Phase 4: After Action Report and Improvement Planning

After Action Report/Improvement Plan

An After Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) is used to providefeedback to participating entities on their performance during theexercise. The AAR/IP summarizes exercise events and analyzes performanceof the tasks identified as important during the planning process. Italso evaluates achievement of the selected exercise objectives anddemonstration of the overall capabilities being validated. The IPportion of the AAR/IP includes corrective actions for improvement, alongwith timelines for their implementation and assignment to responsibleparties.

To prepare the AAR/IP, exercise evaluators analyze data collectedfrom the hot wash, debrief, Participant Feedback Forms, EEGs, and othersources (e.g., plans, procedures) and compare actual results with theintended outcome. The level of detail in an AAR/IP is based on theexercise type and scope. AAR/IP conclusions are discussed and validatedat an After Action Conference that occurs within several weeks after theexercise is conducted.

The IP portion of an AAR/IP converts lessons learned from the exerciseinto concrete, measurable steps that result in improved responsecapabilities. It specifically details the actions that the participatingentity will take to address each recommendation presented in the draftAAR/IP, who or what agency will be responsible for taking the action,and the timeline for completion.

Sample AAR/IP

Improvement Planning

During improvement planning, corrective actions from the AAR/IP—suchas additional training, planning, and/or equipment acquisition—areassigned, with due dates, to responsible parties. They are then trackedto completion, ensuring that exercises result in tangible benefits topreparedness.

Once recommendations, corrective actions, responsibilities, and duedates are clearly identified in the IP, the exercising entity ensuresthat each corrective action is tracked to completion. Exercisingentities review all exercise evaluation feedback and resulting IPs toassess progress on enhancing preparedness. This analysis may identifyneeds for additional equipment, training, exercises, coordination,plans, and/or procedures that can be validated through future exercises.Continual IP tracking and implementation should be part of a correctiveaction program within each participating entity. A corrective actionprogram ensures IPs are living, breathing documents that are continuallymonitored and implemented, and that they are part of the larger cycleof improving preparedness.