• Royal Life Saving

Post Incident Debriefing



Fortunately significant incidents occur at aquatic facilities on an infrequent basis – thanks in large part to the hard working teams that are committed to ensuring patron and worker safety. However, when they do occur it is vital to have a strong Post Incident Debriefing process.


Conducting post-incident debriefing sessions not only enables individuals, and a facility, to recover from a significant incident, they also provide an opportunity for vital learning to take place and are therefore an essential aspect of the emergency planning process. It is important to document any lessons identified. The facility should then consider if there is a need to change current policies, procedures or plans, and, if change is necessary, provide the reasons for doing so to ensure that lessons are learnt. Many of the lessons identified in managing an incident have value for others working in the field.


It is vital that debriefing is carried out in a manner conducive to promoting organisational learning and encouraging a no-blame culture.


The debriefing sessions should:

• be conducted openly and honestly

• seek personal, group or organisational understanding and learning

• be consistent with professional responsibilities

• respect the rights of individuals

• value equally all those concerned.