A person performing this role has the title of Information Officer and is delegated responsibility for the:
collection and dissemination of accurate incident information to meet the needs of stakeholder groups, the community, the media; for internal use within the incident control structure and for involved and affected organisations
regular provision of timely, accurate and relevant information to stakeholders
The community includes both the local community directly affected by an incident, as well as the broader community.
The authorisation to perform this role is subject to organisational policies and procedures.
Elements and Performance Criteria
1 Establish the Information Unit
1.1 Initial briefing and information required to establish the Information Unit (Unit) is sought and obtained from the supervisor.
1.2 Unit priorities are confirmed with the supervisor and are in accordance with the Incident Action Plan (IAP).
1.3 Unit is established and resourced to meet incident requirements and establishment is communicated to the Incident Management Team (IMT).
1.4 Structure of the Information Unit is determined by incident complexity and consequential communication requirements.
1.5 Media Officer is appointed within the Unit, if required, to prepare media releases for authorisation by the Incident Controller, to provide information to the media and to ensure media needs and deadlines are met.
1.6 Briefings to members of the Unit are conducted upon commencement of shift and at regular intervals.
1.7 Safe work practices, health and welfare arrangements for work area are implemented and monitored.
2 Collect information on the current and predicted incident situation
2.1 Accurate information on the current and projected incident situation as well as incident control objectives, strategies and resources working at the incident is collected, summarised and prepared for dissemination.
2.2 Local knowledge and information regarding risks, issues and local factors provided by stakeholder groups and the community is communicated to the IMT.
3 Develop an Information Unit Communications Plan
3.1 Information Unit Communications Plan (IUC Plan) is prepared and specifies the objectives and strategies to meet the information needs of the community, media, incident personnel and involved and affected organisations.
3.2 Analysis of the incident, risks and constraints and the information to be reported to identified target audiences is incorporated in the IUC Plan.
3.3 Tactics and timelines required to implement the strategies are identified in the IUC Plan.
3.4 IAP is supported by the IUC Plan by confirming the process and means by which information is to be disseminated both within the incident and to parties external of the incident.
3.5 How information is to be communicated internally and externally, to the community, media and other relevant stakeholders is confirmed in the IUC Plan.
4 Disseminate information to the community
4.1 Timely, accurate and relevant information, approved by the Incident Controller, is disseminated to stakeholders in conjunction with the IMT.
4.2 Planning Officer is advised of any emerging issues.
5. Engage with the community
5.1 Community information strategy is developed by the Unit in accordance with the IAP requirements.
5.2 Communication with communities both affected and likely to be affected by the incident are organised and conducted.
5.3 Communities are provided with information to prepare themselves and to manage risks.
5.4 Community meetings to respond to community information needs are coordinated.
5.5 Information and feedback from the community on the effectiveness of its communications strategies and community concerns is sought.
6. Manage the Information Unit
6.1 Members of the Unit are briefed on their responsibilities in meeting the outcomes of the IUC Plan.
6.2 Unit is publicised as the point of contact for the media, the public and other organisations for general information about the incident.
6.3 Accurate and regular flow of information within the incident and to parties external to the incident, is maintained and effective incident management is supported.
6.4 Work by members of the Unit is undertaken in close liaison with the Management Support Unit and Liaison Officers.
6.5 Structure of the Unit is adjusted during the incident to meet the predicted and actual information demands of the incident.
6.6 Unit is managed in accordance with control agency workplace policies.
6.7 Appropriate document management and record keeping systems are established.
7. Contribute to the planning processes
7.1 Communication is maintained with the IMT formally, through meetings, briefings and debriefings, and informally, as required.
7.2 IMT is briefed on social or political issues and is provided with feedback on community needs and concerns as required.
7.3 Input is provided to the development of the IAP in relation to information collection and dissemination.
This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.
anticipate, analyse and assess information needs
collect and collate information
communicate facts in a fluent, clear and unambiguous manner
conduct press conferences and group interviews
communicate effectively with colleagues and stakeholders
experience in public liaison and media relations
make presentations to the media
provide briefings to the IMT
supervise staff effectively
undertake public speaking engagements
agency workplace policies, practices and procedures
analysis and display techniques
Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS) structure and principles
current practice for media liaison
legal and organisational requirements relating to confidentiality, libel, accuracy, discrimination requirements of media to present information in a newsworthy manner
organisational policies and procedures (such as relevant legislation; operational, corporate and strategic plans; operational performance standards; operational policies and procedures; organisational personnel and occupational health and safety practices and guidelines; organisational quality standards; organisation's approach to environmental management and sustainability)
requirements of different media: newspapers, magazines, radio, television
requirements of local versus regional versus national media
role of media in disseminating information
The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.
Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit
Assessment must confirm the ability to:
collate and prepare timely, accurate, relevant and consistent information to be disseminated to a range of stakeholders to meet their individual information requirements
develop an IUC Plan to meet the needs of the community, media, stakeholders and the incident control structure
organise and conduct community meetings to assist local groups to prepare themselves and to manage their risks
Consistency in performance
Competency should be demonstrated over time in a range of actual or simulated workplace environments.
Context of and specific resources for assessment
Context of assessment
Competency should be assessed in an operational environment or in an industry-approved multi-agency simulated workplace environment.
Specific resources for assessment
Access is required to:
incidents or simulation of incidents, in a multi-agency workplace environment
Method of assessment
In a public safety environment assessment is usually conducted via direct observation in a training environment or in the workplace via subject matter supervision and/or mentoring, which is typically recorded in a competency workbook.
Assessment is completed using appropriately qualified assessors who select the most appropriate method of assessment.
Assessment may occur in an operational environment or in an industry-approved simulated work environment. Forms of assessment that are typically used include:
interviewing the candidate
journals and workplace documentation
third party reports from supervisors
written or oral questions
The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.
Initial briefing may include:
Objectives and strategies
Potential occupational health and safety (OH&S) issues
Potential public health and environmental risks
Supervisor may be:
Incident Controller in NCTC ICCS
Planning Officer in AIIMS
Incident Action Plan may include:
Accommodation and welfare arrangements
Information on alternative or fallback strategies
Information Plan for dissemination of information to all stakeholders
Information regarding the necessary logistical arrangements
Management arrangements, including establishment of sectors and divisions
Management structure if established
Maps or site plans of the incident
Medical Plan and consideration of occupational health and safety issues
Resources to be allocated to each division and sector
Statement of current situation and predictions of the incident's likely development (including key risk exposures)
Strategies to achieve defined incident objectives
Structural chart depicting the personnel in the incident management arrangements, including establishment of divisions and sectors
Timings of meetings and changeovers
Incident Management Team may include:
Structure of the Information Unit may include:
Incident complexity may include:
Incident size and behaviour
Threat to life and property
Type of incident management and combat operations implemented
Values at risk
Briefings may include:
Information Unit Communications Plan may include:
Communication strategies for communicating with the media, the community, internal stakeholders, and involved and affected organisations
Timelines for communicating with target audiences
Involved and affected organisations may include:
Contracted companies and organisations
Risks may include:
Consideration of worst case scenarios
Misuse of information by stakeholders
Release of incorrect information
Safety risks and hazards
Values at risk
Constraints may include:
Target audiences may include:
Local landowner groups
Local conservation groups
Stakeholders may include:
Communication with communities both affected and likely to be affected by the incident may include:
This unit contains employability skills.