Joint Organisation Learning (JOL)

The lessons identified from de-briefing activities are now at the forefront of many key changes in emergency services policy and practices. 

Issues have frequently been identified but not successfully acted upon to improve effective joint working. It is essential that joint organisational learning is accepted as the standard for multi-agency learning and is adopted by all response agencies to ensure interoperability is continually improved.

Joint Organisational Learning (JOL) provides emergency services and other responder agencies with a consistent and accountable mechanism to ensure lessons identified are acted on and to ensure they become lessons learned.

11.1 Joint organisational learning arrangements

A robust governance structure and process addresses joint organisational learning issues.

The Interoperability Board provides governance for the joint organisational learning arrangements. This ensures that any issues regarding interoperability are considered and acted upon by appropriate representatives from the emergency services, their respective Government departments and other key stakeholders.

The process includes a method to capture, analyse, implement and share learning from incidents, training, testing and exercises, and from other external sources. All responder agencies (some via their local resilience forum or LRF) have access to the joint organisational learning application (JOL App) which is hosted on ResilienceDirect and can submit interoperability issues and share notable practice.

The majority of lessons to be learned are identified during de-brief procedures. It is essential that responder agencies have robust de-brief procedures at a local level, which include ways to identify any interoperability lessons and raise them to the national level via the JOL App.

11.1.1.De-Briefing and lessons identified

It is important to capture lessons while events are fresh in the minds of those involved. For this reason, a joint ‘hot de-brief’ should be held by commanders as soon as practicable after an incident.

Formal de-briefs, which may be held later, will take into account lessons identified and captured from hot de-briefs or equivalent post-incident reviews. All de-briefs should involve the full range of responders and control room staff to ensure the lessons identified are captured from every aspect of the response.

To support emergency services in capturing interoperability lessons, a de-brief template can be found in the JESIP Interoperability de-brief template. This template is designed to be integrated into, or used alongside, existing de-brief procedures.

11.1.2.Notable practice

Joint organisational learning (JOL) can also be used to share notable practice. This is where services have found a solution to an interoperability issue, which works well and that they wish to share so that others can benefit from their learning.

11.2 Expectations of responder agencies

To continually improve emergency response interoperability, all responder agencies must capture lessons identified from incidents, exercises and training and have the opportunity to submit them for consideration by the Interoperability Board.

Where lessons identified meet the criteria for adding to the joint organisational learning application, then a local process should be adopted to ensure all responder agencies and where it is deemed appropriate, the respective local resilience forums, agree what will be submitted and who will submit them on behalf of their agency or area.

Following any incident, exercise or training, those involved should ensure appropriate de-briefs are scheduled and that all those involved in the response are represented.

  • The lead agency for the response and/or local resilience forum (LRF) should co-ordinate de-briefing after a multi-agency incident or exercise
  • There should be a common understanding among attendees of any issues raised during the de-brief process
  • Issues should be captured using local multi-agency de-brief procedures alongside the JESIP interoperability de-brief template

11.2.1.Criteria for submission to joint organisational learning (JOL)

Issues that meet any of the following criteria should be submitted onto JOL:

  • Relate to interoperability – primarily using M/ETHANE, the JESIP principles for joint working and the joint decision model
  • Had an impact on the effectiveness of at least two of the response organisations
  • Impeded successful interoperability
  • Are known to be recurring issues
  • If resolved, could benefit other organisations and so may have a national impact

Any disclosure requests for information related to the de-brief or incident should be managed appropriately.

Supporting information, guidance and templates to help with using joint organisational learning (JOL) are available in the JESIP - Joint Organisational Learning, Learning Interoperability Lessons, Guidance Document 2015