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Managing Officer Program

The National Fire Academy’s (NFA’s) Managing Officer Program is a multiyear curriculum that introduces emerging emergency services leaders to personal and professional skills in change management, risk reduction and adaptive leadership. Acceptance into the program is the first step in your professional development as a career or volunteer fire/emergency medical services (EMS) manager, and includes all 4 elements of professional development: education, training, experience and continuing education.

We're not accepting applications for the Managing Officer Program at this time.

The NFA will begin stakeholder focus groups and surveys in 2023 to inform an update to the Managing Officer Program curriculum. Check this page for updates on completion of the stakeholder activity and when you can apply.

The stakeholder activity doesn't impact students already accepted into the program. Current students should follow the program completion information, below.

Contact: Tina Crevier, Managing Officer Program Administrator

Information for current Managing Officer students


Prerequisites 1First-year on-campus courses2Second-year on-campus courses2Additional course requirements3
Introduction to Emergency Response to Terrorism (Q0890)Applications of Community Risk Reduction (R0385)Training and Professional Development Challenges for Fire and Emergency Services Leaders (R0389)Leadership in Supervision (R/N0645) (6-Day) OR a total of 6 days of coursework from:
  • Leadership in Supervision: Creating Environments for Professional Growth (F/W0646) (dated May 2016 or later) (2-day)
  • Leadership in Supervision: Perspectives in Thinking (F/W0647) (dated May 2016 or later) (2-day)
  • Leadership in Supervision: Frameworks to Success (F/W0648) (dated May 2016 or later) (2-day)
  • Leadership I for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Company Success (F/W/D/H/O0803) (2-day)
  • Leadership II for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Personal Success (F/W/D/H/O0804) (2-day)
  • Leadership III for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Supervisory Success (F/W/D/H/O0805) (2-day)
  • Shaping the Future (F/W/O0602) (2-day)
ICS-100, Introduction to ICS for Operational First Responders (Q0462)Applications of Leadership in the Culture of Safety (R0388)Analytical Tools for Decision-Making (R0387) 
ICS-200, Basic NIMS ICS for Operational First Responders (Q0463)   
IS-700.a, National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction  
IS-800.c, National Response Framework, An Introduction   
  1. You must complete these courses prior to admission to the Managing Officer Program. Substitutes are not allowed.
  2. These courses, offered twice a year, must be completed back-to-back; they can’t be split. You are eligible for stipend reimbursement on 1 trip per year to the NFA.
  3. Prior to Oct. 1, 2020, these courses can be taken before, during or after the first and second years of the NFA on-campus program. If you complete the on-campus program but not these 4 courses, you won’t receive your Managing Officer Program certificate until you complete them.

Capstone Project

The Managing Officer Program Capstone Project allows you to apply concepts learned in the program toward the solution of a problem in your home district.

You and the chief of your department (or equivalent in nonfire organizations) must meet to identify a problem and its scope and limitations. The scope of the project should be appropriate to your responsibilities and duties in the organization, and it should be appropriate to the Managing Officer Program. Possible subjects include:

Before initiating the project, you must submit the Managing Officer Program Capstone Project Proposal form to the Managing Officer Program Administrator. This form indicates the title of the project, projected outcomes, and how it will be evaluated or measured. This form must be approved by the Program Administrator for your project to go forward.

When the project is completed, your chief must sign the Certification Statement form and complete the Capstone Evaluation form. Keep this documentation until you have completed all of the components of the Managing Officer Program. After completion, put this documentation and a copy of your final Capstone project with your Managing Officer course completion and graduation paperwork.

How to submit your Capstone Project

Email the following items in 1 PDF file to the Managing Officer Program Administrator:

The Capstone Paper is approved and signed by your department's representative but the NFA reserves the right to conduct an independent evaluation of your Capstone Project.

NFA will mail the Managing Officer Program certificate to your address for you to provide to your department.

Student resources