NIMS: Credentialing Guidelines


Section 5 establishes the recommended model credentialing standard for NGOs which collectivelyrefers to voluntary, charitable, faith-based, and not-for-profit organizations. NGOs arenot required to comply with these credentialing standards, however, their implementation and compliance with these recommendations ensures consistency with all credentialing activities by other response organizations and responder personnel.


Compliance with the guideline is voluntary for non-Federal entities. NGOs are not required to credential their personnel in accordance with these guidelines or comply with FIPS201, the open technical standard used by Federal officials for uniform credentialing and access control or other Federal identification requirements for emergency response purposes. However, DHS strongly encourages them to use FIPS201 and the PIV-I guidance in developing their credentialing system.

A strongnational preparedness and responsesystem should be based on interoperability, commonality, and consistency. DHS therefore strongly recommends and requests that our partner governments, private sector organizations, and non-governmental organizations build and implement a credentialing system consistent with these guidelines. Should they choose not to build asystem completelycompliant with the guideline, DHS strongly recommends that the credentialing system developed incorporates the elements described herein to the maximum degreepossible.


NGOs should conduct identity vetting of their personnel in accordance with PIV-I. This is essential even if they do not choose to implement FIPS201 and utilize the smartcard technology to validate the identity of their employees and volunteers.


NGOs should identify, type, and qualify their personnel and volunteers in accordance with the published NIMS Job Titles.  For personnel and volunteers that are not covered by the NIMS Job Titles, they should be qualified in accordance with the NGO standard for personnel and volunteers. The NGO should credential these personnel and volunteers based on identity and affiliation with the NGO being served.


NGOs should certify their personnel and volunteer employees based on the completion of identity vetting and meeting the qualifications of the position being filled or by simple affiliation with the NGO.


NGOs should card their personnel only after they have certified their identity,as well as qualification/affiliation.  NGOs are encouraged to utilize FIPS201 for badging their personnel.  If they choose not to implement FIPS201 electronic technology, the cards issued should ideally conform to the visual elements of PIV-I and FIPS201 as illustrated.