Skills clinic

Decision Making Under Pressure


8:30am-3:30pm, 01 December 2017



Decision making can be particularly challenging for incident management teams (IMTs) facing an emergency.

IMTs are often faced with high levels of uncertainty and constantly changing conditions, and must make time-critical decisions which can have major consequences for people's lives and property.

Beyond the nature of the incident itself, the quality and timeliness of a decision and the effectiveness of operating procedures can be subject to human factors including:

  • agency and team norms
  • interpersonal relationships
  • levels of expertise
  • bias
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • situational awareness.

IMTs make decisions in wide ranging conditions; various models and processes may be more applicable at different points of time (e.g. initial escalating phase versus steady state) and in different circumstances (e.g. routine versus novel incidents). Understanding what is important in decision making empowers incident management personnel to better monitor and manage their teams, and identify potential threats.

This clinic will use a variety of case studies to explore decision making, and provide the opportunity to practice using decision aids to assist participants in utilising the AFAC Decision Making Under Pressure guide. 

Key highlights

Drawing on a range of Bushfire CRC and emergency sector research, this clinic examines the decision-making processes relevant to incident management, including:

  • decision making for challenges faced by incident management personnel
  • the various decision making models used in incident management
  • prerequisites for sound decision making in teams
  • factors that can undermine decision making
  • techniques that can assist decision making.

Who should attend?

This event is essential capability building for:

  • people who work in functional roles within IMTs
  • people who work with IMTs
  • trainers who want an introduction to the theory about decision making in order to build their own understanding.