IEC of Italy - November 2018

IEC of Colombia - March 2018

IEC of Armenia - September 2015

INSARAG Polex 2013

INSARAG Asia-Pacific Regional Exercise (Nepal)

IEC-Klassifizierung SARUV (Mai 2011)

EMERCOM Classification 2011 video 1

EMERCOM Classification 2011 video 2


The INSARAG Steering Group unanimously endorsed the new INSARAG Guidelines 2015, and the new Guidelines is put into effect as of 11 February 2015.

Please be informed that the 2015 Guidelines consist of three volumes:

Volume I: Policy 

Volume II: Preparedness and Response

Manual A: Capacity Building

Manual B: Operations

Manual C: IEC/Rs Guide 

Volume III: Operational Field Guide

The INSARAG Guidelines Volume II, Manual C provides guidance to teams aiming to achieve INSARAG External Classification (IEC) or aim to renew their IEC through an INSARAG External Reclassification (IER) process. It describes these two processes that form the INSARAG Classification System. It furthermore provides guidance for peer reviewers on how to conduct an IEC/IER.

IEC/Rs taking place after 1 April 2015 will be based on the IEC/R Checklist 2015 found in Volume II, Manual C - IEC/R Process.

IEC/R Checklist 2019

IEC Checklist 2015 in French

 For any further information, please contact INSARAG Secretariat at


Japan IEC 2010

Over the past decade disasters around the world, affecting urban areas of high density populations living and working in concrete and reinforced concrete single and multi story dwellings, has increased the need for sophisticated USAR capabilities. While deployment of international USAR teams has been of great benefit to trapped victims and the affected country, lessons learned have revealed the need for responding USAR teams to be integrated within a well coordinated system to ensure the most appropriate use of available USAR resources. Therefore, INSARAG saw a need to classify international USAR teams according to their operational capabilities in order to ensure that only qualified and appropriate international USAR resources are deployed to an emergency.

The INSARAG community acknowledges the importance of providing rapid professional USAR support during disasters which result in structural collapse.  In an effort to achieve this objective and the need to ensure that only qualified and appropriate international USAR resources are deployed to an emergency, the INSARAG community has developed a voluntary, independent, peer review process, the INSARAG External Classification (IEC).

To ensure that a USAR team’s international response capability remains current and continues to subscribe to the INSARAG methodology, the INSARAG External Reclassification (IER) process has also been endorsed. Taken together these two processes form the INSARAG Classification System.

Being established in 2005, this system is designed to ensure that assisting countries send a team with the required capabilities. It also plays a major role in ensuring that the appropriate resources are assigned to the appropriate sites as soon as possible. The INSARAG USAR team classification system has identified three levels of classification. These are Light, Medium and Heavy USAR teams. Details of the requirements that teams need to achieve in order to be classified, application to the IEC and all other relevant details are listed in the IEC/IER Guidelines.


Once a USAR team and its sponsoring organisation have agreed to undergo the IEC, it is required to submit an application to the INSARAG Secretariat making use of the IEC Application Phase 1 Form (Annex E of the IEC/IER Guidelines).

The requirements for this application are as follows:

  • The country’s INSARAG Focal Point is required to submit a written application to the INSARAG Secretariat stating that the USAR team would voluntarily like to undergo an IEC;
  • This application must be submitted to the INSARAG Secretariat a minimum of two years prior to the planned date.However it is important to note that due to the demand for IECs, it is more likely that the team will have to wait longer than two years before it can be scheduled;
  • This application must be completed in English where possible. Where this is not possible, a covering letter in English must accompany any non-English documents briefly explaining its contents;
  • Regardless of whether a USAR team is an official government team, a non-governmental team or combination thereof, it requires the formal support of the country’s INSARAG Focal Point in order to be eligible to undergo an IEC;
  • The application form includes the requirements for the abbreviated Portfolio of Evidence (PoE). 

Upon receipt of the written application and the abbreviated PoE, the INSARAG Secretariat will evaluate whether the USAR team in questionis likely to attain the standards required for the IEC within the available timeline. If the INSARAG Secretariat is satisfied with the initial substantiation of the team’s capability, it will:

  • Inform that country’s INSARAG Focal Point in writing that the team has been successful in its application;
  •   Allocate a provisional IEC exercise date;
  • Enter the IEC into the schedule of upcoming IECs which is available on the Virtual OSOCC.

On the issue of prioritising teams on the IEC queue, a decision given by the INSARAG Steering Group in 2010 says that for the new teams requesting for an IEC, the relevant INSARAG Regional Group during their annual regional meeting will discuss and present recommendations in the next INSARAG Steering Group meeting on the geographical spread of the IEC and recommend the priority of teams to be classified in their region.

If the INSARAG Secretariat is not satisfied with the initial substantiation of the team’s capabilities, it will inform that country’s INSARAG Focal Point in writing indentifying the areas of concern.