Training Standards Committee

Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Standards Certification Initiative Committee 

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Hello All,

Over the past four plus years the joint training and certification committee has completed a large number of tasks related to the ultimate goal of statewide certification of 911 Telecommunicators. In the past two years this committee was asked to standby while the associations focused on 911 surcharge increase and consolidation legislation, with the hope to seek future cooperation of the 911 community and legislators for statewide certification. In recent months the committee and other association members researched the costs of an online training and certification solution which resulted in a much higher cost than previously anticipated. This information coupled with lower than anticipated 911 surcharge distribution amounts has the two associations looking at an alternate solution to use the contents of the committee’s work to provide membership with a training solution. The immediate goal for this committee would be to provide 911 centers a training solution they could adopt has a first step in accomplishing the statewide certification.

Due to many transitions of original committee chairs and members the current and incoming INENA Presidents and Illinois APCO President would like to refresh the committee appointments, in doing so we ask any current committee chairs and members that wish to participate on the new committee to please contact your INENA Presidents or Illinois APCO President no later than October 27, 2017. We are also encouraging interested members not currently serving on this committee to reach out to their association Presidents regarding possible appointment to the committee.

Brent and Sandie

Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Standards Certification Initiative Committee

The Public Safety Telecommunicator Training Standards Certification Initiative Committee has been working since the beginning of 2012 to develop a program within Illinois that enacts legislation to certify emergency communications telecommunicators.

To accomplish this task, the committee has worked to identify areas that this initiative needs to address. The purpose of this document is to provide an overview on the current direction the committee has set.


The committee has discussed the need to determine a direction of certification verses licensure. After much research and discussion, the committee has decided that certification should be the goal for this initiative. Once this direction was established, the next step was to identify a proper agency to provide certifications. ILETSB (Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board) was the logical choice, as they currently have an infrastructure in place for certifying police officers and online resources for training (i.e TERT).

  • The goal of the committee is to establish a certification curriculum that can be completed in a variety of methods, including online or in person instruction.
  • The committee recommends that any certification is intended to cover emergency communications telecommunicators, who work in primary or secondary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP).
  • The committee recommends that there be a single certification for all emergency communications telecommunicators regardless of their own agency function (call-taker, police only, fire only or all disciplines)
  • The committee recommends establishing grandfathering guidelines for certification of current emergency communications telecommunicators.
  • The committee recommends that any certification has a recertification process.


The goal of the committee is to develop a certification program that recognizes the financial challenges that all agencies experience and provides a cost effective solution to achieve the desired level of certification.

Funding of this initiative has two components:

  • The first component is the cost to develop a certification program within Illinois.
  • The second component is the cost to the individual agencies to provide the certification to their emergency communications telecommunicators.
  • The committee will be seeking funds from Illinois APCO and INENA to help cover the development costs of the certification program. Additional outside funding from other associations and private foundations will also be sought.


Legislation will be the key to the overall success of this initiative. The committee has the ability to create curriculum and certification programs; but without enacting legislation that will require telecommunicators who work in a primary or secondary PSAP to complete the certification process, this effort will not reach its goal.

A critical part of the certification initiative is to identify partners in the Illinois General Assembly so that legislation can be drafted and supported in a cooperative environment. The committee has identified several interested parties that are willing to sponsor our legislation. The committee will continue to work with those parties when drafting the legislations.

Quality Assurance

As emergency communications professionals, the committee feels very strongly that any certification program must address quality assurance. This, itself, may be one of the single largest challenges the committee and certification initiative will face; but we feel strongly that any legislation must at least address quality assurance in some form. 

We are not recommending that there be mandate percentages that the PSAPs must complete, but we feel that any language should address the agency’s responsibility to assure standards are being met. An explanation of quality assurance will also be addressed in the curriculum.


This committee realizes that outreach to stakeholders in Illinois is crucial. The committee is working on identifying a list of stakeholders in the 911, law enforcement, fire service and municipal/county government. The committee is looking to share this update and more information with our stakeholders to gain guidance, buy in and support.


Curriculum has not yet been defined by the committee because components of it already exist in various formats and through a variety of organizations (APCO, NENA, NFPA, etc). This is one of the last issues we will address. The important aspects of curriculum development will center on quality as much as content. The committee has initially identified the goal of creating a 120 hour initial course for certification. Hours will be less for grandfathering of current telecommunicators and future re-certifications.

In summary, this committee is diligently working on gathering more information and providing more guidance on the overall direction. This update is crucial to keep the 911 community and our primary stakeholders informed on our work and progress to date.