Strategic Command Program

Designed to enhance the capabilities of senior leaders responsible for strategically commanding and managing critical emergency incidents.

Delivered in partnership with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC)

Who should attend?

  • Superintendents and Commanders from police and emergency services organisations.
  • Executive level 2 and SES1 officers from Commonwealth agencies.
  • Sworn and unsworn - full time or volunteer.

Learning outcomes

  • Increase your personal strategic and conceptual leadership skills
  • Enhance your ability to translate large amounts of information into better decision making
  • Understand how to manage multiple concurrent incidents effectively
  • Anticipate and manage the critical strategic and political issues involve in major critical incidents
  • Expand professional networks and strategic alliances promoting personal development, mentoring and inter-agency liaison

“A challenging and thought provoking program that exceeded my expectation. Having the opportunity to listen to the stories of my peers only heightened the learning experience.”

Jeremy Smith, Tasmania Department of Police and Emergency Management

Why do the Strategic Command Program?

Recent national and international events have demonstrated major incidents are becoming more complex and difficult to manage, while post activity analysis is becoming more forensic and unforgiving. Irrespective of the nature of a critical incident, leaders need to be able to rely on strategic and conceptual skills, rather than tactical or menu driven responses.
The Strategic Command Program focuses on building strategic and leadership capabilities in order to respond with the highest level of competence in managing:

  • multiple incidents concurrently
  • incidents posing a threat warranting state-level intervention
  • incidents of political or national significance

Participants will examine and challenge their existing command and control assumptions in order to provide the opportunity for personal growth.

Each program component is designed to address the interdependence between strategic leadership, crisis command, personal adaptive capacity, and building high-performance organisational capabilities. The relationship between these four elements is explored through the use of contemporary case studies and draws on the experience of current practitioners.

The program has been developed and is delivered in partnership with AFAC with an emphasis on the multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional response to large critical emergency management incidents. It will involve a specific focus on strategic operations, leadership and setting strategies within the context of natural emergencies.

“A well structured program that provides insight into the strategic command styles and contemporary issues through the eyes of the nation’s emergency service leaders. The opportunity to learn from their experiences and reflect on those learnings with fellow course participants was invaluable. I look forward to applying my learnings in the workplace.”

John Newman, WA Department of Fire & Emergency Services

How is the program structured?

The program is designed around three key elements: Preparation, Presence and Personal.

A pre-residential component consists of a streamlined guided reading program, providing an opportunity for participants to integrate this new material with their own experience and knowledge.

The one week residential utilises the timeline of critical incident management. Participants will move though each major step, exploring personal experiences, lessons learnt and theoretical frameworks using case studies, presentations and facilitated discussions with emergency management leaders. Participants are encouraged to place themselves into the command role to better understand the strategic challenges of a rapidly changing environment.

The third element connects the emerging requirements of strategic command to the participants’ capabilities and capacity as individual leaders. The program is underpinned by the observation that critical emergency management incidents are becoming more complex through environmental change, communication technology, social diversity and new political mandates. Participants will reflect on their readiness for command and develop an individual philosophy to maintain currency and relevance alongside the evolving leadership expectations identified from each new critical incident.

The program broadly follows the daily agenda below:


Day one

The Setting

Day two

Before You Go

Day three

Into the Breach

Day four

The Aftermath

Day five

Always Ready

  Leadership, Command and Executive Intelligence Operational Well Being and Resilience Strategic Operational Relationships and Performance Strategic Leadership in a Political Environment Individual Command Philosophy
  Case Study Case Study Case Study Case Study  
  Demands of the Strategic Level Operational Leader Identifying Priorities in an Operational Crisis Operational Decision Making at the Strategic Level Future Focused Operational Leadership Forum Individual feedback
  Case Study Case Study Case Study    
Evening Program Commencement

Evening Leadership Studies


Evening Leadership Studies


Evening Leadership Studies


Evening Leadership Studies



“The ability to interact with other jurisdictions and agencies from all states combined with the topics and presenters has given me an enhanced confidence. The facilitation was excellent. The conversations worthwhile. I would recommend - don’t sit on your laurels.”

Mal Connellan, Fire & Rescue NSW


The AIPM’s programs are internationally recognised for their effectiveness in developing superior leadership skills that drive organisational performance in the public safety sector.


5 day residential program



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