Incident management forms a key part of the Environment Agency’s strategy with particular reference to protecting homes, people and wildlife from flooding and environmental incidents. This suite of e-learning modules is used in conjunction with complementary training and guidance, to bring existing and new staff up to a basic level of competency in Incident Management. Specifically, we focus on the following key areas:
Due to the hierarchical (and interconnecting) nature of roles and responsibilities, procedures and protocols when dealing with incidents, a sophisticated scenario-based approach is adopted.
At the core of this approach is a challenge-based learning methodology that requires the learner to make decisions in response to the scenario. The outcomes of these responses are evaluated and used to explore the consequences of decisions made. As performance under pressure - in terms of time, environmental impact and reputation of the Environment Agency – is paramount, the scenarios are scored. This is a more appropriate assessment methodology than a formal end of course assessment. The benefit of this approach is that it simulates the real world, providing a challenging and realistic yet ‘safe’ learning environment for the audience to explore and develop the required knowledge and skills to deal with real-world incidents.
The scenarios are relevant to an individual learner’s role and their area of involvement/responsibility. Other characters appear in the scenarios to simulate the chain of command/communication and levels of interaction that occur in incident management – including other agencies, media, public, etc. Interventions include phone calls, emails and news flashes, to which the learner must respond.
Supporting documentation and tools are also provided (eg the new logging, rostering and visualisation tools). A requirement for Just-In-Time ‘quick guide’ tools, which can be referenced in the event of an actual incident, has also been identified.