Acts of terrorism and shootings in public places have become an unfortunate reality in modern society. As a result, many organisations are taking proactive measures to protect their people, stakeholders and reputation. With the proper planning and training, organisations can better respond to an active shooter tragedy, despite the unpredictable nature of such incidents.



In 2013, the Australia and New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) released the national guidelines for Active Shooter incidents. These were designed to assist Places of Mass Gathering such as:

  • Sporting, tourism, entrainment venues and major events
  • Shopping and business precincts
  • Government buildings
  • Educational facilities
  • Places of worship
  • Hotels and convention centres
  • Public transport hubs


The perpetrators have been identified as being political or religious extremists, as well as disgruntled or mentally impaired individuals. The guidelines identify a range of actions that operators of Places of Mass Gathering should undertake in order to adequately prepare for such incidents.

Soon after the guidelines were released, Dynamiq was approached by a number of clients for advice on how best to prepare for an active shooter incident. In response, we assembled a team of experts, including risk management consultants, an intelligence and counter-terrorism specialist, emergency management consultants and a counter-terrorism expert who was involved in developing the national guidelines and training state police forces around the country

The result of this development was five modules organisations can select depending on their current level or readiness and the threat.



Active shooter incidents often begin with minimal warning, lasting a short duration, and culminate in widespread fear and tragic results. Unlike other emergencies an active shooter incident can be highly unpredictable, due to a continuously moving threat. Therefore, the correct prevention and preparation initiatives, strong leadership and decisiveness by staff are crucial for an effective response. Dynamiq can assist your organisation with the following ways to prepare:


1. Threat Assessment

Using an intelligence-led approach, the Threat Assessment should identify specific internal or external threats which may affect your people, assets and operations. By collecting and analysing security threat indicators, it is possible to develop an accurate threat picture for your organisation.


2. Develop Specific Emergency Response Procedures

If existing emergency management and security documentation does not already include a response to active shooter incidents, then specific procedures should be developed.


3. Training in new procedures

Training is an essential part of preparing for an active shooter incident, and can make all the difference. Staff should be trained appropriately in the procedures for the response to an active shooter incident. This should include those staff, such as Wardens and security that would be responsible for decision-making during an incident.


4. Active Shooter Awareness Training

General staff would benefit from a briefing on what they can do to contribute to their own safety as well as the safety of others.


5. Exercise to test the response to an Active Shooter incident

In comparison to other emergencies, an active shooter incident demands a more tactical and fluid response. This means that the pressure is on staff to act with limited time to make critical decisions. One way to prepare staff is by running a desktop exercise to go through a scenario in a safe environment and receive productive feedback.



For information about any of these services please contact Philip Kent-Hughes on 03 8340 5219 or





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