A Functional Exercise (FE) is a fully simulated, interactive exercise that tests the capability of an organization to respond to a simulated event by testing various functions of a plan, policy, or procedure. An FE is designed to validate and evaluate these capabilities and functions through an interactive exercise scenario with event updates that drive activity at the management level. An FE simulates real operations in a functional area by presenting realistic problems that require rapid and effective responses in a stressful, time-constrained environment.
Typical FEs share the following common attributes:
- Exercise events are driven by scenario updates that reflect ongoing events and problems that might occur in a real emergency.
- Performance analysis is part of the overall exercise.
- Established policies and procedures that pertain to the scenario are inspected.
- Cooperative (e.g., inter-agency) relationships are examined.
- A Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) is the primary tool that drives exercise play.
Below you will find links to the various phases and their associated steps to assist you with the design, development, and conduct of a workshop. A majority of this information is derived from the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) February 2007 Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), to include: Volume 1: HSEEP Overview and Exercise Program Management, HSEEP Volume II: Exercise Planning and Conduct, HSEEP Volume III: Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning, HSEEP Volume IV: Sample Exercise Documents and Formats, and HSEEP Volume IV: Prevention Exercises.
Phase 1: Pre-Planning
Phase 2: Design and Development
Phase 3: Conduct Exercise
Phase 4: After Action Report and Improvement Planning