D1600 Policy - Operational Briefing and Debriefing
Number: D1600 Date Published: 21 November 2017 Version 3 – November 2017
1.0 Summary of Changes
This document has been amended to reflect policy and procedure changes within Essex Police and to ensure that debriefing is consistently applied within Essex. Changes to this policy also take into account the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) and the use of the Joint Organisation Learning (JOL) process.
Two essential changes that have been made to this policy are:
1) Requirement to consider if the incident/event meets the criteria for conducting a Post Incident Procedure (PIP). The criteria for a PIP will be:
a. Death or Serious Injury, Discharge of conventional/non-lethal weapon; b. Referred to the IPCC; c. Failure in Command identified; d. Danger has been caused to the public; e. In the public interest.
2) Ensuring compliance with the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principals (JESIP) in terms of debriefing and joint organisational learning submission.
2.0 What this Policy is About
Essex Police will take a structured approach to briefing and debriefing to enable both personal and organisational learning to take place. JESIP principals of Joint Organisational Learning will be adhered to, and any learning deemed relevant through post incident debriefing will be submitted on the national system.
Essex Police is committed to ensuring a consistent approach to both single agency and multiagency debriefing by examining our experiences so we can ensure a consistently high level of service and learn from identified areas of development in line with the JESIP principals.
The primary purpose of any debriefing process is to identify areas from which lessons can be learnt, identifying good practice and to implement procedures for improvement which can be shared both nationally and within Essex where necessary. As a result of the debriefing process any lessons to be learnt will be captured and reviewed in a structured manner to ensure that all those affected can benefit from the learning.
The aim of this policy is to facilitate personal, group, organisational and multiagency learning and development. Debriefing will become one of the organisation tools for maximising improvements to our processes and will provide personal and organisational learning.
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
Where possible, a briefing will be held prior to any police operation and will be based upon the IIMARCHD briefing process. If it is a multiagency operation, it will also adhere to JESIP principals, and ensure shared situational awareness, and a joint understanding of the risk of the operation, The Joint Decision Making Model (JDM) will be used. An operational order will be prepared as a basis for any briefing, prior to pre-planned incidents.
A debrief will be held at the conclusion of the operation. It will be the responsibility of the incident commanders involved to ensure that the debrief takes place. This may be a single agency debrief, or multiagency, depending on the involvement of the agencies involved in the incident.
A debrief will answer the following three questions:
How well prepared was the force / was the multiagency response?
How well did we do / effective multiagency response?
How can we do better next time / multiagency lessons learned?
During the debrief, it is essential that officer welfare is considered and that initial Trauma Risk Management assessments are considered. For guidance in relation to welfare issues or traumatic incidents see C 0201 Procedure – Trauma Risk Management.
If the incident response can be pre-planned, the briefing process should clearly identify the operational objectives we seek to achieve and allocate specific responsibility to individuals for completion of the task necessary to complete the objectives. Where relevant, it should refer to the decision making process used by commanders prior to the incident, although the rationale behind commanders decision will be recorded separately. If it is a multiagency incident, JESIP principals should be followed, ensuring a shared awareness of the situation, joint understanding of the risks involved in dealing with it, and the multiagency use of the Joint Decision Making Model by incident commanders.
If the incident response follows a spontaneous incident, it is accepted that briefing may be curtailed owing to operational necessity, however commanders will ensure that adequate briefing is given to attending officers where practicable. In the multiagency setting, this again supports the spontaneous use of the Joint Decision Making Model.
To ensure clarity, details of the methods used to carry out the operation can be recorded within an operational order. Officers and staff need to be aware that such material can be disclosed under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act.
A formal debrief will be aimed at either single or multiagency organisational issues and will look to identify both strengths and weaknesses of the operational response, structured approach to the incident, incident command, and the use of JESIP principals.
Learning will be captured, recorded and revisited to ensure that any recommendations identified have been acted upon, and embedded within organisations to enhance performance.
For relevant incidents identified within D 1602 Procedure – Operational Debriefing - the College of Policing (CoP) in the debriefing process will be enacted by the incidents commanders. If relevant multiagency lessons can be learned, then this will trigger the Joint Organisational Learning (JOL) process, and debrief details will be entered onto the JOL IT system to be shared nationally. This should be considered when an incident falls within the following criteria:
Events of a national significance;
Events which have a force-wide impact;
Events with unique operational features.
Events that lead to a significant multiagency response
Any other incident that Strategic or Tactical Commanders identify
Every debrief will have a written outcome and this will record any learning points that arise along with recommendations for improvement (form CID313).
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
The implementation of this policy may require significant investment by the Force, dependent upon debrief findings and recommendations. . The Strategic Commander will retain oversight of the post incident process and report directly to Chief Officers any issues by exception.
Dependent upon the findings from any operational debrief there may be an impact upon current training or may require new training courses. Any significant changes will be monitored and agreed by the Head of Learning and Development and changes to existing training will be achieved through consultation with Essex Police College.
Changes to existing non blue light partnership working may be identified through the debriefing process. In these circumstances the senior officer may need to change existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) or it may be necessary to produce a new MOU in consultation with the partners involved.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
There is a requirement to observe all relevant risk assessments; these will be detailed within the procedure. Where the debrief identifies the need to review risk assessment this should take place. Any near misses should be reported via the Health and safety process.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
This policy has been assessed with regard to an Equality Impact Assessment. As a result of this assessment it has been graded as having a low potential impact as the proposals in this policy would have no potential or actual differential impact on grounds of age, sex, disability, race, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity.
The following were invited to provide feedback in the consultation phase during the formulation of this document:
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Health & Safety
Strategic Change Team
Communities and Engagement Coordinator
Head of Local Policing Support Unit
Chief Finance Officer of the Chief Constable
Head of Learning and Development
6.0 Monitoring and Review
The Tactical JESIP Lead will be responsible for the review of this policy every three years. This must be done in consultation with the Tactical JESIP lead for the force. The review will take account of changes in legislation, JESIP updates and general working practices, as well as the outcome of consultation and debriefing with internal departments and external agencies.
7.0 Related Force Policies or Related Procedures
D 0400 Policy - Critical Incidents
D 1601Procedure – Operational Briefing
D 1602 Procedure Operational Debriefing
C 0201 Procedure – Trauma Risk Management
D 0402 Procedure – Post Incident Management
8.0 Other Source Documents, e.g. Legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Partnership Agreements (if applicable)
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984;
The Human Rights Act 1998;
The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2000 ;
The Freedom of Information Act 2005;
Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996.
The JESIP Doctrine
Form CID313 – Essex Police Operational debrief Template