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Multi-agency gold incident command (MAGIC)

A legislative and practical framework for strategic level command in emergencies and major incidents, where a multi-agency response is required.

​MAGIC aims to develop delegates' confidence, understanding and ability to perform the role of gold commander by planning, implementing and reviewing a multi-agency strategy to ensure the timely resolution of a major incident or civil emergency.


MAGIC will assist delegates in developing their performance by providing an opportunity for them to be able to:

  • define the roles and responsibilities of different agencies during a major incident or civil emergency
  • take strategic 'gold' command of a major incident or civil emergency
  • plan, implement and review civil contingency plans and multi-agency communication strategies
  • understand the legal framework of a civil emergency


MAGIC provides a solid foundation for delegates to perform the role of strategic civil contingencies command, continue multi-agency training with their specific local resilience forum and to meet the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004, by sharing and exercising local plans.

The MAGIC course can be delivered locally on individual request by the relevant local resilience forum.

Methods of delivery

The course has a requirement for approximately four hours of pre-course work, including an e-learning package (must be successfully completed prior to attendance) via a web portal, and a research portfolio.

The course is delivered through a combination of facilitated discussions, guest speakers, an immersive learning exercise and support from subject matter experts.

Day one

  • a greater understanding of the role of the strategic commander
  • the legal framework underpinning civil contingencies command
  • in-depth discussion of the role of partner agencies
  • the human impacts of emergencies

Day two

Specialist speakers and drawing together learning across the agencies through application of JESIP at the strategic level, culminating in the discussion and practical development of multi-agency strategy within a strategic coordinating group (SCG).

Day three

An immersive exercise using the Hydra immersive learning system, where delegates work their way through a realistic emergency situation in both a single-agency and multi-agency forum.

Each delegate will have the opportunity to take command for their respective agency, applying and developing their existing leadership and command knowledge.

Day four

The review process and the recovery phase of emergencies.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to receive peer and expert feedback on their actions and decisions.

Key details

Qualification eligibility
  • Category 1 responders from the 'blue light' services and partner agencies who would normally perform strategic (gold) command for their organisation during a major incident or civil emergency
  • Police officers must be accredited in another strategic/gold discipline prior to applying to attend the MAGIC course, eg, public order gold, strategic firearms, CBRN gold

Prior to attending MAGIC the delegate must be able to:

  • demonstrate gold / strategic command within their own parent organisation
  • describe their own learning objectives for the course and its place within their own development plan
  • outline their own agency's role at a major incident / civil emergency
  • describe their own agency's major incident and contingency plans, providing an example from their area of work
  • summarise the contents of the publication Short guide to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004
  • identify and provide an example of those in their organisation who have undertaken the role of gold commander for a multi-agency event
  • explain and link the four stages of a major incident
Practitioner group

Delegates from police, fire and rescue and ambulance/health services must be trained gold commanders working at the strategic level.

Participants may include:

  • local and central Government
  • Ministry of Defence (MOD)
  • responders from transport, communications, utilities, strategic health and other category 2 responder agencies

Three and a half days.

Accreditation notes:

National accreditation for police delegates to perform the role of strategic civil contingencies commander.

This course is not formally assessed. The learning objectives are mapped to the integrated competency framework and national occupational standards. However, course facilitators monitor and work with delegates and can provide support and feedback for delegates where further development is identified as necessary to achieve confidence and competence.

Occupational competency to conduct the role of gold commander remains an operational decision for the delegate's line manager and parent organisation. Police commanders are accredited to perform the role of strategic civil contingencies commander for two years on successful completion of the course.


Home Office forces (residential): £2,786.50 (prices are valid from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022)

Course contact
Additional information

MAGIC meets the requirement under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) Regulations 2005 for the carrying out of exercises and training of appropriate category 1 staff with a role in dealing with major incidents at a strategic (gold) level.

MAGIC is delivered at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh. However, this course or a shortened version centred on providing effective continuing professional development (CPD) for previously trained commanders, can be delivered at other sites on the commission of local resilience forums (LRF).

Each course is facilitated by the College of Policing, Fire Service College and National Ambulance Resilience Unit. Subject matter experts will also provide advice and guidance.

This course links to the following skills for justice integrated competency framework (ICF) activities and national occupational standards (police) (NOS):

  • ICF 109 – set, monitor and review strategy for operations (gold)
  • ICF 919 – ensure the effective handling of major (and critical) incidents
  • ICF 938 – develop force operational strategies and contingencies plan for major incidents and disorder
  • ICF 318 – participate in simulated exercises in preparation for contingencies or major incidents
  • ICF 928 – manage media during major enquiries and incidents
  • NOS 2B1 – set, monitor and review strategies for policing operations
  • NOS HB7 – provide leadership for your organisation
  • NOS CD3 – prepare for, and participate in, planned law enforcement operations
  • CC AA1 – Work in cooperation with other organisations
  • CC AA2 – share information with other organisations
  • CC AA3 – manage information to support civil protection decision making
  • CC AB1 – anticipate and assess the risk of emergencies
  • CC AC1 – develop, maintain and evaluate emergency plans and arrangements
  • CC AD1 – develop, maintain and evaluate business continuity plans and arrangements
  • CC AD2 – promote business continuity management
  • CC AE1 – create exercises to practice or validate emergency or business continuity arrangements
  • CC AE2 – direct and facilitate exercises to practice or validate emergency or business continuity arrangements
  • CC AE3 – conduct debriefing after an emergency, exercise or other activity
  • CC AF1 – raise awareness of the risk, potential impact and arrangements in place for emergencies
  • CC AF2 – warn, inform and advise the community in the event of emergencies
  • CC AG1 – respond to emergencies at the strategic (gold) level
  • CC AG4 – address the needs of individuals during the initial response to emergencies
  • CC AH1 – provide on-going support to meet the needs of individuals affected by emergencies
  • CC AH2 – manage community recovery from emergencies
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