Emergency Reception Centre entrance

Are these courses right for you?

ESS is a provincial program for local authorities and Indigenous governments which support those displaced during disasters. If you are supporting ESS, these courses are for you.

Volunteer for ESS 

Interested in volunteering? Reach out to your local authority, Indigenous government, or the provincial ESS program.

New ERA Training! 

Looking for training on BC's Evacuation Registration & Assistance (ERA) tool? See ERA Training Information tab below.

These courses are designed for ESS responders who are supporting their local government or Indigenous community's ESS program, and the needs of community members impacted by emergency or disaster within British Columbia.

Course participants may be volunteers or staff members associated with a local government, Indigenous community, or ESS support agency in British Columbia. This includes ESS responders, supervisors, directors, and others directly supporting a community's emergency management program.

Each ESS course focuses on different aspects of providing Emergency Support Services and supporting an ESS community program. Training is offered to community ESS personnel in three general categories:

Introductory Training - A based level of training that all ESS responders will need to know to effectively support their ESS team and community.

Specialized Training - Specialized or specific training areas for more experienced ESS team members who are continuing to develop their skills and capacity to support their community.

ESS Management/Leadership Training - More advanced knowledge and skills for those who may be assuming supervisory or leadership positions within their local ESS team.

Please review the individual courses below for more information.

Fees for ESS courses are covered by Emergency Management British Columbia for public safety lifeline volunteers and community personnel actively involved with their local ESS program.

Organizations from outside of British Columbia interested in ESS training can contact emergency@jibc.ca for more information on private contract training opportunities.

Registrations and applications for JIBC’s ESS training courses are processed in different ways depending on the course:

ESS Online Courses – To register, search the course on our website (or listed below), select a suitable date from the course page, and follow the directions to self-register online.

ESS Correspondence Courses – To access correspondence course booklets for Introduction to ESS (EMRG-1600) or ESS Level 1 (EMRG-1607) contact your ESS program. ESS Directors or local community Emergency Program Coordinators (EPCs) can contact ess@jibc.ca to order ESS correspondence booklets free of charge for their communities.

ESS Community-based Courses – To register contact the host communities ESS Program. Note: Most community in-person course are currently paused.

ESS Directors Course (EMRG-1681) – To apply for the ESS Directors course, participants must obtain approval from their communities ESS Director (or EPC) and then complete an online application. More information is available in the ESS Directors Course Information tab below.

Note: Some courses have pre-requisites which are shown with the course description on the JIBC website. If your JIBC student record does not show the applicable pre-requisite, the online system will prevent you from registering.

More Information – If you require more information about registration or pre-requisites, please contact ess@jibc.ca.

ESS Training Details

To support ESS Responders and communities, EMBC has made available two levels of Evacuation Registration and Assistance (ERA) Tool training. These courses are self-paced training that allow the learner to progress theough at their own speed and are available for instant enrollment through online self-registration.

EMRG-1620 ERA for Responders - This course is intended for ESS responder (tier 1 users) of the British Columbia's Evacuee Registration & Assistance tool.

EMRG-1622 ERA for Management - This course in intended for ESS supervisors (tier 2 users), manager/director (tier 3 users), and local emergency program administrators (tier 4 users) of the British Columbia's Evacuee Registration & Assistance tool. This course includes all components of EMRG-1620, tier 2-4 users do not need to register for both courses.

Required Pre-Requisites - Both ERA courses have a pre-requisite of EMRG-1615 Registration and Referrals (and Registration and Referrals has pre-requisites of EMRG-1600 and EMRG-1610). You will only be able to register online if EMRG-1615 is showing on your JIBC training record.

Temporary Exemption for ERA Training Pre-Requisites - To accommodate operational response needs, communities may request a pre-requisite exemption to allow their personnel access ERA training. This exemption is only available until October 1, 2022.

To be eligible for this exemption, ESS responders must have:

  • completed just-in-time training by a JIBC trainer in the past year,
  • completed in-house training by an experienced/senior-level ESS responder in the past year, OR
  • have experience working in a Reception Centre completing Registration and Referrals in the past year.

Note: Requests for temporary pre-requisite exemption must be submitted at a group level from the community ESS Director or EPC. Individual request will not be considered. This is only a temporary exemption, responders must still complete the required pre-requisites to retain accessibility to ERA after Oct 1, 2022.

For more information, to confirm eligibility, and to obtain the group request form, ESS Directors or EPCs should contact essmodernization@gov.bc.ca. If approved, course registration will be managed by JIBC at a group level - individual online registration will not be necessary.

The EMRG-1681 Emergency Support Services Director course is offered to members of the ESS community who may be assuming senior or leadership positions with their local ESS program. Approval from your community's ESS Director or Emergency Program Coordinator is required to apply.

The course is currently available online through an instructor guided group-based learning experience. The 21-hour course is scheduled over three weeks with self-direct work, group discussions/activities, and live virtual classroom sessions on Saturday mornings. In person versions of this course are currently paused.

To Apply:

1. Confirm you have completed the required pre-requisites:

2. Obtain permission from your ESS Director or Emergency Program Coordinator.

3. Go to the ONLINE APPLICATION page, and if the dates of the next available offering are suitable, submit your application.

 Your application will be reviewed about 4 weeks before the next offering and if accepted you will be notified and registered in the course.

If you have any questions about the course or your application, please contact ess@jibc.ca.

Currently, EMBC is sponsoring a selection of JIBC online emergency management courses for registered public safety lifeline volunteers (PSLV) in the ESS community. A sponsored course means course fees are waived for ESS responders who have received local EM/ESS leadership approval to apply.

These courses currently include:

  • EMRG-1100 Introduction to Emergency Management in Canada
  • EMRG-1200 Incident Command System Level 100
  • EMRG-1143 Introduction to Emergency Management Exercise Design
  • EMRG-1320 Emergency Operations Centre Essentials

For more information and to access the online course application form please go to the EMBC’s emergency management course descriptions and calendar webpage.

Delivery of community-based in-person training is currently on hold. Communities with an urgent or response need for in-person delivery of ESS training courses should contact essmodernization@gov.bc.ca.

ESS Quick Reference Guide - This quick reference guide provides those learning about and working in the Reception Centre and Group Lodging, with some basic prompts, reminders, tasks, and activities. Full-colour and UV coated copies are also available for purchase from JIBC.

ESS teams are encouraged to facilitate their own introductory training through existing ESS responders who are experienced with their program and the ESS services provided. To assist these in-house facilitators, the following materials are available:

Introduction to Reception Centre

Introduction to Group Lodging

Stay updated with the latest news about JIBC ESS training

Questions about Emergency Support Services Courses?
By submitting this form, I agree to receive promotional communications from the Justice Institute of British Columbia via email or by phone.
Or just email