Navigating The Course Numbers

Navigating the course numbers. 

Asking about what course numbers mean is easily in the top 3 of questions I have gotten over my 20 years as a trainer of Crisis and Consequence Management Courses.

As simple as it may seem, 100 to 2300, just as an example, has several nuances. What does the letter in front mean? Do the courses cross over from one system to another? Why did I have to take 100, 200, 700 and 800? The basic answer is, it is a system that has been built on many times, with multiple competing governing bodies involved. Of course when we are talking about grant dollars, paying instructors and certificates, everyone wants in on the game.  This week our firm is hiring 6 National Sales Reps to cover the US and some of our new International interests. The gist of this article is part of the basic training they receive.

ICS 100 and ICS 200 are generally delivered as independent study courses giving them the designation IS. In the emergency management world a number of courses exist covering the pillars of consequence management. If these courses are delivered by a State it’s a “G:”, if these same courses are delivered in a location by a State, under FEMAs control, it's an “L. If it is delivered virtually, it’s a “K”, if that same course is delivered back in Emmitsburg, MD. by FEMA its an “E”.

A number of other courses can also be found on the same campus in Maryland, but on the US Fire Administration side, those are “O’s”. Staying with fire services, but jumping out west, The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) has its own series of courses where an ”S” designation means suppression.  And back to the original question, exactly why did we skip from 400 to 700?  Because NWCG has a 500 and 600 series of courses.

A number of courses live in several worlds. Most obvious are the ICS 300 and 400 courses. I have seen curriculum marked as “G”- 300, “I-300” “H” -465 and more recently if it’s a virtual ICS 300 class with a “V”. Other monikers like “AWR” for awareness, “PER” for performance, or “MGT” for management can also be found.  

Bottomline, in the world of incident/emergency/consequence management, whether public sector or private sector, if you want to have a role in leadership and command the must-have courses are 300 and 400. (100, 200, 700, and 800 are simply the foundational building blocks to get you ready for 300 and 400.)

The point of the article is not to confuse anyone. When in doubt, talk to your agency training officer or at the State level, your State training officer. If you talk to a grant administrator, you will get a grant administration answer. That is not a training answer and more than likely won't meet your training needs.

As a last resort, give me a call. I am in this maze everyday and may be able to at least point you in the right direction.



Todd Manns The Blue Cell Emergency And Disaster Management Training

Todd Manns, Founder and Managing Partner at The Blue Cell.  Todd has worked on a variety of specialized projects over the course of a varied and diverse career. Recognized for having a “can do attitude” which is the result of strong personal beliefs and values with regard to leadership, mission orientation, and accomplishment. Todd began his career began in the United States Marine Corps Select Reserves.  He served as a Police Officer/SWAT Team member and law enforcement sniper, as an interim Chief of Police, and seven years as an Emergency Manager for a Fire Protection District. Formally qualified as a type III planning section chief with incident management team experience and over 25 all hazard deployments to both Incident Command Posts and Emergency Operations Center locations (local and state level).  Todd, his wife, their married adult children and 5 grandchildren live in Colorado. 

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