Training and Exercise Planning Workshops

Training and Exercise Planning Workshops

Training and Exercise Planning Workshops

The creation of effective capabilities-based exercise programs begins with a multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (TEP), which establishes overall exercise program priorities and outlines a multi-year schedule of training and exercise activities designed to address those priorities and validate core capabilities.  The Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) provides a collaborative workshop environment for Whole Community stakeholders to engage in the creation of the TEP.  The TEPW also serves as a forum to coordinate training and exercise activities across organizations in order to maximize the use of resources and prevent duplication of effort.

TEPW Purpose

The purpose of the TEPW is to use the guidance provided by elected and appointed officials to identify and set exercise program priorities and develop a multi-year schedule of training and exercise events to meet those priorities.  At the TEPW, stakeholders draw on jurisdiction-specific threats and hazards, identified areas for improvement, core capabilities, external requirements, and accreditation standards or regulations to develop or update the Multi-year TEP.  In this way, the TEPW establishes the strategy and structure for an exercise program and sets the foundation for the planning, conduct, and evaluation of individual exercises.

TEPW Purpose

Identify Factors for Consideration

The first task of TEPW participants is to identify factors for consideration in developing exercise program priorities.  Factors for consideration are the key elements that influence the selection of program priorities.  The list of factors will help organizations consider the full range of variables impacting their exercise and preparedness programs.  TEPW participants should consider the following factors:

  • Threats and hazards including:
    • National threats and hazards
    • Organizational or jurisdictional threats and hazards
    • Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)
    • Local risk assessments
    • Hazard vulnerability analysis
  • Areas for improvement/capability assessments from exercises and real-world events, including:
    • Strengths to be shared with other organizations
    • Open and non-validated corrective actions
    • Identified and/or perceived areas for improvement
  • External sources and requirements, including:
    • Industry reports
    • State or national preparedness reports
    • Homeland security strategies
  • Accreditation standards, regulations, or legislative requirements, including:
    • Accreditation standards (e.g., hospital accreditation requirements)
    • Regulations or legislative requirements

Participants work in small groups to build lists for each of the listed factors, and brief the lists to the plenary group.

The purpose of the TEPW is to use the guidance provided by elected and appointed officials to identify and set exercise program priorities and develop a multi-year schedule of training and exercise events to meet those priorities.  At the TEPW, stakeholders draw on jurisdiction-specific threats and hazards, identified areas for improvement, core capabilities, external requirements, and accreditation standards or regulations to develop or update the Multi-year TEP.  In this way, the TEPW establishes the strategy and structure for an exercise program and sets the foundation for the planning, conduct, and evaluation of individual exercises.

Link Factors to Core Capabilities

Once participants have developed a comprehensive list of all factors for consideration, they link the factors to core capabilities.  Core capabilities are distinct critical elements necessary to achieve the specific mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.  By linking each factor to one or more core capabilities, participants can identify and prioritize the most common core capabilities.  This process helps identify the areas most in need of attention. FEMA provides an updated list of core capabilities at https://www.fema.gov/core-capabilities.

Core Capability Development Sheets can be found at https://www.fema.gov/core-capability-development-sheets.

Establish Exercise Program Priorities

Exercise program priorities are the strategic, high-level priorities that guide the overall exercise program.  These priorities inform the development of exercise objectives, ensuring individual exercises evaluate and assess core capabilities in a coordinated and integrated fashion.  Working from both the factors to consider and core capabilities list, participants identify a manageable number of program priorities.

Develop a Multi-year Schedule

After setting exercise program priorities, TEPW participants build a draft multi-year schedule that outlines the exercises and associated training events that will address the exercise program priorities.  Workshop participants focus on the following tasks:

  • Identify Potential Exercises.  Identify potential exercises for inclusion in the multi-year schedule, including pre-planned exercises, standing exercise requirements, and additional exercises to address program priorities.
  • Identify Training Opportunities.  Identify training opportunities to support specific exercises, address areas for improvement or capability gaps, or meet training requirements.
  • Update the Exercise Schedule.  Update the calendar with exercises and training events that will enhance collaboration and address the exercise program priorities.  Participants should focus on updating the current exercise schedule and identifying exercises that could benefit from collaboration.

The training opportunities and exercise schedule developed by TEPW participants, in addition to exercise program priorities, are they key components of the Multi-year TEP.  TEPs should reflect a progressive planning approach that improves core capabilities through a series of exercises that involves an increasing level of complexity over time.  The schedule should list the proposed training and exercises to be conducted over the ensuing three years, if possible. For exercises held in the first year, approximate dates should be available.  For second and third year schedules, tentative dates may be used. Annual updates are required of EMPG funded jurisdictions.

Workshop Participants

TEPW participants are Whole Community stakeholders who provide input to exercise program priorities and the development of the Multi-year TEP.  This group should include representatives from Federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal government, as appropriate; the private-sector; and nongovernmental organizations.  Participant responsibilities for TEPW preparation, conduct, and follow-up are listed in the following sections.

Training and Exercise Plan for EMPG Jurisdictions in Texas

Please contact the Exercise Unit for forms and templates.

TDEM.Exercises@tdem.texas.gov