Manage information function at an incident

This unit covers the competency required to manage the information function within the Incident Management Team. The information function prepares and disseminates timely, accurate and relevant incident information to a range of stakeholders including community, government, media, incident personnel and their organisations, as well as other organisations.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.


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.


Not applicable.

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.

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills

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

delegate appropriately

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

Required Knowledge

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

Evidence Required

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:

direct observation

interviewing the candidate

journals and workplace documentation

third party reports from supervisors

written or oral questions

Range Statement

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:

Current situation

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

Communications Plan

Incident objectives

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

Traffic management

Incident Management Team may include:

Incident Controller

Planning Officer

Operations Officer

Logistics Officer

Safety Advisor

Structure of the Information Unit may include:

Community relations

Internal communication

Media liaison

Web updates

Incident complexity may include:

Agency policy

Fuel type

Incident location

Incident size and behaviour

Jurisdictional boundaries

Organisational complexity

Political sensitivity

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 objectives

Communication strategies for communicating with the media, the community, internal stakeholders, and involved and affected organisations

Feedback mechanisms


Target audiences

Timelines for communicating with target audiences

Involved and affected organisations may include:

Combat organisations

Contracted companies and organisations

Control agency

Recovery organisations

Support 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:


General public

Government agencies

Incident personnel

Internet users

Local landowner groups

Local conservation groups



Stakeholders may include:




Other organisations

Communication with communities both affected and likely to be affected by the incident may include:

Door knocks


Letter drops


Radio communications



Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.