Introduction to the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS, 3rd Edition) and Incident Response (Live online)

Recommend course:


Successful incident management depends on the active contribution of a number of agencies and officials who collectively can understand, deploy and connect our emergency management structures. Those involved in emergency management must be able to identify and manage the challenges that exist to act in the public interest for public safety and security.

The Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) is the incident management system which has been mandated to be used by New Zealand Government agencies. The 3rd edition of CIMS was released in August 2019 and all government agencies are required to be training their staff, and using this version, by 1 July 2020.

This course will introduce participants to the basics of emergency management, the CIMS system, the roles performed at both the incident and coordination centre level and how an Operation or Coordination Centre operates using CIMS. The course places emphasis on how CIMS is used at the coordination and operation centre (EOC, ECC, NCC, etc.) levels, ensuring that participants have a good level of understanding before they are deployed into a response coordination centre.

Upon completion, participants will be able to challenge an online assessment for a CIMS2 qualification (NZQA 17279).

Who should attend:

This course is specifically aimed at people who will take part in an ‘in-house’ or all-of-government response in a response or coordination centre, up to and including an internal National Coordination Centre (NCC) or the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC).

It will be of immense value to those who are needed to assist in a response, or those who have already been ‘thrown into’ a response, without any previous training.

This course can lead to a CIMS2 NZQA Qualification (NZQA 17229).

Learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate the ability to support a response coordination centre and offer meaningful assistance to an intra-agency, or all-of-government response.
  • Appreciation and understanding of why an incident management system is critical in an effective response
  • Understanding of the CIMS principles and characteristics and how they are instrumental in response
  • Understanding of the different CIMS functions, and how they interact with one another
  • Acquiring situational awareness, and ensuring you are working with the same operating picture as others
  • Understanding of the outputs from a coordination centre, and how they differ from the outputs of those “on the front line”

Course format:

This is an interactive course that requires input from all participants.

Given the extraordinary time New Zealand is currently facing with dealing with COVID-19 , this course will be delivered as a livestream offering, utilising Zoom.

The course will include interactive presentations, video, small group discussions (utilising Zoom breakout rooms), and plenty of discussion drawing on participants’ own experience.

Participants will need a desktop computer or laptop, mic and webcam, and a stable internet connection.

The course will comprise 8 hours of online learning, which will be broken into three 2-hour sessions and a fourth live Q&A session to discuss the CIMS2 online assessment challenge.

Course outline:

Session one

  • What is incident management?
  • History of the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) in New Zealand
  • CIMS use as a Response and/or Planning Tool
  • Overview of the four ‘R’s of New Zealand Emergency Management
  • Principles and characteristics of CIMS
  • Control and Command
  • Lead and Support Agencies
  • Unified Control
  • Develop an initial understanding of an incident, and what response is required
  • Situational Awareness
  • Common Operating Picture

Session two

  • The CIMS “Planning P”
  • Develop and implement plans
  • Introduction of Incident Level CIMS functions
  • Levels of response – from the incident level to the National Security System
  • Additional CIMS functions at the operational and coordination levels
  • How the various levels of response interact and support each other
  • Incident Level Response Facilities and Locations
  • Outputs from Coordination Centres

Session Three

  • Incident Classification System
  • Overview of the National Security System
  • Overview of Civil Defence Emergency Management in New Zealand
  • Government agency responsibilities during responses
  • Business continuity for government agencies
  • Personal Preparedness – ensuring you and your family are prepared for disasters and are prepared for you to take part in your agency’s response

Session Four

This session will give participants the opportunity to discuss the NZQA online assessment, which they should have already challenged. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any questions pertaining to the online assessment, or any other questions related to this CIMS course.

This session will be scheduled approximately one week after the completion of Session 3.

Clarification on CIMS2, CIMS4 and CIMS 3rd Edition

  • CIMS editions are often confused with CIMS qualifications. The 1st edition of CIMS was released in 1998, the 2nd edition was released in 2014 and the 3rd edition was released in 2019.
  • CIMS2 and CIMS4 are terms which have been used to show what NZQA standards a person has obtained.
  • CIMS2 - NZQA Standard 17279 (Demonstrate knowledge of CIMS)
  • CIMS4
    • NZQA Standard 29553 – Demonstrate knowledge of CIMS related roles and Action Plan process in an incident
    • 29554 – Demonstrate situational awareness, action planning, and communication skills in an incident within a CIMS framework


Dave Greenberg


Below are a sample of evaluation responses from recent courses:

  • Really good presentation, good mix of group involvement and learning and good practical examples
  • All good. A good CIMS scene setting for further understanding of how a team would work in on actual situation. Interactive and useful to hear actual examples from real situations
  • It is great to do a course that has application across government. I hope to have opportunities to implement this course and take it further (e.g. doing CIMS course)
  • Great course, with engaging facilitated. Would be good to use this in practice, even if it’s just simulated training.
  • Well done Dave on facilitating a good course even though it’s a Friday! Great intro to CIMS and where everyone fits. Helicopter stories were great!
  • Great presenter
  • Good number of short breaks. Good use of slides/movies/stories
  • More of the practical exercise though I appreciate that in a day long course, time is tight
  • This was a great refresher. Dave was interesting and engaging
  • Excellent and engaging overview of CIMS
  • Great number of breaks and exercises. Good content. Enjoyed different media forms i.e. videos/powerpoint/paper exercises. Dave very engaging. Look forward to CIMS2. Lots of good information for me to take to the district office
  • Perhaps a full training exercise where each person gets a go at having a role – start to think about what it means. Overall really enjoyed the course – well delivered
  • Maybe some discussion/work in a small group
  • Very well run course.

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on:
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email:

Customised workshops: 
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