Fully online fire truck and rescue workers responding to an emergency

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From climate change to pandemics, natural and human-made disasters affect us all. Emergency response planning is now part of our “new normal” – every organization needs to prepare for and respond to a range of scenarios that can affect their operations in difficult times. Our compact, fully online four-course certificate will give you a practical and timely foundation in key emergency management, threat planning, and response planning concepts that can minimize the impact of emergencies before and after they happen. 

You’ll learn current best practices and standards for this rapidly-expanding field and develop your critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Our certificate courses are also degree-level credit, allowing you to fulfil educational requirements for mid- and senior managerial positions and advancement to higher-level roles.

Be part of the new generation of professionals equipped with the flexible, in-demand skills needed for the Canadian and global emergency management sectors, and discover how you can be part of both the problem and the solution. 

Check out what these graduates are doing after completing their certificate.

Effective Fall 2021, the Certificate in Emergency Management and Response Planning has been revised. Students who were formally registered in the certificate prior to July 2, 2021, must complete the curriculum requirements that were in effect at the time of their registration. For curriculum details, refer to the archived calendar for your year of registration. Please contact our Client Services team at ce@ryerson.ca if you have any questions.

What Will You Learn?

Gain new skills or add to your existing skill set. Learn how to:

  • Lead, interact, and work within the context of emergency management settings and within the law during disasters and emergencies.
  • Operationalize emergency management organizational mechanisms to accomplish goals.
  • Use international methodologies for measuring, describing, and assessing emergency management activities, concepts, policies, missions, operations, and goals.
  • Assess threats and realities and plan for first and second responders, emergency managers, and their organizations.
  • Engage in practical emergency management scenarios with follow-up reporting, including authoring brief disaster recovery and contingency plans.

Who Should Take This Certificate?

If you have professional experience in the following areas of disaster and emergency management, or you want to gain the knowledge and skills to work in or advance your career in these areas, this certificate is designed for you.

  • Emergency services
  • First or second response
  • Emergency response
  • Healthcare
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire protection
  • Emergency and disaster management for corporations and NGOs

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are expert practitioners and highly skilled academics in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. 

For more information, visit our Instructor Profile Directory to read instructor bios.

Industry and Careers

Analysts with highly developed skills in disaster and emergency management are required in the following areas:

  • Businesses and other for-profit enterprises
  • NGOs
  • Emergency services
  • Humanitarian agencies
  • Disaster mitigation and recovery operations
  • Community development organizations
  • Public sector

These specialists provide on-the-ground, frontline, or managerial leadership for all phases of  disasters and emergencies.

Graduates of this program include managers and directors of disaster and emergency management who plan and execute risk and continuity management for corporations, mid-sized companies, universities, and all levels of government.

Certificate Requirements

  • 4 required courses
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With 6 Grade 12 U or M credits


  • Mature student status

Awards and Financial Aid


Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
This certificate program is OSAP eligible. To learn more, visit the Student Financial Assistance website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this certificate program have professional recognition?

Yes. Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) – both supported by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services – have designated The Chang School as an approved educational provider.

How much does the program cost?

Registration in the certificate program is free. The cost of each course is calculated individually, and this program has four required courses. Visit the course pages for details on fees.

Do course fees change if you are an international student?

Yes. International students pay approximately three (3) times the regular student tuition fee for the courses. All courses in this certificate are degree credit..

How long does it take to complete the certificate?

Students have three years to complete the certificate from the term of registration. Many of our students graduate within four to eight months by completing all course requirements in one or two terms. Complete courses at a pace that suits you.

Are any courses available for substitution or transfer credit?

No. All courses in this certificate must be taken at The Chang School and are not eligible for course substitution or transfer credit application.

Which textbooks will I have to purchase for this certificate?

Textbook requirements vary by year. You will receive your textbook information through the course outline during the first week of class. Please do not buy any textbooks before class begins.

Contact Us

We’re here to help! Have questions? Contact Alex Ferworn, Academic Coordinator, Professor.

Email: aferworn@ryerson.ca


Additional Details