National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Incident Position Descriptions (IPDs)

Incident Position Descriptions (IPDs)

  • Provide the single authoritative source for the essential duties and responsibilities for each NWCG position.
  • Ensure connection between the position and established operational standards.
  • Build consistency (organization, nomenclature, terminology) internal to each position and across the inventory of positions.
  • Prevent unnecessary duplication of duties across positions.
  • Help identify performance support needs such as job aids, training courses, and Position Task Books (PTBs).

Steps to Creating an IPD

  1. Determine if the position meets criteria for inclusion in NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1.
  2. Review previously completed IPDs as examples.
  3. Collect duty and responsibility statements from existing standards documents, course materials, PTBs, and subject matter expert experience.
    1. Include laterally qualified (not qualified higher than the position) personnel in this process to ensure duties and responsibilities remain at the appropriate level.
    2. List the source next to the statement. This creates an inventory that connects the position duties to the operational and position-specific standards. This will not appear in the final IPD.
  4. Transfer these statements into the relevant category in the IPD Template (docx) IPD template. Check for redundancy throughout statements.
  5. Compare the draft IPD to the List of Standard IPD Statements. Can you use a standard statement to promote consistency across the inventory of all NWCG positions?
  6. Begin statements with action-oriented verbs. Avoid vague verbs such as “be familiar with,” “knowledge of,” or “understand.”
  7. Organize the statements in the IPD from an incident standpoint – from initial dispatch to demobilization and everything in-between.
  8. Compare the IPD with others in your functional area. Are similar statements worded identically, or do they diverge? Can they be worded similarly?
  9. Collaborate with key stakeholders that may have an interest in providing IPD feedback.
  10. Share the draft IPDs with the parent committee (if they are not the position steward) and the NWCG coordinator.
  11. Work with the NWCG coordinator and the NWCG webmaster to post the IPDs to the NWCG website. The IPDs will be statused as Under Review. Widespread input from the user community will be solicited using NWCG’s communication and feedback processes. Assess input and incorporate as warranted.

Parent Committee Approval and Long-Term Management of the IPD

When the position steward has completed assessing and incorporating inputs, they should inform their parent committee. The parent committee will approve the IPD. IPDs should be dynamically managed according to the NWCG Incident Position Performance Cycle; as operational standards evolve, so should the IPD.

IPD Management

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