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IPAWS Monthly Proficiency Demonstration

This article will walk you through how to complete the monthly proficiency testing requirement to maintain your IPAWS access with FEMA.

To comply with the Proficiency Demonstration requirement, simply send ONE (1) alert using your DEMO COG per month. A single alert must, minimally, be initiated using your DEMO COG once a month. It is not necessary for each individual with access to IPAWS to send a message each month, but certainly could as a great practice mechanism. There is no limit on how many messages an agency can send using your DEMO COG. There is no specific date that the test must be sent. The date can be anytime during the calendar month, each month.

To send an alert with your DEMO COG, follow these steps:

  1. Click Create Public Message on the Dashboard
  2. In the IPAWS-OPEN Endpoint, select DEMO COG
  3. Choose the channels you'd like to send the alert through. Remember, this is just a test message sent to the IPAWS Lab. This message is not seen by the public. It is only sent to the IPAWS Lab. You can choose EAS & WEA, EAS only, or WEA only. There is no requirement to select certain channels.
  4. In the Message Settings section, select the Event Type, Response Type, and Duration just as you would for a real-life event alert. There is no requirement to select certain types. You can choose any code available in the dropdown.
  5. Create your message for the channels you have chosen. Because this is a test, it is good practice to include the word TEST at the beginning and end of your message. There is no requirement for certain verbiage to be used for this test alert.

  6. Send your Test Alert. When you click SEND TEST ALERT, there will be a confirmation screen, just as there would be for a live alert. Type the word and confirm to send your message.

  7. Once you confirm, the Alert Summary History page will populate. Look for the IPAW-OPEN Status section. You should see all green checkmarks. If you do, your alert was successfully sent. If you see any caution signs, contact AlertSense Support and we will check the alert for you.

  8. OPTIONAL: Check the IPAWS message viewer. Navigate to: https://cap.alertsense.com/Home/Support and click on IPAWS Message Viewer. This will show you that the message was successfully disseminated to the channels you selected.  Simply type in your COG ID and it will show DEMO alerts sent in the last 24 hours.  You can find your COG ID in the system, or you can type the name of your organization in the selection box.  More information about the message viewer can be found here.


Your COG ID can be found here:

NOTE: Your COG ID will be your DEMO COG only.  LIVE messages will have more detail in the Alert History.  For more information from FEMA, view this article.
Follow this simple process to send your Proficiency Demonstration message to the IPAWS Lab once per month. An even easier method is to create a template with the test message that should be sent each month. The downside to this is that the user doesn't get to walk through the actual sending process for an event which perhaps a template isn't used. This practice is meant to reduce errant messages and increase confidence in using IPAWS software.

Whatever you decide to do as an agency, please make sure all individuals with access to IPAWS know what their responsibility is with regard to this testing requirement.