The Institute and the Academy—Different Roles But One Goal!
There has been much confusion among CHMMs about the difference between the certifying body known as the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) and the national professional organization now referred to as the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals (AHMP) — which was formally known as the ACHMM. These organizations have different roles and responsibilities but together they make the CHMM Program what it is, the premier certification in the environmental services industry!
The IHMM created the CHMM credential in 1984. The Institute is a “credentialing” organization—its function is to test, certify, and re-certify CHMMs. Since the Institute’s function is to provide a credential, it does not have members; therefore, it cannot provide membership benefits and services.
The success of the CHMM credential created a need for individual CHMMs to communicate with one another, to share their knowledge and expertise with their peers, and to exchange ideas and information. CHMMs also wanted to tell others about the credential in order to make the certification recognized and worthwhile. Out of this need, the Institute began a subsidiary organization and the national Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers was born.
The Academy (now the AHMP) was established in 1985 as a component of the Institute so that CHMMs could engage in professional development activities. Since 1985, there have been over 66 Chapters chartered by the AHMP.
The AHMP is the membership organization for CHMMs. It is the only national organization devoted completely to the recognition and professional development of CHMMs. The AHMP’s purpose is to provide membership services to the more than 6,000 CHMMs.
When brought together to interact and network, CHMMs create a vast and valuable resource of information, experience, and ideas. The AHMP disseminates this information through a number of membership benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, an annual conference information as well as links to Local Chapter and Committee web sites. Numerous National and Local Committees represent the credential to government, academia, and industry to gain recognition and value for the CHMM program.
The AHMP Annual National Conference, with technical sessions and exhibits covering every aspect of the hazardous materials profession, provides CHMMs the opportunity to hone their skills, pick up new and valuable knowledge, fulfill their annual recertification requirement of 20 hours of continuing education, and interact nationally with their peers.
The AHMP also assists CHMMs in finding new or better employment by posting resumes and available positions, as well as linking to other environmental job sites. Other member benefits include affiliations with other professional organizations that will provide CHMMs with discounts, and educational credits.
In 1995, the Institute and the Academy incorporated separately in order to maintain the highest level of integrity for the certification. Now through an affiliation agreement they continue to each carry out their same roles and responsibilities that together guarantee the success of each CHMM, and the CHMM Program. Working together, the AHMP and IHMM will continue to keep the CHMM credential at the forefront of the environmental, health, and safety industries.