Lesson 1 An Exercise Framework

In late fall 2006, work began by the National Emergency Management Training Committee to develop a national framework for an exercise design curriculum which would be available across Canada, and across all levels of government.  The goal in developing this curriculum is to promote consistency in the training received by anyone involved in emergency management.  If this goal is achieved, all of you who work in an emergency management exercise program will follow the same principles and use the same vocabulary.

This project began as a response to messages from across the country about the need for training in exercise design. We wanted to complement existing efforts in provinces and territories, and to help in creating greater consistency in the approach to exercise design training across the federal, provincial, territorial emergency management community.  EMO Ontario volunteered to lead the development of the Exercise Framework.  The guide you are studying is part 1.

How could exercise training be useful to you? Here’s why:

  • You’ll be testing and validating your plans, policies, procedures, training, equipment, and inter-organizational agreements. 
    • You’ll train personnel in roles and responsibilities – as supported by your plans and procedures.
    • You’ll improve inter-organizational coordination and communications.
  • You’ll identify gaps in resources and training, and identify areas for improvement.
  • You’ll improve individual and organizational performance through practice.

An exercise tale……

How many patients are expected?” Hospitals need to be kept informed of on-site activity, not only for response planning, but to ensure appropriate recovery initiatives begin at the earliest opportunity.  Perhaps a list of resource assessment questions could be prepared to help both the hospital and emergency site responders.  As part of the disaster notification, make an initial call to the senior administrator on-call at the hospital(s) so that mobilization of hospital resources as required can begin.

Upon completion, a proposed exercise design framework is expected to have 2 course offerings, taking you from a beginners’ level through to a practical approach.  The proposed courses are:

Not everyone involved in exercises needs to take both course levels.  For the majority, Exercise Design 100 is all you’ll need. 

Exercise Design 100, which gives you an introduction to the principles of exercise design, an awareness of some of the challenges and benefits, and an introduction to the vocabulary used.  This course is is for anyone who will participate in an exercise, who will make the decision whether to have and fund an exercise, and as a prerequisite for the next course level.

Exercise Design 200, which gives you practical skills to work in an exercise program in your organization.  This course is for those who are part of an Exercise Program team. 



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