The Government aims to ensure all organisations are fully prepared for all types of emergencies. Training staff who are involved in emergency planning and response is fundamental to an organisation's ability to handle any type of emergency. The sections on emergency planning, business continuity and warning and informing the public provide detail on some of the aspects of planning for which staff should received training. The Emergency Response and Recovery sections outline the emergency response roles for which training will be needed. This section outlines the aims of training in this context, describes different types of training, and points out the emphasis placed on training within the Civil Contingencies Act.
Training is about raising the awareness of key staff about what the emergencies are that they may face and giving them confidence in the procedures an organisation uses and their ability to carry them out successfully. It is also about developing competencies and skill-sets so that staff can fulfil key roles.
Organisations should consider two broad types of training:
- Emergency preparedness - training key staff to carry out risk assessment, business continuity management (BCM) and emergency planning; and
- Emergency response - training staff to carry out response functions when an emergency occurs.
It is important that all those within an organisation who may be involved in planning for and responding to an emergency should be appropriately prepared. This requires a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and how they fit into the wider picture.
Without training, an organisation and its staff will quickly become overwhelmed by an emergency, unable to handle its impacts and recover from them.
Who should train?
Any staff who could be involved in emergency planning or response should receive appropriate training. But training should also extend beyond those employed by the organisation and include contractors and the staff of voluntary organisations who might be used in support of emergency planning or response.
Training for emergency preparedness
Any organisation will need appropriately trained people who are capable of conducting risk assessment, business continuity management and emergency planning. These three processes underpin an organisation's preparedness for emergencies, and their ability to respond and recover effectively.
The sections on risk, business continuity and emergency planning provide more detail on these processes.
More generally, these key people (such as Emergency Planning Officers in Local Authorities) will need to provide leadership and a focus for emergency preparedness to ensure the ongoing processes of risk assessment, BCM and planning are taken seriously at all levels of an organisation. As the central authors of an organisation's emergency plans, they will also be looked to for direction if an emergency occurs and plans must be carried out.
Training for emergency response
Training should be provided for all staff that will be involved in implementing an emergency plan or business continuity plan, and anyone else who may have a role in emergency response and recovery. All these people will need to feel confident and competent in any role they may take.
A rolling training programme will be needed to account for staff turn-over, and also to ensure all staff are regularly refreshed and practiced in emergency response. Training should include:
- The contents of the plan - How is the emergency or business continuity plan invoked? What are the key decision-making processes? Who else needs to be involved?
- The individual's role in implementing the plan - What is expected of them? How do they fit into the wider picture?
- Key skills and knowledge required in crisis response.
Exercises are both a type of training, and a distinct type of emergency preparedness. Exercises have three main purposes: to validate plans; to develop staff competencies and give them practice in carrying out their roles in emergency plans (training); and to test well-established procedures. It is important that people taking part in exercises should be trained beforehand. Participants should have an awareness of their roles and be reasonably comfortable with them, before they are subject to the stresses of an exercise.
The exercises section provides more detail.
The Emergency Planning College
The Emergency Planning College (EPC) is the leading provider of training for emergency preparedness, attracting delegates with responsibility for preventing, planning for, responding to or recovering from a major incident.
It is the only permanent national forum for representatives of local and Central Government, the emergency services, the private sector and volunteer groups to network and share good practice.
The Emergency Planning College is situated at the heart of Government, within the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) of the Cabinet Office.
The college runs courses on risk assessment, business continuity management and emergency planning, and on emergency management (response) and a range of specialist courses which cover specific aspects of emergency management (eg. warning and informing, care of people and severe weather).
Training under the Civil Contingencies Act
The Civil Contingencies Act Regulations require Category 1 responders to include provision for the carrying out of exercises and for the training of staff in emergency plans (see the emergency planning and exercises sections). The same or similar requirements for exercising and training apply too to business continuity plans (see the business continuity section) and arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public (see the section on warning and informing the public).
This means that relevant planning documents must contain a statement about the nature of the training and exercising to be provided and its frequency
You should refer to:
- Emergency Preparedness, Chapter 4: "Local responder risk assessment duty" [PDF, 13 pages, 103KB] - for information on risk assessment.
- Annex 4A: "Summary of the six-step local risk assessment process" [PDF, 3 pages, 27KB]
- Annex 4B: "Illustration of a Local Risk Assessment Guidance (LRAG)" [PDF, 7 pages, 41KB]
- Annex 4C: "Example of an individual risk assessment" [PDF, 2 pages, 25KB]
- Annex 4D: "Likelihood and impact scoring scales" [PDF, 3 pages, 28KB]
- Annex 4E: "Community Risk Register" [PDF, 1 page, 22KB]
- Annex 4F: "Risk rating matrix" [PDF, 2 pages, 19KB]
- Emergency Preparedness, Chapter 5: "Emergency planning" [PDF, 27 pages, 130KB] (pp47-73) - pp68-73 in particular focus on plan training and exercising.
- Emergency Preparedness, Chapter 6: "Business continuity management" [PDF, 19 pages, 121KB] (pp74-92)
- Emergency Preparedness, Chapter 7: "Communicating with the public" [PDF, 16 pages, 84KB] (pp93-108) - for information on training and exercising warning and informing the public.
- Civil Contingencies Act: Emergency Response and Recovery [PDF, 104 pages, 332KB] - outlines the various aspects of emergency response that will need to be trained and exercised for.
- Home Office guidance: The Exercise Planners Guide (1998)
- The Emergency Planning College [External website] - provides courses on all aspects of civil protection.
- The Fire Service College [External website] - provides both practical and theoretical fire fighting, fire safety and accident emergency training to firefighters and others
- Centrex - The Central Police Training and Development Authority [External website] - develops and delivers training and the provision of expert advice to Police officers and others
- National School of Government [External website] - offers training nationally and internationally to help public sector organisations build capacity in good governance and offer more effective, better value services
- The Defence Academy [External website] - delivers education and training, research and advice in order to sustain and enhance operational capability and advance the defence and security interests of the United Kingdom
- Cranfield University Defence College of Management & Technology [External website] - the academic provider and partner to the UK Defence Academy - provides education, training and advice in technology, management and leadership together with relevant aspects of Security and Resilience in order to enhance the delivery of defence capability
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