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CCG/6102 National Standard Operating Procedure (NSOP)
520 COVID-19 - Virtual Incident Command Post

Original: 2020-06-04 Revised: n/a Approved by Julie Gascon, Director General, Operations, on June 4, 2020.


The purpose of this national standard operating procedure (NSOP) is to outline the use of the incident command post (ICP) in a virtual environment when responding to a marine casualty event. A virtual Incident Command System (ICS) will be required in order to allow responders from various jurisdictions to respond to a marine incident while ensuring physical distancing protocols are followed. Physical distancing requirements prevent Incident Management Team (IMT) members from meeting within the same ICP. Due to the anticipated stresses on IT networks and infrastructure, it is critical that IMT personnel at different locations be kept to a minimum.


This NSOP must apply to all personnel who are designated as part of the IMT during a response to a marine casualty event. This NSOP does not apply to operational personnel working in the field conducting tactical missions/duties.


All personal information collected is to be managed according to Protected B protocols.

Procedure for IT requirements
Step Procedures
  1. Each user must either have a laptop or desktop computer with a camera, microphone, speaker and high-speed Internet capability (Ethernet cable, 802.11n or higher Wi-Fi).
  2. Due to Government of Canada security requirements, the Microsoft Teams application must be used to conduct virtual ICP meetings, calls and document sharing.
  3. All IMT members must have access to the Microsoft Teams application. Ideally, IMT members must have this application pre-installed on their computers.
  4. The following equipment or components must also be available to everyone:
    • 4.1. an electronic messaging capability (Outlook / Microsoft Exchange for Government of Canada employees)
    • 4.2. regular Microsoft Office suite and PDF reader applications
    • 4.3. a Government of Canada teleconferencing service line (as a backup)
    • 4.4. cellular and/or landline phone
    • 4.5. other Government of Canada approved applications such as WebEx, for example
Procedure for ICS requirements
Step Procedures
  1. The incident commander is responsible for designating and identifying each IMT and unified command (UC) member from federal, provincial, municipal, First Nations, and other organizations, including those from the responsible party (where applicable).
  2. Each IMT and UC member will be responsible for ensuring they meet the IT requirements outlined in this NSOP and must be participating remotely in order to follow physical distancing protocols.
  3. If required, the unified commander may consider purchasing Microsoft Team licenses for those IMT members that are unable to throughout the response to the incident.
Procedure for ICS forms
Step Procedures

It would be impractical to use paper ICS forms during a virtual ICS application. As such, all ICS forms will be made available in fillable PDF and Microsoft Word format under the “FILES” section for the specific ICS Microsoft Team.

For those IMT members who do not have access to the ICS forms online, the incident commander will provide them with access (for example, via email, FTP site, MS Teams, etc.).

Procedure for ICS meetings
Step Procedures
  1. Meetings will be conducted through Microsoft Teams and follow the ICS planning process ("Planning P"). The Government Teleconferencing Service can be used as a backup service.
  2. All meetings, virtual or voice, shall be conducted through the Microsoft Teams application, but should be kept to a minimum to avoid undue stress on the IT infrastructure.
  3. When at all practical, calls to individual IMT members should be conducted over cell or landline to limit stress on the IT infrastructure.
Procedure for incident termination
Step Procedures
1. Once the incident has terminated and the IMT has been demobilized, the documentation unit leader will be responsible for ensuring a copy of all ICS forms and incident action plans generated throughout the response have been stored on the DFO network.


Enquiries regarding this procedure should be directed to:

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