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Control measure
Use debrief management systems

Control measure knowledge

Debrief management systems are essential to ensure a robust and consistent means of capturing, or 'closing the loop' of, the outcomes of monitoring, audit and/or review of all operational tasks and activities.

An incident debrief procedure plays a vital part in both personal and organisational learning. It fulfils a critical or key need for effective learning and development by connecting a root cause with an associated effect. Once identified, this process will enable clear plans or programmes to be agreed, which can be used to address or improve any shortfalls in policies, procedures, guidance, processes or information.

Debriefs are a key component of continuous improvement in all organisations

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure debriefs always take place at the most practical time following the closure of an incident and that they assist in identifying individual, team or organisational learning, both in areas where improvement could be made and where good practice has been identified
  • Ensure all relevant information is recorded. Any tasks resulting from this information should be allocated to an appropriate officer
  • Ensure debriefs are led in a structured manner to allow all personnel the opportunity to contribute, to highlight good practice and/or areas of development and to be able to do so in an open and constructive environment. Personnel should reference all associated documentation to the incident - Site-Specific Risk Information, SOPs, training manuals, etc., to ensure observations are as detailed as possible
  • Ensure the debrief system is managed to enable reports to be produced from information collected from all debriefs - this data will be open to scrutiny, discussion and action
  • Make sure all actions created can be monitored to ensure that target dates are met and the final outcome of individual issues are published and reviewed

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Conduct a debrief at a level appropriate to the size and/or complexity of the incident  

  • Ensure debriefs are led in a structured manner to allow all personnel the opportunity to contribute