The second part of the Master Exercise Practitioner Program training series is the Operations-Based Exercise Design and Evaluation (E133) class, which was held three months after the first session. The course builds on the principles and concepts taught in the previous Discussion-Based Design and Evaluation class. Participants are challenged to acquire the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to design/develop, conduct and evaluate operations-based exercises, including drills and functional exercises. An emphasis is placed on advanced exercise skills needed to successfully complete complex exercise control/simulation tasks and activities. Participants must successfully master these activities during the conduct of the course through the use of proficiency demonstrations.
The class size had shrunk noticeably by the second week. The class was down to 15 or 16 students per group, having lost a handful of people for a variety of reasons. The instructors also warned that those who had not completed their homework needed to file for an extension to stay in the program. It turned out that a number of participants did not accomplish what was required for the class.
The focus of week two was to develop and execute an emergency operations center simulation, feeding outside information to an operations center staff and having them respond to the evolving situation. It’s almost a game where exercise designers story-tell a disaster and expect the audience to react accordingly. The deliverable for the exercise was capturing the results of the simulation and conducting an analysis of how the participants performed.
This was a progressive building block expending the scope and complexity of the training and helping students understand how to compose, deliver and capture exercise information.
At the conclusion of class the participants were given an assignment to complete before the final session of MEPP – the design and delivery of an EOC based functional exercise in their home jurisdiction.