Emergency Preparedness


This FAQ list is provided to help Program Managers, Course Managers, and Instructors receive answers to the commonly asked questions for administering this Hybrid CERT course delivery. If this does not answer your questions please reach out to OnlineCERT@utah.edu.


Q. How do I sign up for the Hybrid CERT course? 

A: www.OnlineCERT.org


Q: What is the exact amount of time for the hands-on training portion? 

A: The online portion of the class takes 12 hours, and the hands-on training takes 16 hours. When you are using the new Hybrid training module, plan for more time than expected so that you can make adjustments and so students can plan accordingly. In-person, class sizes do not influence the time frame of taking the course if you use the one instructor to six student’s ratio. FEMA Training manuals state that all mandatory modules must be taught to complete CERT Basic.


Q: Can I use my mobile device to access the course? 

A: Yes. Mobile OS:iOS 12 (or newer) and Android 6.0 (or newer)


Q: Is there a difference between the Participants Manual and the Instructor's Guide? 

A: Yes. There is certain information that is only provided in the instructor’s guide, but in most cases will be provided in both.


Q: Could you download the entire toolkit folder all at once? 

A: Yes.


Q: How do I prove completion to my CERT coordinator? 

A: You will be automatically emailed a certificate of completion for each unit through Merit (www.merits.com) or you may print out your certificate and bring it with you to class.

Q: How do I search if participants have completed the online course? 

A: Program Managers can go to readynow.merits.com/ and use the “Look Up” tool to confirm each individual unit as well as full completion.


Q: Do the instructors, and group coaches need to be trained and certified to teach CERT Basic? 

A: State and Federal guidelines for instructor’s state that they should take CERT Train the Trainer course. FEMA states that the course manager or lead instructor should take the CERT Train the Trainer course. It will be up to the local program to execute this because this training has limited availability. If you need further resources on these topics, please email info@nationalcert.org  for follow-up.


Q: Can you share the email address for students to ask questions if they’re having an issue with Online CERT? 

A: Technical Support/General Questions: OnlineCERT@utah.edu 


Q: Can we use the online course for training refreshers for our teams? 

A: Yes.


Q: Does the Sixteen-hour hands-on program split into two 8 hours days imply no breaks or lunches? 

A: Breaks and lunches are built-in for the two 8 hours hands-on program.


Q: How are the carries & lifts on the instructional list and the disaster drill possible without coming in contact 6’ from one another (COVID)? 

A: NCA has developed a “Conducting CERT Training During Times of a Pandemic” as a guide, however local guidance is the best measure of what to do in these difficult times.


Q: Do students have a checklist before class? 

A: No. Those communications are up to the local program to determine what students need to prepare for the classroom.


Q: So no PowerPoint--great! Have the students follow in their participant’s manual? 

A: There will be little to no PowerPoint for in-person training. The students use their Participant manuals as a reference to each skill being addressed. The instructors should direct the students to open their manual to the pages corresponding with the skill to help the student as the skill is described, demonstrated, and coached.


Q: May we do comprehension and option items in our online delivery? For instance, a webinar to talk about local risks or crime scenes. 

A: Yes. You can add items to the program but not remove it from the program.


Q: Our students are required to complete the entire online course, followed by the final four hours of “hands-on,” lunch, and graduation during the pandemic. Additional days of hands-on was planned at some point after the epidemic. The last day as described above, is subject to change based on the current health crisis. This timeline was established months ago. 

A: You need to check in with your State CERT coordinator to see if the changes being made for the program will be appropriate to move forward. If you have not finished the complete hands-on portion of the program’s 8 hours, please make sure to state this on the certificate.


Q: I suggest a “Cheat Sheet” for hands-on versus digging through the manual. 

A: Hybrid CERT “Best Practices” “Cheat Sheet” is available here.


Q: Unfortunately, many of the google drive’s documents are pdfs, so they are not easy to modify and customize. 

A: Tool kit items that are meant to be edited (just used as a template or copied). The checklist is not meant to be edited, as a program, if you do not want to the optional section, you can leave it blank.


Q: Is there no final exam on the participant’s hands on checklist? 

A: Your program can determine to take additional exams.


Q: When will the California version and Triage be available? 

A: Developers have submitted the California LMS, and it will be live any day now. Triage will take several more weeks to upload.


Q: Are there an updated 2020 participants and instructors guide within the Google Drive? 

A: No, but the manual is available as a resource throughout the course. You can also find and request additional copies of the updated manuals on the FEMA website Community Emergency Response Team.


Q:  How do we get Merit credit for this 3 part webinar?

 A: You will be able to find the post-test link for the Hybrid Online Webinar Series onlinecert.org or directly at here.

 Q. Will we automatically receive a certificate once we are done with the post-test for the Hybrid Online Webinar Series?

A: Once you take the post-test, you will automatically receive a certificate from Merit.


Q: Where could we find the link for the online course?

 A: Onlinecert.org or https://medicine.utah.edu/dfpm/occupational-environmental-health/research/outreach/cert. Then you can go to the section that says Free Online CERT 2020 Course (English/Spanish)


Q: If you have participated in the Hybrid CERT Webinar series as a couple or group, is it necessary for everyone to take the post-test? 

A: It is encouraged that each individual that watches this webinar takes the post-test on their own. It is also essential that each student makes their own online learning user profile and take it independently unless local programs make exceptions.


Q: Can you highlight the skills checklist to identify which material is not covered? 

A: The checklist is comprehensive and should not have any missing information; the current checklist matches the manual's current 2020 version. If you can find any missing information, please feel free to contact us to make the necessary corrections.


Q: Do program managers collect the tracking sheets from the students, or do they keep them? 

A: The only time the sheet is collected is at the end of the program when everything has been completed to sign off on, and then it is returned to the student so they could keep as a reference. Please do not keep the checklist during the class time because this is the guide for the students. If the student needs to leave the course, and they have not completed the course requirement, this would be a case where the student would keep the checklist even if it is incomplete.


Q: Do training groups interact with each other? 

A: How you set up the skills training is up to the local program.


Q: How do my participants set up a Merit account? 

A: Your students do not need to set up an independent Merit account. Once the student signs up with their email on the LMS, they will automatically receive an email to sign up for an account. This process will allow participants to collect their certificates for course completion.


Q: Do instructors need to be medical professionals, or must they take the Train-the-Trainer course? 

A: They do not need to take the Train the Trainer course, and the instructors do not need to be professionals in the field. It is up to the local program to decide who is qualified to train.


Q: Who pays for the Hybrid CERT training? 

A: Hybrid training is free to take. Utah University has agreed to host the LMS, and funding to develop the Hybrid CERT has come from grants and sponsors.


Q: What if we have technical issues connecting to google drive? 

A: Please email us so that we could help you with the technical issues to OnlineCERT@utah.edu


Q: Currently not receiving emails from the email list? 

A: You can join the email list at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/LY5H6FM


Q: Is the Merit Certificate only for the online portion of the training?

 A: Yes.


Q: Who do we contact if we want to implement Hybrid CERT at our local program? 

A: Contact your State or Territory CERT program manager and ask them to send an email to info@nationalcert.org explaining that your state is interested in participating in the program.


Q: Could we use Zoom to check-in for each module? 

A: It is up to your local office.


Q: Could we use the Hybrid CERT as a refresher? 

A: Yes.


Q: When will FEMA make Train the Trainer a Hybrid Course? 

A: FEMA is currently looking into creating a hybrid version, but this is not available. If you would like to have supplemental webinars for TTT, please contact your state coordinator so you could have access to this material.

 Q: What does it mean that Texas approved the use of the hybrid training effective from now until February 2021? When will they let us know of approval changes?

A: Texas has temporarily approved the Hybrid CERT Training because of the pandemic. It is currently pending review in the Spring of 2021.

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