Continuing from my previous blog post, I’ll answer a search phrase used to bring someone to my blog. Earlier this month, someone searched ‘Is HSEEP training mandatory?’. We speak, of course, of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, which is the DHS-established standard in exercise program and project management.
The short answer to the question: Maybe.
Generally speaking, if your exercise activities are funded directly or indirectly by a federal preparedness grant, then grant language usually requires that all exercises are conducted in accordance with HSEEP. While most federal grant guidance doesn’t explicitly state that exercise personnel must be formally trained in HSEEP, it’s kind of a no-brainer that the fundamental way to learn the standards of practice for HSEEP so you can apply them to meet the funding requirement is by taking an HSEEP course. If you are a jurisdiction awarded a sub-grant of a federal preparedness grant or a firm awarded a contract, there may exist language in your agreement, placed there by the principal grantee, that specifically requires personnel to be trained in HSEEP.
Beyond grant requirements, who you work for, who are you, and what you do generally don’t dictate any requirement for HSEEP training. Aside from the federal grant funding or contracts mentioned, there is no common external requirement for any organization to have their personnel trained in HSEEP. If your organization does require it, this is likely through a management-level decision for the organization or a functional part of it.
So, while HSEEP is a standard of practice, training in HSEEP, in general terms, is not a universal requirement. That said, I would certainly recommend it if you are at all involved in the management, design, conduct, or evaluation of exercises. FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers HSEEP courses in both a blended learning and classroom format. The emergency management/homeland security offices of many states and some larger cities offer them as well.
© 2018 Timothy Riecker, CEDP