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Online learning with the Emergency Planning College

Rob Fagan explores the Emergency Planning College's (EPC) online resources for remote learning and training and finds that the organisation has moved swiftly and efficiently to adapt to the surge in demand.


Readers of the CRJ faced a great many challenges in 2020 – as did every global citizen at all levels. It is our hope that you and your families are well and that we can approach 2021 with some reflection in terms of what we learned in 2020 and what aspects we might sustain because our actions were justified. A little positivity can go a long way to help build resilience. 

The importance of training and education in various crisis response categories has never been greater.  And while we might miss in-person courses and training programmes because of their interaction, break from routine and networking possibilities, these are not possible for most of us right now. Many organisations have met the call well to move online quickly and cost effectively, while maintaining and often even improving their content. 

One of the standouts in this regard is the UK Cabinet Office’s EPC. It states on its homepage: “We remain committed to helping the UK’s resilience community maintain its ability to respond to the challenges we face,” and indeed this is exactly what it does.  

While it is hoped that the EPC’s classroom based residential courses will resume from May this year, a global audience may now take advantage of its extensive high quality low-cost and no-cost options without travelling to the UK. On the homepage, look for the section ‘Online and virtual learning options’. 

From the online learning page, you can discover the Connected Learning Suite (CLS) which is the EPC’s learning management system for scheduled courses with real-time facilitation and e-Learning, where it is possible to learn in your own time and at your own pace. Moving down the page, you can see upcoming online courses – it is worth noting that most of the flagship courses offered by the EPC have now moved to an online format and are reasonably priced as half-day, one-day and two-day configurations.

Many courses are for those new to the field of emergency response, while others are for more accomplished practitioners and exercise planners.    

Scrolling further down the page, there are free modules on ResilienceDirect, JESIP awareness, and Covid-19 in the UK. ResilienceDirect is an online private network that enables civil protection practitioners to work together across geographical and organisational boundaries, and JESIP is the UK’s Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles, which establish methods of working jointly to include decision models and shared situational awareness. 

While many organisations have moved their content online, the EPC has gone further to improve and expand its content to make real-time and just-in-time training a reality. It has many options available to fit the schedules and budgets of individuals and various types of response organisations.

If your organisation’s training budget is still intact or has been left idle owing to lack of travel ability, consider your options with EPC. If you don’t see something specific you need, the EPC says: “We can offer existing EPC courses and any subject you require via online learning.” 

That’s a very resilient idea for resilient emergency response professionals embarking on the year 2021.

Train today; live tomorrow!

Rob Fagan, 02/02/2021
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