Training focuses on the Continuity courses developed and offered by National Continuity Programs (NCP). Courses are available for students at all levels, from individuals new to the Continuity community to program managers who have been involved with continuity for many years. This training provides an opportunity for personnel to develop and enhance their continuity knowledge and helps prepare them to respond to emergencies requiring continuity of operations activation.
NCP’s Continuity of Operations Division, in conjunction with the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), offer training courses both online and in classrooms, on topics that address the full spectrum of continuity of operations preparedness, from continuity awareness (introductory material), exercise design (targeted to continuity program managers), to planning, documentation, and alternate site preparedness and activities. Train-the-Trainer courses are used to facilitate dissemination of material to government and other organizations nationwide.
NCP has designed the nation’s continuity training program to address the full spectrum of requirements to support a viable continuity capability. It works with its Regional Continuity Managers, the Federal Executive Boards and Federal Executive Associations, the departments and agencies, and the states, territories, tribal, and local government jurisdictions and private sector organizations across the nation to ensure the widest dissemination of the training and that courses are professionally conducted and relevant to its audiences.
Information on the training courses developed by NCP to support Continuity planning and programs is provided below.
- IS 546A: Continuity of Operations Awareness Course
- IS 547A: Introduction to Continuity of Operations
- IS/G 139: Exercise Design Course (Continuity of Operations)
- E/L 548: Continuity Managers Train-the-Trainer Course
- E/L 550: Continuity Planners Train-the-Trainer Workshop
- E/L 551: Devolution Planning Train-the-Trainer Workshop
- E/L 156: Continuity of Operations Building Design for Homeland Security Train-the-Trainer Course
The Continuity of Operations Awareness Course (IS 546A) is designed for public-sector employees. This on-line web based course takes approximately two hours to complete. It consists of four lessons and provides a basic understanding of continuity of operations, its terminology, and objectives. Topics include the definition of continuity of operations; DHS’s role in continuity planning; an introduction to continuity of operations requirements as outlined in Federal Continuity Directive 1 and Continuity Guidance Circular 1; continuity of operations planning in government organizations; and arrangements that employees and their families should have in place in case an emergency requires that their organization activate its continuity of operations plan.
Introduction to Continuity of Operations (IS-547A) provides participants with a working knowledge of Federal Continuity Directive 1 and Continuity Guidance Circular 1 and offers activities for enhancing continuity of operations programs.
This web-based five-hour course expands upon the continuity basics addressed in Course IS-546, providing additional continuity information and outlining the elements of a viable continuity of operations program, including essential functions, delegations of authority, orders of succession, alternate operating facilities, interoperable communications, vital files, records and databases, human capital, test, training and exercise, reconstitution, and devolution planning.
The Exercise Design Course (IS/G-139) provides government and other organization’s continuity managers with the exercise development and planning skills for designing and conducting continuity exercises. This course is also offered in a web-based version.
The course’s primary learning objectives are to introduce the fundamentals of tabletop, functional and full-scale exercise design, and address:
- The importance of conducting exercises and
- Components of a comprehensive and progressive exercise program.
IS/G-139 is intended to equip participants with the skills to design and conduct their own continuity exercises, validate the importance of planning for emergencies, and share lessons learned during continuity exercises and real world emergencies.
The Continuity Manager’s Train-the-Trainer Course (B/E/L-548) reflects the new requirements of National Security Presidential Directive-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20, the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan, Federal Continuity Directives 1 and 2, and Continuity Guidance Circular 1.
The objectives of this two-and-a-half day train-the-trainer course include defining continuity of operations, explaining the benefits of a viable continuity plan and program, identifying elements of a viable continuity program, identifying processes, resources, and tasks necessary for implementing and managing a successful continuity program. The course is intended for continuity program managers of both federal and non-federal organizations.
The Emergency Management Institute also offers a resident version of this course. In FY09 the course will be made available in a web-based online format.
The Continuity of Operations Planning Course (B/E/L-550) assists senior officials and continuity planners in their continuity of operations plan development. This course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to develop continuity plans that comply with the requirements in National Security Presidential Directive-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20, the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan, Federal Continuity Directives 1 and 2, and Continuity Guidance Circular 1.
The course’s primary learning objectives are to understand the importance of continuity of operations planning and its relationship with the performance of essential functions; be capable of completing an assessment of their continuity of operations plan; describe and apply the continuity of operations planning model; identify key personnel for continuity planning; verify gaps in current plans and identify a strategy for acquiring needed information; conduct a risk analysis for alternate facilities; develop a viable test, training, and exercise program; and develop a continuity of operations Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan.
The goal of the workshop is to provide government and other planning staff with the knowledge and tools to develop their organization’s devolution plans. The workshop objectives include identifying the conditions under which organizations will implement their devolution plans, describing the activation protocols or triggers for organization devolution, tailoring the Devolution Template to meet agency-specific needs, identifying special considerations for devolution planning, and developing an organization-specific devolution plan.
An important component of an effective continuity of operations plan and program is a facilities hazard analysis and vulnerability assessment. This risk assessment is critical because it helps senior leaders and continuity program managers identify linkages to and weaknesses in buildings and other infrastructures that their organizations use when providing essential functions and services.
The Building Design for Homeland Security Train-the-Trainer Course (B/E/L-156) outlines the purpose, requirements, and components of a risk assessment for continuity of operations alternate facilities and demonstrates how to use the electronic continuity of operations Alternate Site Assessment Tool.