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Preparing Scotland Exercise Guidance

November 2022

Exercise Guidance


Exercises play a key role in assisting Scotland be prepared for dealing with emergencies. They can range from structured events where participants explore specific issues, to playing out live the response to an incident. The purpose of this guidance is to provide a practical tool to assist in the planning, delivery and evaluation of exercises.

The guidance sets out the factors involved in the exercise process and incorporates a set of templates that can be used across the diverse area of civil contingencies, from individual agency internal exercises to multi-agency live play exercises. Depending on the complexity of the exercise the various steps contained within the guidance may be lengthened or shortened to suit specific requirements. Templates may also be adjusted to accommodate individual agency or Regional Resilience Partnership (RRP) protocols.

Note: Reference to RRPs throughout this guidance can also apply to Local Resilience Partnerships (LRPs) or any other form of local emergency planning multi-agency group.

The guidance is presented in four colour-coded sections. Each section has three sub-sections as follows:

Introduction Why What Who
Exercise Preparation Commissioning Planning

Exercise Instruction

Exercise Activity

Exercise Build Up

Exercise Main Play

Closing Play

Post Exercise Cold Debrief Post Exercise

Follow Up Meeting


The templates are included as Annexes but you can click on the links within the Guidance to open and save the templates which are available in Microsoft Word format. Please feel free to amend the templates to suit your needs.

If you’re not sure how any sections of this guidance or the templates may apply to you, please consult your local emergency planning officer, RRP Learning and Development Coordinator or ScoRDS (Scottish Resilience Development Service).

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