Crisis Simulations

Chelgate has delivered crisis simulations to a range of large and small firms, educational bodies and charities.

Typically, participants range from 10-20 in number, but events can cater to smaller or slightly larger teams if needed.

Each scenario is a carefully structured unique creation, reflecting the particular characteristics, needs, vulnerabilities and resources of the individual client.

Desk-based scenarios

The desk-based scenario is a lower-key test of an organisation’s crisis resources than a full, live action simulation (see below).

It is, like its live action counterpart, run by a Chelgate convener. Usually taking place over a half day, events will be unfolded by the convener,  to which the client Crisis Management Team must react. The events will not be known to the participants in advance.

The desk-based exercise will have few if any live events (interviews, call-ins, unexpected visitors etc), although it may incorporate limited drafting exercises (press releases, Q&As, stakeholder communications etc).  Instead it will test existing arrangements and procedures against a variety of unexpected situations, and examine the Crisis Management Team’s familiarity with current guidelines, and its ability to respond.

Live-action scenarios

Live action scenarios simulate crises with a higher level of realism than desk-based exercises, adding the pressure of real-time, and challenges designed to add additional stresses typical of a “hot” crisis. Typically, a real time crisis scenario day will also include a variety of “bear-traps” – that is, changes of direction or unexpected revelations which may well expose and subvert earlier decisions, communications or positions adopted.

Live emails, phone calls and face-to-face interviews feature in the course of a live action scenario day. Sometimes these will be enhanced by other events (unexpected visitors, removal of team leader, discovery of hazardous device, loss of mobile phone networks etc). The client team must respond to developing events throughout the day, and events will alter in response to choices made by the team. Multiple demands may arise at the same time, each requiring urgent action.

The events are designed to be learning exercises in themselves.  In other words, the team will discover for themselves the consequences, shortcomings, requirements and opportunities inherent in their response to situations arising.  They will also have the opportunity to practice roles and tasks relevant to their Crisis Management responsibilities.

Upon completion of a scenario exercise, Chelgate will prepare a detailed report for the client management team.  This will give an overall assessment of the day, and indicate areas of particular strength or weakness.  This will usually be accompanied by specific recommendations as to ways in which the client might address areas of potential vulnerability, and possibly build upon areas of existing strength. Following submission of this report, Chelgate also meets with the client for a more detailed discussion of findings.