Discussion-based exercises familiarize participants with current plans, policies, agreements and procedures, or may be used to develop new plans, policies, agreements, and procedures. Participants discuss what responses should be taken but do not take any action. Types of discussion-based exercises include:
- Seminar. A seminar is an informal discussion, designed to orient participants to new or updated plans, policies, or procedures (e.g., a seminar to review a new Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure).
- Workshop. A workshop resembles a seminar but is employed to build specific products, such as a draft plan or policy (e.g., a Training and Exercise Plan Workshop is used to develop a Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan).
- Tabletop Exercise (TTX). A tabletop exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting.
Operations-based Exercises validate plans, policies, and procedures, clarify roles and responsibilities, and identify resource gaps in an operational environment. Participants take action based on a given scenario. Actions may include but are not limitied to: calling personnel on a notification list, moving simulated patients, accessing needed supplies, etc. Types of operations-based Exercises include:
- Drill. A drill tests a single specific operation or function within a single entity (e.g., work unit evacuation).
- Functional Exercise (FE). A functional exercise examines the coordination, command, and control between various multi-agency coordination centers (e.g., HICS Coordination Center, etc.).
- Full-Scale Exercises (FSE). A full-scale exercise is a multi-discipline exercise involving physical actions in multiple functions.