National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-520, Advanced Incident Management, N/A

S-520 Decorative banner: Four photos of wildland fire incident operations. Two people stand in a command tent at the end of a large table covered in maps. A finance section chief works on a laptop she stands over. A female firefighter holds a handheld radio as she looks down. A planning section chief sits behind a desk talking on a handheld radio.

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Using classroom lecture and simulated incidents, students will understand the role and function of a Type 1 Incident Management Team, the applicability of management principles to the incident management job, and the special considerations of incident management within geographic areas of the nation.

The Complex Incident Management Course (CIMC) was developed in conjunction with Advanced Incident Management, S-520. The two courses were co-developed around similar course and lesson objectives and content. For additional information on CIMC or S-520, go to the NAFRI website at

Early Nomination Rationale: Early nomination has been requested to give those nominated the necessary mentoring and pre-work assignments for the course.


  • Given a simulated complex fire situation, students will effectively perform functional and team responsibilities. Individual performance must meet established criteria for successful completion of the course.

Target Group

Any person qualified to fill a national level interagency Type 1 Incident Management Team position as Incident Commander, Planning Section Chief, Operations Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, Finance Section Chief, Safety Officer, or Public Information Officer, or any person desiring to become certified in one of these positions at the Type 1 complexity level. 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Individuals must be functionally certified and qualified at the Type 2 level for the position they will be filling at the course. Nominations must be submitted with a current fire qualifications record and with a narrative statement giving a brief background of the person nominated. Include a description of the intended use of the skills developed as a result of attending S-520.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.



S-520 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 20
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 40
Total Hours 60

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

This course is managed by a National Steering Committee. Nationally recognized subject matter experts and practitioners serve as instructors in this course.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.


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