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Live Exercises

Theory is a necessary part of learning, but nothing reinforces this learning more than a practical situation, set up to mirror what might happen in real life. All the theory in the world is pretty much meaningless, if there is no ability to apply it.

“Practice makes perfect”

ABRRAS is highly experienced at designing and running live exercises, to give our clients the best possible practice. The design process is tailored specifically to clients’ needs and individual circumstances, to ensure all staff involved are prepared as far as possible for potential scenarios within the business.

There are three types of Exercise ABRRAS can provide:


Table Top exercises are simulation-based paper exercises and are particularly useful when considering scenario that require decision-making amongst a group of people in one place. Also, for introducing new staff to scenario planning, a Table Top exercise allows a walk  through pace, with time outs to explain actions and consequences. As part of the service ABRRAS evaluates and debriefs delegates on the actions taken at the end of any exercise. This approach also adds value for introducing new staff to scenario planning, as the exercise can exclude the pressures of real time. Includes briefing, running of the scenarios, de-brief and a complete report on the outcomes. The duration of the exercises are 1⁄2 day.


This type of exercise is run as a practical session incorporating live casualty simulation and delivered in ‘real time’. The practical nature of this allows participants to experience the feelings of physical and emotional pressures and consequences of decision making in a controlled environment. This is aimed to test all levels of the organisation from the operational rescue team to the boardroom decisions managing the unfolding emergency. As this is a live exercise no brief will take place, the participants are to be unaware they are about to deal with an Emergency. The practical scenario will run then a de-brief will be conducted within 1⁄2 a day. A full report on the outcomes will be completed and provided.


These Exercises are the closest simulation to real life. Whilst testing the internal responses to an Emergency is essential it is also invaluable to understand the interaction between a company’s response and outside agencies such as the Emergency Services/ Environmental Agencies etc. A Full Scale Live Exercise is designed to run in ‘real time’ giving opportunity for the company to activate and test their Emergency Response Plan and experience the handover to Emergency Services or inclusion of requirements set by external agencies. This level will also include the additional pressures applied by media interest via doorstep interviews conducted by an experienced reporter. No brief will be provided and shall run in real time. This exercise is run over most of a day as it includes giving press interviews and a full and thorough de-brief is included. A report with findings will be provided within 7 days from the exercise.

Some companies find the most useful approach is to use a combination of both Table Top Exercises where this part establishes/reviews/introduces company procedures, followed by a Live Exercise to establish how these procedure perform in a practical situation. This allows companies to make a true assessment of procedures and identifies positives and weaknesses along the way.