Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Tabletop Exercises

What is a Tabletop Exercise?

A Tabletop Exercise is conducted in a controlled setting (meeting/conference room) and designed to measure strengths as well as areas for improvement for a team’s response to a crisis situation. Facilitators conduct the exercise utilizing a PowerPoint presentation, which is provided as a visual medium for participants. The exercises are presented in successive stages or “Moves”, starting with a portion of the scenario. At the end of each particular Move, the facilitator pauses in order to allow participants to work through the actions they would take. Each subsequent Move provides additional information, which incrementally builds upon the previous one. After the exercise, participants identify team strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. These opportunities for improvement are used to develop corrective measures in order to implement the improvements identified.

Can a Tabletop Exercise be customizable for a more realistic exercise?

All of our tabletop exercises include areas to insert information (area names, area locations/addresses, maps and floor plans) specific to your organization. This creates a more realistic and meaningful exercise.

Who facilitates the exercise?

Our tabletop exercises are designed to provide all the information for your personnel to act as the facilitators. This reduces training costs and allows you to conduct the exercises at any given time. Additional facilitator instruction and coaching is available upon request. Vertex can also provide experienced personnel to act as outside facilitators upon request.

What does each package consist of?

Electronic Exercise files are downloaded directly to your computer, which consist of:

  • Directions
  • Facilitator Preparation Guide
  • Facilitator Exercise Guide
  • Exercise PowerPoint Presentation
  • After Action Report Form

What do the "Directions" consist of?

Detailed directions that describe the purpose of each exercise component within the package. The directions also indicate which slides of the PowerPoint presentation are formatted for you to insert area-specific information as well as maps in order make the exercise specific to your particular organization.

What is the "Facilitator Preparation Guide?"

This document assists the facilitator with preparing for the exercise. It includes target core competencies covered in the exercise, areas for listing applicable department specific procedures and an exercise preparation checklist.

What is the "Facilitator Exercise Guide?"

The exercise guide is provided for use by facilitators during the exercise. The guide provides the basic content of the slide presentation as well as additional information not included in the presentation. This additional information is intentionally left out of the slides. The facilitator is to use this information to answer specific questions asked by the participants. This is designed to invoke thought by the participants and not simply spoon-feed them the information. If the participants do not ask questions relative to this additional information, it is not revealed. Check boxes are provided to indicate what additional information was provided to the participants during the exercise. The facilitator’s guide also has a section allowing facilitators to record notes relative to the progress of the exercise for each particular movement.

What does the "Exercise PowerPoint Presentation" provide?

This presentation is provided as a visual medium for facilitators to deliver the exercise. The exercise is designed to be presented to personnel in successive stages or “Movements”. At the end of each particular movement, the facilitator will pause in order to allow personnel to work through what actions they would take. Each subsequent movement provides additional information, which incrementally builds on the previous one.

What is the "After Action Report Form?"

This document allows the facilitator and participants to record, as a team, specific strengths and areas for improvement relative to the target core competencies covered in the exercise. An area is provided for the team to create an improvement plan for any “areas for improvement” that were identified. Specific personnel will be assigned responsibility for ensuring completion of each line item along with required completion dates. Any tabletop exercises where “areas for improvement” were identified should be scheduled for a follow-up drill in order to measure the effectiveness of the improvement plan that was initiated. This document provides an area for entering the follow-up drill date.

What are the limits of distribution per purchase?

Each Tabletop exercise can be installed on up to 5 computers within the purchasing location.

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