Eligibility for AAACERT Membership

Applicants for membership must:

  1. be at least 16 years old,
  2. have achieved a Certificate of Training for Basic CERT from an organization or trainer authorized to teach and certify individuals in Basic CERT or intend to achieve a Certificate of Training for Basic CERT within one year of membership application, and
  3. be a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized) or a legal resident alien with a temporary or long-term (permanent) resident status in good standing.
  4. Applicants and members age 18 or older must also be able to pass an Anne Arundel County Police background check.

Membership Application Process

Applicant must complete and submit to the AAACERT Membership Chair the following documents:

Upon receipt of the above materials, the AAACERT Membership Chair will add the applicant to the membership rolls (entering the information into AAACERT’s operational software, mailing list websites, and qualification matrix). The applicant will have an initial status of a non-operational member (see membership classes below).

Background Check Process

For more information: Background Checks

Membership Fees

The AAACERT board of directors may choose to impose a new member fee and/or annual dues.

If imposed, new members must pay these fees within 30 days of application. At the discretion of the Membership Chair, the deadline may be extended for one 30-day period if there is communication from the applicant that payment is planned. Annual dues are not pro-rated for new members; however, they will not be charged if the application is received in December.

If imposed for existing members, annual dues must be paid by January 31. At the discretion of the Membership Chair, the deadline may be extended for one 30-day period if there is communication from the applicant that payment is planned.

If a member does not pay fees in the time allowed, the Membership Chair will move the member to a “retired” state (see membership classes below) until AAACERT receives the fees.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliance

At the request of the Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis Offices of Emergency Management, AAACERT restricts operational status (see membership classes below) to those members who have successfully completed FEMA classes IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 and provided their certifications to the Membership Chair. Members who applied after January 1, 2018, and meet all other requirements, are transitioned to operational status with just the Basic CERT pre-requisites (IS-100 and IS-700) and have six months from time of application to complete the remaining two classes. Any member not completing these classes in the allotted timeframe reverts to or stays in non-operational status (see membership classes below) until they have successfully completed the classes. Effective January 1, 2019, members must complete all four FEMA classes to transition to operational status.

Participation Requirements

AAACERT seeks active members. Therefore, to remain operational, members must participate in 20 hours of activities per calendar year. Eligible activities include participation in monthly trainings or other AAACERT-sponsored trainings, successful completion of FEMA classes, participation in other emergency preparedness and response classes (subject to approval of the Membership Chair), participation in AAACERT meetings, support for AAACERT committees, participation in AAACERT/County/City events, trainings, exercises, or actual emergency incidents, or participation as a volunteer victim or otherwise supporting AAACERT training activities, and other activities approved by the Membership Chair.

The Membership Chair pro-rates the 20-hour requirement for new members. Failure to meet the 20-hour requirement causes membership to revert to non-operational status. The Membership Chair can make exceptions for members who are out of the area for an extended period of time, members who have or have had medical issues preventing participation, or other circumstances which the Membership Chair believes are reasonable. To regain operational status, the member must complete the requirements for the previous year. To retain operational status, the member must then complete the current year’s requirement.

Membership Classes (defined by status)

OPERATIONAL– An operational member may participate in any AAACERT activity, subject to additional training requirements (e.g., being a Call Taker requires specific Call Taker training). Operational members supporting officially sanctioned Anne Arundel County or Annapolis City activities must be at least 18 years old. General requirements are — General Release and Waiver of Liability for Volunteers on file, approved and current background check, completion of Basic CERT, successful completion of IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 with certificates on file (or within the six-month window to complete them for new members), and 20 hours of participation in AAACERT activities (or as adjusted by the Membership Chair). Operational members receive notification of all advertised activities. Payment of membership fees and/or annual dues as indicated under Membership Fees. Operational members may vote and hold administrative and operational offices.

NON-OPERATIONAL– A non-operational member has not satisfied all of the requirements identified for operational members but is current with membership fees and/or annual dues. A non-operational member may only participate in training activities designated as non-operational, in administrative or promotional functions, or as volunteer victims. Non-operational members receive notification of applicable activities. Non-operational members can achieve or regain operational status by satisfying all of the requirements stated above for operational members. Non-operational members may not vote nor hold administrative or operational offices.

AFFILIATE – Affiliate members are State, County, and City representatives and representatives of surrounding CERT organizations who wish to remain informed of AAACERT activities. They receive notification of all advertised activities, but participation must be consistent with their role in the State, County, or City or, for other CERT organizations, consistent with how they are invited to participate.

RETIRED– Retired members have either requested to be retired or have not paid applicable fees or dues. Information on retired members remains in our operational software and qualification matrix to allow for quick re-activation if desired and/or all other requirements are met. Retired members do not receive notification of any AAACERT activities nor may they participate in them. Retired members may be eligible for reinstatement as operational or nonoperational members upon the completion of any outstanding training requirements, attendance requirements and payment of any membership fees or dues.

Approved by the AAACERT Board of Directors: September 27, 2018.