The post-incident analysis is an independent report meant to determine whether the response to a crisis or critical incident was conducted in the safest and most efficient manner. The analysis kicks off with the After Action Review or AAR. The AAR is a formal debrief carried out soon after the event while all participants in the incident, including those from other agencies, are still available, and memories are fresh. The AAR does not require outside experts.
The AAR combined with, at a later stage, support documents and additional interviews form the Post Incident Analysis Report. The report answers the three main questions: 1. What worked well, and why? 2. What did not work well? 3. What can be improved, and how?
The Post Incident Analysis Report is a powerful tool for change, notably assessing if the organization lived up towards its duty of care. The report is not to evaluate individual performance or assign credit or blame; to do so will kill the process.