Is becoming an ENP right for you?

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NENA ENP LogoIf you look closely at many of the leaders in the Public Safety field, you’ll notice three letters after their names that you may not be familiar with. ENP designates the Emergency Number Professional certification by NENA the National Emergency Number Association.

Those that successfully complete the certification prove to their peers the following skill sets, as defined by NENA:

  • Demonstrate a mastery of the comprehensive knowledge base required for emergency number program management.
  • Help to raise industry standards and increase the respect and prestige of those involved in 9-1-1.
  • Confirm your commitment to the 9-1-1 profession by showing yourself to be a leader in public safety and pledging yourself to stay aware of current issues and developments in the field.

NENA - The 911 AssociationEvery year, the ENP exams are scheduled four times for a two-week period each Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The ENP examination is administered on a daily basis during these two-week periods, at 3rd party computer-based testing facilities throughout the US and Canada.

Each exam period I set a goal of getting at least one of my peers in the industry to sit for the exam, and last year I brought on Tim Kenyon, ENP and Bill Svien, ENP as new members in the program. This year, I will be looking for more ‘volunteers’ to make the commitment to the industry that more than 1000 others have made.

Individuals wanting to register for the exam, submit an Eligibility Application and the Testing Center application to NENA. Once approved for testing, candidates select a testing facility in their area.

Goals of NENA behind the Certification

The NENA Executive Board first formed a Certification Committee in 1992 to explore the development of a certification program for individuals involved in emergency number program management. After a thorough review of the certification process, the Executive Board approved the Committee’s recommendation to go forward with the establishment of an Emergency Number Professional Certification Program.

This recommendation included several goals:

  • To establish the comprehensive body of knowledge for Emergency Number Professionals.
  • To promote a standard of competence for Emergency Number Professionals that will be recognized and accepted by the 9-1-1 profession, government agencies, the business community, and the general public.
  • To ensure an awareness of current issues and developments in the 9-1-1 profession.
  • To provide formal recognition of individuals for professional achievement.
  • To encourage professional growth and enhance the self-esteem of Emergency Number Professionals.

Certification is granted to those individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the examinations, and who successfully pass the examination.

Help for the timid
A little shy about what you may or may not know? Well, NENA has thought of that too, and each testing period, there are several user-study groups that provide newcomers with the details they need, as well as practice exams to help them get ready for the test itself.

Are you Certifiable?
Before you can sit for the exam, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria established by NENA.

First off is industry experience criteria:
Before you can even sit for the NENA ENP Certification Exam, a candidate must meet the following experience criteria:
A. Three years experience in Emergency Communications.
B. Three years experience with a commercial provider of Emergency Communications products and services.

Having passed the first criteria test, each candidate must provide an accumulation of a total of 10 points as follows:

  • Experience – Each additional year of experience (full-time equivalent) in Emergency Communications will count for 2 points, with a maximum of 10 points being granted.
  • Education – College degrees will earn points as noted below:
  • Associate Degree 2 points
  • Bachelor Degree 4 points
  • Graduate Degree 6 points
  • Professional Development and Service
  • NENA in-person courses completed will earn 1 point each. A maximum of 4 points will be granted.
  • Holding an office in NENA at the Chapter or National level will earn 1 point, with a maximum of 1 point being granted.
  • Other professional certifications will earn 1 point, with a maximum of 1 point being granted.

Taking the Exam
The remaining Exam Periods for 2013 are the Spring, Summer and Fall sessions.

Specifically these are:

Spring 2013 – April 6 – April 20, 2013
Application Deadline March 11, 2013
Summer 2013 – July 20 – August 3, 2013
Application Deadline June 24, 2013
Fall 2013 – October 5 -19, 2013
Application Deadline September 10, 2013

Application for Testing
All applications received are evaluated by the ENP Certification Board. Candidates must accumulate a minimum of 10 points to qualify to sit for the exam. A candidate whose application has been accepted may sit for the exam at any designated test location.

Fee Summary
Do you have to be a NENA member to sit for the ENP Exam? Absolutely not. Anyone meeting the eligibility requirements, can sit for the exam, however, NENA members are offered a a discounted rate of $395 (US Dollars) compared to the non-Member rate of $475 (US Dollars).
ENP Re-certification
Once you earn your ENP certification, you need to maintain your knowledge base as the ENP certification is awarded only for a period of 4 years. After that time re-certification is required in order to maintain the ENP designation.

During the 4-year period an ENP must continue to accumulate points towards re-certification by being actively involved in a number of emergency communications related activities, including attendance at selected public safety conferences and approved courses, participation in NENA Committees and public safety advisory boards, presentations within the community, and leadership roles in NENA National and NENA Chapters.

Those that stay current through the point system, are allowed to waive the test, in recognition of their industry activities. Although most ENPs take this recertification, there are several that, myself included, that prefer taking the exam. Personally, it further attests to my dedication to the industry, and it enables me to ensure the standards are being kept up with the evolution of technologies in this fast paced world.

Questions or More Information?
If you have any questions or need further information about the ENP Program, you may contact Bri Robinson at NENA HQ or a member of the NENA Institute Board.

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Until next week. . . dial carefully.

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