What does it look like?
This is an exercise in which a group of people, usually representing a control centre team and/or a decision-making team, react to a simulated incident happening elsewhere. The details of the event are presented to them in forms and by media which replicate the way information would flow in a real event.
The exercising audience operates in as close to real conditions as possible. All activity in the scenario is notional. Inputs to the exercising agency will be from exercise controllers acting as the different agencies that the audience will communicate with during an emergency or incident.
Ideally, such exercises should be held in situ, the place from where a real response would be managed. It should also use the same range of information and communication systems as that which is available to responders in a real event.
These exercises tend to be complex and require considerable planning and development time. They can assess the information management skills and processes of control room staff in tandem with the decision-making team which uses their product to create shared situational awareness, define strategy and make and evaluate decisions.
These exercises are normally delivered by a team of experts under an exercise director. At a significant level of complexity, they usually require a specialised exercise management system, of the sort operated by the EPC.
How does it work?
This is designed to give the customer a fully-developed assessment of their incident and crisis management capability. This will be consistent with the time available and the price. It will answer these questions:
- Have your teams demonstrated that (according to their role) they:
- Understand your incident and crisis management arrangements, and know how to activate, operate and deactivate them
- Can process and manage information actively, in order to support the development of shared situational awareness
- Know, and are able to apply, the common core principles of incident and crisis management – as expressed in the good practice standards - BS 11200, ISO 22301 and PD 25666
- Can work together to achieve successful outcomes in a simulated incident and crisis scenario
- And does the evidence gathered in this intervention suggest that your people, plans and arrangements are effective?
We will also provide a short, tabulated post-exercise report that will give a professionally-informed answer to these four questions, on the basis of what was observed in the activity. It will also identify areas for development, on the same basis.
What we do: before the event
This will include:
- Probably 2 face-to-face meetings between the exercise director/lead author and the customer’s point of contact. These will establish and maintain the project management disciplines, deliverables, deadlines, reviews and sign-offs in the design process
- Preparation by the exercise team, involving research into the organisation and its business, examination of plans and arrangements and the design/authorship of the exercise
- Liaison with the customer to ensure that the exercise meets their needs
- Distribution of a pre-reading pack on the functional skills of the incident and crisis manager
- A site visit to confirm the venue as fit for purpose and to test equipment and capacity
What we do: during the event
We provide a 7-hour intervention, comprising:
- 1 hour on a preparatory briefing to players to recap their roles, functions and incident and crisis management processes
- 5 hours of intensive and closely supervised table-top exercise activity, possibly with some 'time-outs' to consolidate and reinforce good practice
- 1 hour devoted to a 'hot' debrief and preliminary lesson capture
What we do: after the event
We will provide a highly detailed post-exercise report, covering key learning points and observations, with recommendations, all related explicitly to the exercise objectives.
What do you get?
- A full-scale, in-depth analysis of your incident and crisis management capability
- A genuine test under managed stress of your people, teams and their performances
- Authoritative 3rd party assessment and assurance
- Clear, expert assessment of your strengths and areas for improvement
- Detailed reporting against the exercise objectives, captured 'live' during exercise activity
If your organisation would benefit from an EPC exercise, whatever the scale of requirement, please get in touch with us today.