly. -9-

10 Application Procedure A. General Eligibility Requirements. (Approved 5/2011) The following general eligibility requirements must be met by all ABCHS applicants: At least 18 years of age No felony convictions No dishonorable discharge from the. military Neither a record of disciplinary action from any state, province or territory, or licensing or certification board within the past 10 years nor subject under any such investigation Agreement to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct B. Application Submission. An individual s certification process begins with the submission of a completed application accompanied by supporting information including a resume, a professional license (if applicable), degree(s) or transcript(s) (if applicable), military record(s) (if applicable), a copy of appropriate certifications or designations, and/or a copy of no more than 10 certificates from any completed homeland security related course(s) (including those from FEMA). In addition, all U.S. Veterans must provide their DD-214 attesting no dishonorable discharge. Applicants can submit the documentation by mail, fax, or . Personal contact information, such as name, designation(s), mailing address, telephone number(s), date of birth, and address, is also included on the application. C. Application Processing. Certification applications are first received by the accounting department via mail, fax, telephone or the website. Accounting staff processes all applicable fees. Upon receipt of an initial application, accounting creates a new database record. ABCHS s imis software generates a unique identifier code for each applicant. If accounting staff members receive an application from an already-existing applicant or candidate/certificant, they update the individual s imis record accordingly. Accounting staff then attaches a processing cover sheet to the application and submits it to the certification department for further processing. D. Application Review. ABCHS staff reviews the application for complete documentation. Staff contacts the applicant if any required documentation is lacking. Staff members verify any professional license(s) and perform internet searches for miscellaneous information. E. Application Approval. The application is then given to the ABCHS Chief Executive Officer for review and approval. F. Examination Access. Once the application has been approved by the Chief Executive Officer, ABCHS staff gives the applicant instructions for completing the examination(s). -10-

11 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Levels One (CHS-I) Eligibility Requirements Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sit for the CHS-I exam: Recommended 1 year of experience combined with general training, knowledge, skill, and education in a homeland security-related area Agreement to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct At least 18 years of age No felony convictions No dishonorable discharge from the military Neither a record of disciplinary action from any state, province or territory, or licensing or certification board within the past 10 years, nor subject under any such investigation Credential Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates achieve certificant status. At that time, they may list the designation CHS-I behind their names. Target Audience: This level is intended for early-career professionals in homeland security, law enforcement, and related fields, who are involved in security, law enforcement, fire service, military, emergency management, cyber security, public health, hazardous materials, medical, or other related areas. -11-

12 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level One (CHS-I) Understanding Homeland Security and Its Impact on National Security Exam Content Outline I. History (20% of Test Items on the Exam) A. History of DHS Component Departments B. History of Terrorist Events C. U.S. Commission on National Security/ 21 st Century Phase III Report D. Formation of DHS II. III. IV. Mission (54% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Defining the Role of Homeland Security B. Mission of Homeland Security Components C. Homeland Security Presidential Directives Structure (14% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Homeland Security Components B. Key Staff Members Operator Knowledge (13% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Hazards B. Sources of Current Information -12-

13 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Two (CHS-II) Eligibility Requirements Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sit for the CHS-II exam. Hold the CHS-I credential; or have 2 years of relevant homeland security experience relevant to the topics covered in CHS I and CHS II Agreement to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct At least 18 years of age No felony convictions No dishonorable discharge from the military Neither a record of disciplinary action from any state, province or territory, or licensing or certification board within the past 10 years, nor subject under any such investigation Credential Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates achieve certificant status. At that time, they may list the designation CHS-II behind their names. Target Audience: This level is intended for early-career professionals in homeland security, law enforcement, and related fields, who are involved in security, law enforcement, fire service, military, emergency management, cyber security, public health, hazardous materials, medical, or other related areas. -13-

14 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Two (CHS-II) Exam Content Outline I. National Infrastructure Protection Plan (31% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Overview B. Mission C. International Partnerships D. Sector Specific Plans II. Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (30% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Definition B. Partners C. Responsibilities III. Sector Specific Agencies (12% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Definition B. Sector Specific Agency Assignments IV. Transportation Network Security (8% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Scope B. Programs C. Transportation Security Administration V. Border Security (8% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Customs and Border Patrol B. Immigration and Customs Enforcement VI. Energy Sector (4% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Scope B. Sector Specific Agency VII. Information Technology Sector (7% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Difficulties associated with IT sector protection -14-

15 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Three (CHS-III) Eligibility Requirements Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sit for the CHS-III exam: Hold the CHS-II credential; or have 3 years of relevant homeland security experience related to the topics covered in CHS- I, CHS-II, and CHS-III. Agreement to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct At least 18 years of age No felony convictions No dishonorable discharge from the military Neither a record of disciplinary action from any state, province or territory, or licensing or certification board within the past 10 years, nor subject under any such investigation Credential Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates achieve certificant status. At that time, they may list the designation CHS-III behind their names. Target Audience: This level is intended for early-career professionals in homeland security, law enforcement, and related fields, who are involved in security, law enforcement, fire service, military, emergency management, cyber security, public health, hazardous materials, medical, or other related areas. -15-

16 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Three (CHS-III) Exam Content Outline I. WMD Overview (33% of Test Items on the Exam) A. History of Usage B. Nations with Access to WMDs C. Treaties Governing Their Use D. Violent Non-State Actors II. Chemical (11% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Types of Chemical Agent B. Effects C. Recognizing Chemical Agent Attacks D. Availability III. Biological (21% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Types B. CDC Categories C. Detecting Biological Attacks IV. Radiological (13% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Radiation Types B. Radiation Effects C. Recognizing Radiological Attacks D. Decontamination Procedures E. Advantages to Using Radiological Weapons V. Nuclear (14% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Types of Nuclear Weapon B. Action Mechanisms C. Threat Presented VI. Explosives (9% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Availability B. Advantages C. Disadvantages D. Method of Use E. Frequency of Use -16-

17 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Four (CHS-IV) Eligibility Requirements Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sit for the CHS-V exam: Hold the CHS-III credential; or have four (4) years of experience combined with general training, knowledge, skill, and education in a homeland security-related area connected to the topics examined n CHS-I, CHS-II, CHS-III, and CHS-IV. Agreement to uphold the ABCHS Code of Conduct At least 18 years of age No felony convictions No dishonorable discharge from the military Neither a record of disciplinary action from any state, province or territory, or licensing or certification board within the past 10 years, nor subject under any such investigation Certification Fee The one-time fee for CHS-IV is $495 for members and $695 for non-members. Credential Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates achieve certificant status. At that time, they may list the designation CHS-IV behind their names. -17-

18 Certified in Homeland Security, CHS Level Four (CHS-IV) Content Outline Exam I. Terrorism (21% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Evolutional change in the threat environment 1. International threats 2. Domestic or homegrown threats 3. Multiple target-specific fronts a. Government and commercial facilities b. Oil pipelines and production capabilities c. Aircraft and sea vessels including air and marine operations d. Large venue sporting events e. Rail and mass-transportation systems f. Telecommunications and energy transmission lines g. Construction projects h. Private property in densely populated areas B. Conducting Infrastructure-Specific Security Assessments 1. Approaching corporate threat assessments from an ROI perspective a. Investment-centered as opposed to cost-centered b. Business continuity perspectives 2. Scope of a Security Assessment a. Limited in nature 1.) Prior assessments or investigative work 2.) Budget and time constraints b. In-place protective measures 1.) Detection 2.) Deterrence 3.) Delay 4.) Assessment 5.) Response c. Periods of Assessment 1.) Not a one-time event 2.) Periodic to remain relevant to business objectives a.) Operational processes b.) Technological advances c.) Modifications to facilities d.) New structure construction e.) Relocation or acquisition of assets -18-

19 d. Choice of Security Assessment Model 1.) Performance-based Model a.) What needs to be done? b.) What is the performance capability or expectation for accomplishing the security mission? c.) What performance-based evaluation criteria are used to measure that level of performance? d.) How strongly does senior management support or approve of security at the outset? 2.) Elements of a successful model a.) A user-friendly model that enables enterprise staff to understand its structure and process without special knowledge of security analytics b.) A methodology that encourages the management staff to place security high on organizational priorities and promote security awareness across the enterprise c.) An approach that identifies the area of greatest vulnerability to the enterprise as a whole, promotes better decision-making across divisional lines, and helps avoid excessive or unnecessary expenses -19-

20 II. Technology (21% of Test Items on the Exam) A. Communication 1. Design a. Data b. Voice c. Encryption 2. Execution a. Grant funding mechanisms 1.) Office of Interoperability & Compatibility 2.) SAFECOM Guidance 3.) FEMA Grant Program Directorate Bulletins b. Interoperability capabilities and challenges 1.) Pre-event planning assessments 2.) Statewide coordination of planning involving Statewide Interoperability Coordinators c. Development of Communications Plan 1.) Team-up & Obtain Requirements 2.) Develop and Document Plan 3.) Train & Conduct Exercises 4.) Resolve Gaps & Update Plan 5.) Continuous Improvement Loop 6.) Interoperable Communications for Planned Events Checklist B. Instrumentation 1. Homeland Security Act of 2002 a. Focused effort from integrators to implement and maintain security systems to assist local, state, and federal agencies in protecting infrastructure 2. Types of Expertise a. Access control b. Video surveillance c. Video analytics d. Digital video management systems e. Intrusion detection and reporting f. Intrusion analytics g. Perimeter protection h. High Security Gate Operations i. Wireless communications j. Programmable Key Access Systems k. SCADA Integration (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) 3. Technology Implementation for First Responders a. Security Management Access Credentials b. Wearable sensors in the check-in/check-out aspects of personnel management c. GPS-based sensors for mass casualty geographic areas -20-

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