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.