​Frequently asked questions

What is an exercise?

The Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience defines an exercise as a ‘controlled, objective-driven activity used for testing, practising or evaluating processes or capabilities.
Exercises may be conducted in a range of styles, formats and scales depending upon the identified need and objectives.  The three main formats utilised under the auspices of the SEMC are Discussion Exercises, Functional Exercises, and Field (Deployment) Exercises. 

Can I get funding for my exercise?

Simply download the Expression of interest form [Word 70KB] (EOI) and email your completed EOI to oemtrainingadmin@justice.nsw.gov.au. Once the EOI is approved you will be asked to complete and submit a detailed exercise proposal. You will be advised of the result between 2-3 weeks from receipt of the proposal. 
A call for proposals will be made annually in March for exercises to be conducted in the following financial year. The cut off date to submit an EOI for 18/19 exercise funding is 1st of June 2018.
Please see the Exercise funding process flowchart [PDF 210KB] to view the full procedure of an exercise funding proposal.

Who can apply?

  • Local and State government agencies with emergency management responsibilities
  • Non-government organisations with state-wide emergency management responsibilities
  • Research institutions
Non-government organisations and research institutions must gain endorsement for the proposal from a government agency with emergency management responsibilities on the endorsement form provided.

What are the pre-requisites for an exercise?

Exercises must have:
  • A clearly defined aim
  • Achievable and measureable objectives
  • A clear state wide benefit 
  • Align to one or more of the agreed SEMC priorities
  • A sponsor (for State level only)
  • An evaluation strategy
  • A risk assessment;
The sponsors of all SEMC exercise activities must include a risk management plan in the planning phase in accordance with the Risk Management Standard AS/NZS 31000:2009. 
There are two aspects of exercise risk that need to be addressed:
  • The risk to the exercise. (Includes such things as cancellation, adverse reaction, political issues, protest, failure to achieve objectives, budget issues etc.), and   
  • The risk in the exercise.  (Includes risk to participants, legal and regulatory risk associated with the conduct of the exercise)

How will I know if my proposal was successful?

You will be notified via your nominated email address whether your exercise proposal was successful, and if so, the amount of funding. We will typically advise of the result between 2 – 3 weeks from receipt of the proposal. 

Are there resources to assist me?

You can access exercise document templates to use for your own exercise. Please visit our Resources page.

Exercise Practitioner Registry
We are continuously adding to our database of qualified exercise practitioners who may be able to assist in all phases of exercising - from planning, designing and writing to conduct and evaluation. To request assistance please email the Exercise Practitioner Assistance Request Form [Word 14KB] to oemtrainingadmin@justice.nsw.gov.au.

Managing Exercises Handbook
The AIDR have published the Managing Exercises - Handbook 3 [PDF 977KB] which is designed to offer a series of checklists and prompts for exercise managers and provides a number of examples to illustrate different aspects of the exercise management process.

Design and Manage Exercises Course
Design and Manage Exercises (DAME), previously Exercise Management, provides a platform for participants to build their knowledge and skills to design, write, manage and evaluate emergency management exercises in line with the National Framework, practice and documentation standards.

What is the Exercise Advisory Group?

 The role of the Exercise Advisory Group is to:

  • inform the CDSC on proposed exercise priorities for the year
  • develop and manage a multi-agency emergency management and rescue exercise program for each financial year, and assist in determining support for agencies participating in exercises
  • manage the allocated funding for each financial year for multi-agency emergency management and rescue exercises
  • develop and support state level exercise proposals for CDSC approval
  • review and approve regional and local level exercise funding
  • evaluate multi agency emergency management and rescue exercise outcomes contributing to the Lessons Management Framework
  • assist in determining support and funding for Local, Regional and State level exercises
  • develop exercise management capability and innovation

The Exercise Advisory Group will comprise of representatives from:

  • NSW Department of Justice, Office of Emergency Management
  • NSW Police Force
  • Fire and Rescue NSW
  • NSW State Emergency Service
  • NSW Ambulance
  • NSW Health
  • Roads and Maritime Services
  • Transport for NSW
  • NSW Rural Fire Service
The committee chair may invite agencies outside of the membership to assist as required.