National Incident Management


Homeland Security Exercise and

Evaluation Program (HSEEP)


Homeland Security Exercise and

Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

Standardizes exercise design, development, conduct, and evaluation for all (National-level, Federal, State, local) exercises

Establishes common language and concepts to be adopted and used by various agencies and organizations

Meets the National Response Framework (NRF) and National

Incident Management System (NIMS) goals

Synchronizes all exercises in the Nation

Provides tools and resources for States and local jurisdictions to establish self-sustaining exercise programs


HSEEP Components

HSEEP addresses the range of exercise evaluation issues through a blended approach involving four related program areas:

Policy and Guidance

— Providing the strategic direction for exercise and evaluation programs



— Offering courses and tutorials on the many HSEEP plans, policies, and requirements


— Ensuring that Federal, State, and local jurisdictions have the tools necessary to plan and implement exercise programs

Direct Support

— Supporting jurisdictions across the Nation through funding, training, and other exercise support

Policy and








HSEEP Volumes

Volume I: Overview and Exercise

Program Management

Volume II: Exercise Planning and


Volume III: Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning

Volume IV: Sample Exercise

Documents and Formats

Volume V: Prevention Exercises



HSEEP Terminology and Methodology

Exercises allow homeland security and emergency management personnel, from first responders to senior officials, to train and practice prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities in a realistic but risk-free environment. Exercises are also a valuable tool for assessing and improving performance, while demonstrating community resolve to prepare for major incidents.

A consistent terminology and methodology for exercises is critical to avoiding confusion, and to ensuring that entities can exercise together seamlessly

There are seven types of exercises defined within HSEEP, each of which is either discussions-based or operations-based.


HSEEP Exercise Types

Discussions-based Exercises familiarize participants with current plans, policies, agreements and procedures, or may be used to develop new plans, policies, agreements, and procedures.

Operations-based Exercises validate plans, policies, agreements and procedures, clarify roles and responsibilities, and identify resource gaps in an operational environment


HSEEP Discussions-based Exercises


A seminar is an informal discussion, designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures


A workshop resembles a seminar, but is employed to build specific products, such as a draft plan or policy

Tabletop Exercise (TTX).

A tabletop exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. TTXs can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.


A game is a simulation of operations that often involves two or more teams, usually in a competitive environment, using rules, data, and procedure designed to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation.


HSEEP Operations-based Exercises


A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to test a single, specific operation or function within a single entity

Functional Exercise (FE).

A functional exercise examines and/or validates the coordination, command, and control between various multi-agency coordination centers (e.g., emergency operation center, joint field office, etc.). A functional exercise does not involve any

"boots on the ground" (i.e., first responders or emergency officials responding to an incident in real time).

Full-Scale Exercises (FSE).

A full-scale exercise is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline exercise involving functional (e.g., joint field office, emergency operation centers, etc.) and "boots on the ground" response (e.g., firefighters decontaminating mock victims).


HSEEP Exercise Documentation

The list below contains the important document types associated with most exercises (HSEEP V2)

Situation Manual (SitMan)

Exercise Plan (ExPlan)

Controller and Evaluator (C/E)


Master Scenario Events List


Player Handbook

Exercise Evaluation Guides


After Action

Report/Improvement Plan



HSEEP Planning & After Action Conferences

The HSEEP methodology defines a variety of planning and after action conferences (depending on type and scope of the exercise)

Concepts and Objectives


Initial Planning Conference


Mid-Year Planning Conference


Master Scenario Events List

(MSEL) Conference

Final Planning Conference


After Action Conference (AAC)


HSEEP Compliance

HSEEP compliance is adherence to specific HSEEPmandated practices for exercise design, conduct, evaluation, and documentation

HSEEP compliance includes four distinct performance requirements:


Conduct annual Training and Exercise Plan Workshop

(T&EPW) and develop and maintain Multi-year Training and

Exercise Plan




Plan and conduct exercises in accordance with guidelines in


Develop and submit a properly formatted After Action

Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP)

Track and Implement corrective actions identified in AAR/IP


Training and Exercise Plan Workshop


All HSEEP compliant entities conduct a T&EPW each calendar year in which they develop a Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan, which includes:

The entities' training and exercise priorities (based on an overarching strategy and previous improvement plans).

The capabilities from the TCL that the entity will train for and exercise against

A multi-year training and exercise schedule

A new or updated Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan must be finalized and implemented within 60 days of the T&EPW

All scheduled exercises must be entered into the National

Exercise Schedule (NEXS) System

The Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan must be updated on an annual basis (or as necessary) to reflect schedule changes


Exercise Planning and Conduct

The type of exercise selected by the entity should be consistent with the entity's Multi-year Training and

Exercise Plan

Exercise objectives should be based on capabilities and their associated critical tasks, which are contained within the EEGs

The scenarios used in exercises must be tailored toward validating the capabilities, and should be based on the entity's risk/vulnerability assessment


After-Action Reporting

AAR/IPs created for exercises must conform to HSEEP template

Draft AAR/IP must be developed based on information from the Exercise Evaluation

Guides (EEGs)

Corrective actions are developed from AAR/IP recommendations


Improvement Planning

An improvement plan will include broad recommendations from the AAR/IP organized by target capability as defined in the TCL

Corrective actions derived from an AAC are associated with the recommendations and must be linked to a capability element as defined in the


Corrective actions included in the improvement plan must be measurable, must designate a projected start date/ completion date, and must be assigned to an organization and a POC within that organization

Corrective actions must be continually monitored and reviewed as part of an organizational Corrective Action



Exercise Training Curriculum

FEMA provides a variety of opportunities for HSEEPrelated training

HSEEP Mobile Course

Includes train-the-trainer materials to encourage dissemination of

HSEEP training

Direct delivery course with approved HSEEP trainers

Course divided into seven modules

Application available on HSEEP website

National Standardized Exercise Curriculum (NSEC)

Independent Study (e.g., IS-120.A, IS-130)

Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP)

Currently coordinating on developing standardized exercise course curriculum


HSEEP Technology

Technological products are the key tools through which users will interface with and adopt HSEEP policies

HSEEP technological tools include:

HSEEP Website

HSEEP Volume IV Library

HSEEP Toolkit

NEXS System

Design and Development System (DDS)

CAP System

Exercise Evaluation Guide Library (EEGL)

Lessons Learned Information Sharing (


HSEEP Website

Serves as central repository for all

HSEEP-related content, including:

HSEEP Volumes I-V

IS-120A, the HSEEP Mobile

Course, and other training opportunities

Links to other HSEEP technology products, including NEXS, DDS, and the CAP System

HSEEP newsletters and information bulletins

Links to other online resources, including the Responder Knowledge

Base, Terrorism Knowledge Base, and the Preparedness Directorate

Secured Portal


NEXS System

 NEXS System is the Nation’s comprehensive online scheduling tool:

Facilitates scheduling

Facilitates deconfliction

Facilitates synchronization of exercises

Compiles all National-level,

Federal, State, local, territory, and tribal exercises

Serves as a management tool and reference document for exercise planning


CAP System

The CAP System is a web-based application that allows homeland security officials to track, prioritize, and analyze corrective actions following exercises or real-world events

Enables users to:

– Quickly enter data from a finalized AAR/IP

– Track the progress of corrective action implementation

– Analyze and report on trends in improvement plans

System processes consistent with HSEEP, specifically Volume III,

Evaluation and

Improvement Planning