​​​​​State Emergency Management Exercise Cycle


The mechanics of the new exercise framework revolve around the analysis of capabilities and the development of multiyear agency Exercise Schedules which will be consolidated into the State Exercise Calendar.

At the start of each exercise cycle, EMAs and LGAs will conduct a Capability Analysis to identify which capabilities they need practice in order to respond to and recover from a State level emergency. The purpose of this process is to assist agencies develop their multiyear Exercise Schedules and identify the capabilities that may not be tested regularly, would benefit from validation or have been identified for improvement.

In the first instance it is recommended that agencies use existing sources of data to contribute to this process. These can include:

  • Previous Preparedness Report Capability Survey responses,
  • Lessons identified from previous exercises,
  • Knowledge from past incidents and after-action reports,
  • Local and district risk assessments,
  • Issues raised at LEMC, DEMC and subcommittee meetings,
  • Your LEMA, and
  • DEMA input and discussion


Once agencies have identified the capabilities they wish to focus their exercising on, they are required to put them into a 3-year Exercise Schedule. The Exercise Schedule is a plan of exercises that details the exercises that an agency or an LGA will conduct during the exercise cycle.

The reason a 3-year Exercise Schedule is now required is to apply a 'progressive planning' approach to exercising so that agencies can align their exercises to a common set of priorities and objectives within the cycle and allow their exercises to increase in their level of complexity over time.

The framework recommends that EMAs and LGAs exercise in a single agency capacity in the first year of the cycle to identify, practice and refine capabilities within their own agencies.

In the second year it is recommended that agencies exercise their capabilities in a multi-agency environment and in the third year agencies plan an exercise demonstrating how they will operationalise their capabilities during a state-level emergency.

The Exercise Schedule will be a living document and agencies will use this information to populate the State-Wide Exercise calendar. There will be no critique, assessment or judgement on how many exercises agencies choose to conduct each year.