The INSARAG Guidelines 2015 include a complete manual on strengthening national and local capacity building (Vol. II, Manual A) and recommend countries to establish a national USAR team accreditation mechanism to allow a country to “manage, monitor and establish the same standards officially and adhere closely to the INSARAG standards and guidance in developing its USAR national response systems”. This process has been worked on particularly since 2014 in a workshop carried out in Chile on “The creation of a national USAR team accreditation process” and many of the lessons learned in the Americas region in the past few years have been incorporated.

Read more here

National Accreditation Process

The INSARAG Africa, Europe and Middle East (AEME) Regional Group meeting was held on 14-15 November 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey, generously hosted by the Government of Turkey and the Disaster and Emergency Presidency of Turkey (AFAD). The meeting which brought together 85 participants from the region and beyond representing 27 countries aimed at electing a Regional Troika 2018, finalizing the INSARAG AEME Regional Plan for 2018, discussing the key INSARAG issues following the 2017 INSARAG Steering Group meeting, namely: IER Pre-Greening Arrangements, Light Teams Quality Assurance Standards, National Accreditation Processes, UCC and KoBo implementation and IEC/R Requirements and the INSARAG Guidelines Version 2020 and other essential matters.


AEME Meeting Final Agenda

Annex C

Meeting Summary

Work Plan 2018

Participant list

 Please find attached  the 4 ICMS Handbooks  (Excon, RDC, Team and UCC guides) in English and Italian through the following link:


 Note From IMWG

We are all facing a situation that we only know from exercises or films. Even I could never have imagined that we were on the way to a complete shutdown in Germany.

Assuming that there will be no Face to Face meeting in 2020 we look for alternatives.

In order to prepare for any upcoming USAR Mission, IMWG has started to distribute the ICMS user licenses to the teams during the past few weeks.

Over 80% of the teams have received access to their ICMS training accounts already. In addition, we published the ICMS Handbooks as well.

Now we need to start training sessions on the new system. An earthquake can happen at any time, as we have seen during the past weeks.

With thanks, we have already received the “COVID-19 USAR OPERATIONAL GUIDANCE NOTE”.

IMWG would like to take the next step and offer training on ICMS via an INTERNET “MS Teams”. We thought we would split it into two parts.

1.) The Basics (Team related approx..3 hours)

            Short pptx, 30 minutes max.

            Life demo how to install and set up the apps (Survey123 and ESRI Explorer)

            Collecting data via different devices (Smartphone, Tablet, Laptops, PC)

            The “Dashboard”

            Q&A session


2.) Advanced (More related to RDC and UCC members, approx. 2 hours)

            Sectorization, Event Boarder

The Dashboard in more details

            Tasking of teams

            Q&A session

We did already successfully a first training with the staff of ERS via “MS Teams”

The first IMWG ICMS training will be organized the Week after Easter. The exact date will soon be published at 

We are open to requests and suggestions.





Image Map

95 participants from 31 countries and organizations working on urban search and rescue (USAR) gathered for the annual International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) Asia-Pacific (A-P) Regional Meeting in c, on 14 – 15 September 2017.

The meeting was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, hosted by the Government of Malaysia Regional Chair 2016, and co-organized by OCHA in its capacity as the INSARAG Secretariat that is located in the Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) of the Emergency Services Branch (ESB) in OCHA Geneva.


Annex A – Participant List

Annex B – Agenda AP Meeting 2017

Annex C  – DRAFT Summary of Breakout Discussions

Annex D – Summary of AP Strategy and Workplan 2018

Annex D1 – INSARAG AP Regional Group Strategic Plan 2016-20

INSARAG AP Meeting Summary 14-15 Malaysia 2017

We are pleased to announce the launch of the OSOCC E-Learning Training Course by the Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) in OCHA Geneva. We very much encourage you to complete this course, and also to forward the links below to Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams and National Management Disaster Authorities (NDMAs) in your country or region.

The OSOCC Awareness E-Learning course includes three modules.

Access the three modules here:

Start the course by clicking on Module 1:
When completed, please close down the module.

Click here for Module 2:

When completed, please close down the module.

Click here for Module 3:

At the end of module 3, you will be directed to a link on the Virtual OSOCC, where you can print your certificate.

Note: Browsers for Viewing the published OSOCC e-learning Awareness Course include Adobe Flash Player 10.3 or these web browsers: Windows: Firefox (latest version) recommended, Google Chrome (latest version), Internet Explorer 8 and later, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Mac: Safari 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version)


INSARAG teams are expected to use a common system of work. This includes using common forms and information displays.

To download the USAR Coordination Manual click here.
To download the USAR Coordination Desktop click here.

UC Course Package:

The UC Package for trained UC instructors and for INSARAG teams to use for your own team training can be found at this link: UCC Package

UC IEC/R Checklist Item for 2018:

The IEC/R Checklist item for USAR Coordination as finalised in the Team Leader’s Meeting are:

Should you have further questions, kindly contact your representatives from the Training Working Group listed in and/or contact the Secretariat at

USAR Operations 
11 UCC/SCCUSAR Coordination and use of IMWG Toolbox  Clarification  Assessment Method  Remarks  Colour Mode 
11.1 Does the USAR team have a sufficient number of trained personnel to undertake UC activities? Team numbers should include a redundancy ratio of at least 2:1. They need to have completed the INSARAG accredited UC course.  
11.2 Does the USAR team have sufficient equipment to be able to operate a RDC/UCC/SCC? The RDC and UCC/SCC capability should demonstrate its ability to have a self-sustaining system as per annexe E of the USAR coordination manual.
11.3 Does the USAR team have the ability to establish and operate an RDC, UCC or SCC?  The team is the first team in-country and should have a minimum of 4 trained staff for a heavy and 2 trained staff for a medium team.
It is required to communicate directly with LEMA until the UCC is established. 
The focus is on USAR coordination, field assessment and liaison with local authorities (LEMA). For the purpose of the exercise, the USAR team must demonstrate that it can run its own Command and Control (C&C) and the UCC/SCC simultaneously.
The UCC/SCC can be established and operated out of the USAR team’s C&C tent, or in a separate location.
The team must demonstrate its ability to be self-sufficient and run the RDC and UCC/SCC functions during the exercise. This does not need to be simultaneous.
Setting up and operating the RDC and UCC/SCC must be evaluated during the exercise. 
11.4 Does the USAR team utilise INSARAG forms to manage coordination information? USAR Team: 
Fact Sheet 
Work Site Triage 
Work Site Report 
Victim Extrication 
Fact Sheet Summary 
Operations Management Tool
Incident / Sector Situation Report 
11.5 Does the USAR team ensure a representative is present at the UCC/SCC during USAR coordination meetings? The teams representative attending these meetings must be authorised to comment on the teams’ operational activities and be in a position to make decisions on behalf of the team.
11.6 Does the USAR team have the ability to submit data to IMWG? The team should be using either paper forms or tablets to gather information and to submit to the IMWG platform. 
11.7 Are there assigned and trained personnel to submit information to IMWG? Personnel should understand the basics of the IMWG system and the significance of the information being gathered.
11.8 Can UCC/SCC components of the team demonstrate the ability to analyse data submitted to IMWG? The team should be able to analyse collected information and be able to convert into plans ensuring the right level of resources are assigned.
Use of mapping?





Team forms:

Name Pdf version Excel version Word version
Team Fact Sheet Download Download N/A
Worksite triage form Download Download N/A
Worksite Report form Download Download N/A
Victim Extrication form Download Download N/A
Demobilisation form Download Download N/A


Coordination tool:

Name Pdf version Excel version Word version
Team Fact Sheet summary Download Download N/A
Wide area assessment Download Download N/A
Sector Assessment Download Download N/A
RDC Briefing Download Download N/A
Worksite assignment Download Download N/A
Operations Management Tool Download Download N/A
Incident/Sector Situation Report  Download Download N/A
Affected area information Download Download N/A
Olympic Codes Download Download N/A
OSOCC/LEMA briefing Download Download N/A
RDC Handout Download Download N/A
OSOCC Planning Guideline Download Download N/A
Meeting Agenda Guideline Download Download N/A
Assignment Briefing Download Download N/A


Coordination wall displays:

Name Pdf version Excel version Word version
Weather forecast Download N/A Download
Safety and security Download N/A Download
Infrastructure status Download N/A Download
Information sources Download N/A Download
Host government information Download N/A Download
Local facilities Download N/A Download
Reporting schedule Download N/A Download
Briefing schedule Download N/A Download
Key contacts and locations Download N/A Download
Current situation Download N/A Download
Organogram – large Download N/A Download
Organogram – small Download N/A Download
Incoming USAR teams Download N/A Download
Incoming medical teams Download N/A Download
Incoming relief teams Download N/A Download
Airport information Download N/A Download
Incident overview Download N/A Download
Sector overview Download N/A Download
Humanitarian impact Download N/A Download
Victim handling Download N/A Download
Meeting minutes Download N/A Download
Logistics available Download N/A Download
Logistics requests Download N/A Download
Resource tracking (internal) Download N/A Download
Outstanding issues Download N/A Download
Coordination staff information Download N/A Download


Other documents:

Name PDF version Excel version Word version
Briefing Checklist                    Download  Download  N/A
Virtual OSOCC Manual Download  N/A  N/A
Guide USAR Download  N/A  N/A


USAR Coordination web links:

Virtual OSOCC

AZ World Airports


Completed work of the LTWG:

The document “Introduction LT” describes the concept of International Light Teams. At this moment the Guidelines text for the GRG has been assembled and rewritten on the Light concept and needs a final check to see if it is complete. The results will be shared with you before the coming summer holidays. 

The document “Quality Assurance explanations” describes the advice of the LTWG to the new QAWG. A PowerPoint presentation is added to clarify the text and to show how a classification process could be set up for International Light. And at the same time could be used for a discussion about the classification process for Medium and Heavy in the future in the attempt to reduce the amount of work to assure the existing quality.
The document “USAR scale” explains the differences between national, regional and international deployment of USAR teams and the need for the type of quality assurance. The LTWG thinks that this document will clarify the inter-linkage between International Light teams and existing systems National-, Neighbour assistance- and classified International Medium and Heavy teams. A PowerPoint “National Regional and International assistance scale”  is added to show the build-up of a large scale incident.
The document “LTWG Meeting Chairman summary Valabre” is a reflection of the work of the LTWG during the final meeting in France in April 2017.


INSARAG external support and recognition process (IESRP) for national USAR team accreditation processes

It is desirable that the national accreditation processes form an integral part of the INSARAG process in the wider sense, equally to the INSARAG External Classification process for international teams. This is with the purpose of ensuring interoperability and appropriate interaction between the national and international response capacity.

The purpose of the “INSARAG external support and recognition process (IESRP) for national USAR team accreditation processes” is to provide a general framework for the advisory work and national USAR team capacity building work in the INSARAG community with the aim to establish a recognition process of national USAR team accreditation processes.

The support process shall be

  1. Voluntary: above all, this process shall be completely voluntary and interested countries shall make a formal request in order to obtain the support
  2. Supported by a regional Technical Support Group: a roster of experts, which the appropriate profile (USAR experience, experience with the INSARAG methodology, languages) shall be constituted and endorsed by the Regional Chairmanship group
  3. Based on country commitment: countries which would have received support through this process from the Technical Support Group shall also commit to provide appropriate experts in turn for the regional roster
  4. Based on a commitment towards the INSARAG methodology: the requesting country shall demonstrate its willingness to work according to the INSARAG methodology
  5. Funded by the requesting country: the requesting country shall cover the costs related to the Technical Support Group but there may be different modalities to carry it out, including through bilateral agreements or with support from donors.

The support process is composed of the following key steps

  1. Request: the interested country shall present a request to the Secretariat with a formal document demonstrating the commitment of the country to work according to the INSARAG methodology and presenting a report on the self-evaluation of the achievement of the criteria and steps of the national accreditation process.
  2. Designation of the Technical Support Group: the Secretariat will send a request to the regional roster of experts who will respond with their availability to support the country in its national accreditation process. The requested country will select three experts from three different countries of the region.
  3. The support process: the Technical Support Group will advise the country in the implementation of the criteria and steps for the national USAR team accreditation process. The requesting country and the Technical Support Group shall determine the methodology and duration of the advisory services (virtual meetings, electronic correspondence, face-to-face meetings, etc.). NB: in some cases, this process may be very short depending on the process of the country, in other cases it may take much longer, including years.
  4. Verification of the achievement of the criteria and steps of the national accreditation process: the country and the Technical Support Group will determine the appropriate moment to carry out the visit to the country of the latter, during which the entire national accreditation process will be reviewed (final documents, practices, etc.). The technical Support Group will elaborate a report of its activities and the process witnessed in the country and will share it with the requesting country and the Secretariat.

External recognition

On behalf of the INSARAG community, the INSARAG Secretariat will issue a recognition to the national authorities in charge of the national USAR accreditation process which have demonstrated that they have incorporated and implemented the INSARAG methodology within their own national standards and processes. It is a way for the INSARAG community to promote national capacity strengthening processes and a way to recognise the fact that the efforts undertaken at national level are in line with the INSARAG methodology.

  1. This certificate of recognition will be issues upon recommendation from and following the receipt of the final report from the Technical Support Group.

Reference documentation 

IESRP Manual Final


For more information on the National Accreditation process, refer to the specific page.