Incident Management Principles

These national principles improve and provide consistency in policy and decision-making and support a disaster-resilient Tasmania (and Australia). Click below to reveal details of the principles:

  • This is based on the concept that should only be one person in control of an incident
  • There is one Incident Controller and one set of common objectives involved in the response
  • Each person should only have one supervisor
  • Supporting agencies may implement command structures to implement the actions directed by the incident controller

The desired outcomes of the incident are determined by the incident controller by consulting as appropriate with the Incident Management Team and supporting agencies.

Incident management structure must be adaptable to an all-hazards approach and be able to be scaled to effectively manage the complexity of the emergency event/incident.

  • It is the process of structuring your incident management structure into discrete manageable functions based on the type of activity to be performed
  • AIIMS ™ describes a number of critical functions that must be undertaken to manage an emergency incident effectively.
  • Effective responsive management of reporting groups or individuals needs to be carefully considered depending on the task and the incident
  • Ideally a supervisor should have no more than a maximum of 5 people reporting to them.

Incident Action Plan

Incident action planning (IAP) is a process that is essential to the management of an incident and describes the objectives and how they are going to be achieved by the incident controller. Supporting Agencies may develop their own plans which will link back to the controllers overall IAP. After consideration of all know factors affecting an incident, an Incident Action Plan is developed to manage the incident, and is used as a tool to communicate the incident objectives.

An IAP is used to:

  • Specify the overall incident objectives and strategies
  • Identify key threats and risk exposures
  • Ensure the continuity of command and control
  • Ensure effective use of resources
  • Identify anticipated resources needed.

Features of an effective Incident Action Plan below:

Incident Management Functions

The following are steps in the Incident management functions, click to reveal each step:

  • Management of all activities
  • Plans
  • Forecasting
  • Preparing
  • Risk assessing, developing options.
  • Issue warnings
  • Informing staff, engaging media liaison and stakeholder.
  • Resolving an incident implement tasks
  • Managing allocated people and resources.
  • Providing support
  • Maintain assets
  • Obtaining goods and services.
  • Managing accounts
  • Insurance compensation
  • Cost effective analyses.

Incident Management Structure

To manage an incident, the Incident Controller will establish a management structure designed to perform the functions of control, planning, intelligence, public information, operations, investigation, logistics and finance.

When establishing an incident management structure it is important to remember that the incident determines the size and nature of that structure.  The structure should be adapted to the circumstances being dealt with and reflect the complexity and scale of the incident.

At a small incident, or during the early phases of what may become a large or complex incident, the Incident Controller may manage all functions.  It is by delegating functions to others that the Incident Controller creates an IMT. Therefore:

  • Minor emergency events will usually be managed from within an agency/organisational-specific Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), established by the lead agency managing the initial response to an emergency situation.
  • Some events may require on-site, mobile or forward operations/command centres, e.g. appropriate resources are maintained by SES, TASPOL and the TFS to enable such facilities if required.
  • Depending on the type of emergency, including the magnitude of impacts, other supporting agencies/organisations may be required to establish EOCs.
  • If an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) is concurrently activated, it is expected that individual agency EOCs will provide regular situation reports to the ECC.

Examples below of an Incident Management Structure for a Level 1, 2 and 3 incident which reflect clearly defined roles:

                                    Level 1                                                                                                                  Level 2                                                                       Level 3


What is an Incident Management Team?

The Incident Controller, by delegating some or all of the functions, builds a team to assist in managing the incident. The Incident Management Team helps to ensure the control of the incident is properly planned, adequately resourced which provides safety and welfare to effected communities.

When two or more agencies work or respond to an emergency an IMT must be formed. The following occurs:

  • The IMT consists of; The Incident Controller, the support agency commanders (or representatives) and the emergency response coordinator
  • The IMT should be used to establish and implement the control strategies
  • Once Established a regular meeting regime will commence and recording of activities and decisions in WebEOC should be maintained.


What is an Incident Control Centre?

An ICC is established to enable the RMA to effectively control their response to an incident. The Incident Controller and IMT operate from the ICC. They perform some or all of the functional roles depending upon the scale of the incident.

  • TasPOL refer to an ICC as a Police Operations Centre (POC)
  • Depending on the type of emergency (including the magnitude of impacts), other agencies/organisations may be required to establish a centre from which support or internal-to-agency response activities are managed. Again, to avoid confusion with an ICC, these centres should be referred to as an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
  • The activities within the ICC/POC/EOC focus on operational response, either as an RMA or support agency.