As part of its mission, the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) monitors public sector activities communicating the attributes of IHMM credential programs to public sector markets, including federal, state, and local agencies. IHMM works closely with policymakers to inform public sector decision makers of the positive attributes and performance of personnel who hold IHMM credentials. IHMM has a new newsletter that focuses on public sector activities which is now posted at the IHMM website. One of the public sector activities IHMM is monitoring is The Troop Talent Act.
The Troop Talent Act (S.700/H.R. 1796) is a proposed federal legislation that aims to ease the transition of service members from active duty to the civilian workforce. This bill would align the specialty skills acquired during military service and training with civilian credentials or licenses required for employment following service. The Troop Talent Act will match veterans' skills with growth industries.
IHMM is following the progress of this Bill, S. 700/H.R. 1796, and plans to monitor the work of the House and Senate to advance the employment prospects of veterans. In order to achieve this goal, however, credentialing organizations such as IHMM will need to expand their understanding of military work experience. In the absence of such recognition, veterans may not meet credential eligibility requirements to be credentialed and, thus, may not be able to find a job in their chosen field.
Currently, the Army calls their enlisted jobs MOSs, or "Military Occupation Specialties." The Army has around 190 MOSs available for enlisted soldiers. Most civilian licenses and credentials have eligibility requirements that ask for experience relevant to the license or credential. These programs most likely do not have the understanding of what military experience is acceptable to meet the program’s eligibility requirements. For example, IHMM offers the Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) credential and its work eligibility requirements state “….. at least 5 years of relevant experience with responsibilities directly related to the handling of hazardous materials and/or waste in the workplace.” The question is which MOSs pertain to hazardous material storage, movement, packaging, transport, etc. IHMM will support the Troop Talent Act to require the development of a system to review civilian credential eligibility requirements so active duty and veteran members of the armed forces know their military experience can be applied to meet civilian credential requirements.
IHMM credentials are well positioned to support the Troop Talent Act. Veterans need to know that the attributes of accredited credentials demonstrates their knowledge and professionalism to potential employers. IHMM credentials accredited through third-party oversight from the American National Standards Institute and the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards drive best practices of personnel. Professionals holding IHMM credentials, or Certificants, demonstrate continued competencies through initial award of a CHMM or CHMP credential, the recertification process, and continuing education requirements. Recertification of credentials drives the market to provide quality professional development activities that meet the Certificant’s requirement to meet each credential’s professional development goals. Accredited credentials also require pro-active surveillance of professionals according to adherence to the codes of ethics. These are just a few of the attributes associated with accredited IHMM credentials. The Troop Talent Act of 2013 recognizes that accredited credentials ensure that veterans are able to leverage their experiences serving the country to become skilled professionals in their particular field of practice.