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Training and Exercise Planning Workshop

A Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) is conducted to lay the foundation for the strategy and structure of the training and exercise program. A TEPW can be completed by a single organization, multiple partner organizations in a single jurisdiction, and/or across jurisdictions. It is recommended that, at a minimum, organizations and jurisdictions share their Training and Exercise Plans with one another. This allows for jurisdictions to understand the resources available to them in a wide-scale emergency or disaster, plan effectively, and to lessen the duplication of effort.

The purpose of the TEPW is to engage in the Whole Community, with a focus on engaging elected and appointed officials to identify exercise program priorities and develop a schedule of trainings and exercises to address the identified program priorities. Preparedness is a shared responsibility and includes all members of the community. Therefore, during a TEPW representatives from the whole-community should be present. This means individuals and families, businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations, schools, media, and all levels of government.

The TEPW process should result in the development of a Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (MYTEP). The MYTEP should be designed using a building block so that each training and exercise builds in complexity throughout the course of the MYTEP. Typically the MYTEP is developed for a three to five year period and culminates with a full scale exercise. The full scale exercise should incorporate all building blocks from previous training and exercises. 

Preparing for the TEPW

  • The sponsoring agency(s) should coordinate a date, time, and location for the TEPW.
  • Attendees from the Whole Community should be invited well in advance (at least 8 weeks).
  • It is recommended to schedule a meeting prior to the TEPW to discuss key factors for each organization.
  • Develop and distribute any read-ahead material. This should be done at least 30 days prior to the TEPW. 
  • This material should include the agenda, previous training and exercise plans, summary of After-Action Reports and/or Improvement Plans from the previous year, and an overview of the current THIRA and HVA.

During the TEPW

Identify Factors for Consideration

  • Threats and Hazards
  • This should include the jurisdiction(s) Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and the jurisdiction(s) Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA).
  • After-Action Reports from Exercises and Real-world Events
  • This should include strengths, open corrective actions, and identified areas for improvement.
  • External Requirements
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency strategies and/or requirements
  • State preparedness grants and/or requirements
  • Homeland Security strategies
  • Accreditation standards
  • Legislative requirements 

Link to Core Capabilities

  • Once all factors for consideration have been listed, they should be linked to one or more core capabilities. By linking each consideration to a core capability, areas of priority can be identified. 

Establish Exercise and Training Program Priorities

  • The identified priorities are strategic and high-level. They guide the overall program. 
  • Specific objectives should then be developed to address each factor that has been linked to a core capability, through training and exercise. A manageable number of program priorities and objectives should be identified based on the list of factors linked to core capabilities.
  • Identify potential funding sources for activities.
  • This could include grant funding or in-kind donations of time, space, and resources.
  • Develop a Multi-Year Schedule
  • While everyone is together putting together a basic schedule of training and exercise opportunities will help to avoid duplication of effort and maximize resources. Typically the schedule should span 3 to 5 years. 
  • The final schedule should include a progressive planning approach. This allows for improvement in core capabilities through a series of increasingly complex training and exercise over time. 

Using ReDI in Implementing the Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan

A volunteer management platform like the Readiness Disaster Intelligence Software (ReDI) allows you to be prepared for any disaster scenario. ReDI helps to streamline the volunteer management process by providing a platform to register trained disaster volunteers, deploy volunteers, and report on volunteer activity during a disaster. Part of being prepared for any disaster scenario is training and exercising with disaster response personnel, including volunteers and reassigned staff. By registering volunteers and reassigned staff into the ReDI platform you have the ability to track the trainings they attend and hours they participate in exercises. Volunteers and reassigned staff also have the ability to upload relevant credentials and certificates they have received directly into their individual disaster profile. 


(2018, November 28).

Training and Exercise Planning Workshop. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2019

Training and Exercise Planning Workshop User Guide, Training and Exercise Planning Workshop User Guide (2012).

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