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Emergency Management

Learn how to guide business and communities to effectively manage emergencies in this important, dynamic and rewarding field.

Trees and power lines damaged from a storm lean against a house and across a lawn.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year
Graduate Certificate

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Building on a foundation of emergency planning, management and response, this graduate certificate program prepares you to help communities and industry effectively handle natural and human-made disasters.

You tackle emergency planning theories and techniques that help reduce risk, provide leadership in times of chaos and protect the environment as well as physical, digital and communication infrastructures and networks. You also learn to assess risks and provide information and training on effectively handling emergency situations ranging from storms to terrorist threats.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This is the first and only credentialed program to offer applied training in emergency management in the Atlantic region.
  • This program is designed to meet the demands of emergency management and disaster response departments. You develop the skills and knowledge employers need.
  • Our instructors bring years of experience and strong industry connections to the classroom.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of one-on-one interaction, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to apply your learning, ask questions and share.

Other info

  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry.
  • To prepare for employment you participate in safety awareness courses.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Truro Campus/Online Truro Full time Blended BlendedDelivered through a combination of in-person and scheduled online classes. Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Areas of employment range from private security agencies and businesses to municipal, provincial, regional and federal emergency programs, as well as healthcare organizations and international organizations such as the Red Cross.
  • Graduates are qualified to accept positions as:
    • Emergency management coordinators
    • Emergency response planners
    • Emergency response administrators
    • Emergency planning officers
    • Emergency management training officers
    • Emergency program coordinators
    • Emergency planners
    • Security coordinators
    • Disaster planning coordinators

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you can apply to earn credit. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

EMER 1002 - Weather Interpretation for Decision Making
Through an analysis of real world examples, learners in this course will practice reading and interpreting weather reports and projections, and learn how this information can support recommendations for dealing with emergency management scenarios. The course provides an overview of global and regional weather systems and processes, examines forecasting reports and special weather bulletins, and analyzes the depiction models used by emergency management professionals in support of decision making.

EMER 1003 - Business Continuity Planning I
This course follows the ISO 22301 model and covers all aspects of business continuity and emergency planning. Learners review the standards and professional practices, identify regulations, terminologies and principles, and apply concepts to industry.

EMER 1004 - Emergency Public Information Management
This course reviews how the media operates in an emergency, how to proactively work with the media during an emergency, and how to communicate through media to reach key audiences and stakeholders. Learners will contribute to the development of an emergency public information plan, and gain a solid grounding on how public information fits into the Incident Command System.

EMER 1006 - Leadership and Influence
This course examines the different types of leadership, and nurtures the entrepreneurial skills necessary for effective leadership given various situational determinants. Learners will identify leadership traits, engage in critical self-reflection, develop a plan for personal leadership growth, explore how to foster a collaborative culture, and examine change management and conflict resolution strategies.

EMER 1007 - Emergency Coordination Centre
Students will develop an understanding of Emergency Coordination Center operations along with their emergency responsibilities to work effectively within an Emergency Coordination Centre. The focus will be on developing participant’s procedural, functional and operational capacity in preparation for community Emergency Coordination Centre activation.

EMER 1008 - Foundations of Emergency Management
This course reviews the various acts, legislations and regulations governing municipal, provincial and federal agencies. Concepts of emergency management and the models, systems, and processes required to effectively mitigate, plan, respond and recover from various disasters are explored. Students are introduced to emergency management that involves multiple jurisdictions at municipal, provincial, and national to gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the emergency manager during planned and emergency events.

EMER 1010 - Critical Infrastructure Protection
This course attempts to answer the question, "what should be protected and how?" A historical perspective of how various critical infrastructures have evolved and the quantitative approaches commonly used to evaluate them is explored. Learners apply quantitative vulnerability analysis to a variety of infrastructure sectors and investigate how best to allocate limited funding to minimize overall risk.

EMER 1011 - Incident Command Systems
This course covers basic principles associated with Incident Command System (ICS) include organization, facilities, operational guidelines and standard terminology. Learners explore principles of ICS as are used in incident and crisis situations and preplanned event management. Emphasis is on the flexibility of an ICS to start from small scale incidents and expand into large-scale, multi-jurisdictional operations. Learners discuss planning, operational, logistical and fiscal considerations related to the management of complex incidents and events. They review the aspects of information gathering and dissemination including best practices for promoting enhanced planning and better control of information flow to safely and effectively make strategic response decisions.

EMER 1012 - Emergency Exercise Design
In this course, learners develop emergency exercise programs for their agencies or jurisdiction. Learners will design and conduct notification exercises, drills, tabletop and full-scale functional exercises. Such exercises test emergency plans to the fullest and identify potential plan gaps, while providing suggested corrective actions. Additionally, coverage of exercise evaluation provides knowledge and skills to manage exercise evaluation activities before, during and after an emergency management exercise.

EMER 1013 - Business Continuity Planning II
Building on the theoretical concepts addressed in Business Continuity Planning I, this course sees the learner create a mock business continuity plan for an Atlantic Canadian company, a process that includes research, risk assessment, plan development, exercise planning and implementation, and a lessons learned exercise.

EMER 1014 - Emergency Response and Recovery
In this course learners delve into the components of recovery and analyze how emergency management professionals contribute to the process of helping citizens return to normal, following an emergency. Learners examine historical events that have changed the nature of emergencies and discuss the impact on agencies responsible for recovery.

EMER 1016 - Hazard ID Risk Assessment
Through case studies and critical analysis, learners explore the methods, tools and approaches necessary to identify and respond effectively and strategically to the multitude of risk within an emergency management framework

EMER 1017 - Capstone Project
Learners complete a research project on a select topic in emergency management, with specific focus on recovery. This provides opportunity to conduct an independent research project which is original, sustainable and creative. The project demonstrates the learner’s knowledge of theory and the ability to apply it in the field.

EMER 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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