You are here: Home / Evaluation / Tools & Resources / Drill & Exercise Evaluation Tips

Four Phases of Drills and Exercises Evaluation

Drills and Exercises are effective tools for public health professionals to gain hands-on practice in emergency scenarios. To evaluate the effectiveness of drills and exercises, use these four evaluation phases.

Drills and Exercises are effective tools for public health professionals to gain hands-on practice in emergency scenarios. NWCPHP is pleased to help evaluate the effectiveness of drills and exercises. Here are four evaluation phases for drills and exercises.

These evaluation phases are exemplified in the Emergency Preparedness Drill Evaluation Flowchart.

Participants in a drill conducted by NWCPHP

1. Pre-Drill Planning Assessment.

When planning a drill or exercise, begin by considering the background of your participants, what knowledge you want them to gain, and how the knowledge might be applied to real-life situations. Evaluating a drill or exercise will only be useful if the desired outcomes and competencies are determined from the beginning. Use these findings to adjust the drill or exercise content as needed.

2. Pre-Drill Participant Assessment.

Administer a pre-drill survey to participants that assesses their confidence in the competencies to be practiced in the drill. Knowledge-based objective questions can also be included, as found in the Preparedness example of a pre-drill evaluation survey. Use aggregated pre-drill survey information to modify the drill content as needed.

3. Post-Drill Debriefing Session.

Immediately following completion of the drill, conduct a debriefing session. The format should be an informal, roundtable discussion. The discussion should seek feedback on what went well, what did not work, areas to improve and what was learned. Examples of debriefing questions are listed in the Preparedness Drill Debriefing Session Questions document.

A hard-copy survey like the Preparedness Post-Drill Evaluation should be distributed after the roundtable discussion as part of the debriefing session. The survey should assess self reported progress in the competency areas and confidence about familiarity with material and abilities to perform tasks. Objective assessment with knowledge-based questions and areas needing additional support can also be added.

4. Follow-up Assessment.

Three months following the exercise, conduct a follow-up assessment of participants. This may be implemented in the form of a web-based survey. In the assessment, evaluate what drill competencies have been retained, how skills have been applied, and whether any further work has been done to build upon competencies addressed in the drill. Include subjective questions about the participant’s perception of competencies retained, as well as an objective assessment using knowledge-based questions. Finally, survey participants for areas needing additional support or training.