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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Guiding Principles

The Framework has six overarching principals:

Six Guiding Principles Infographic

  1. Improve operational readiness for all hazards: ASPR must constantly strive to enhance the operational readiness of its response teams, materiel, information systems, and personnel so that they are ready to execute public health and medical missions in response to a wide variety of man-made and naturally occurring threats and hazards. Headquarters and field elements must be appropriately trained, qualified, and rehearsed to established readiness standards in order to meet demands of varying scope, complexity, and consequences.

  2. Empower operational decisions in the field: Incidents are managed most efficiently and effectively at the organizational level closest to the impacted area using established concepts and procedures codified in NIMS/ICS doctrine.

  3. Provide incident support and communication coordination from the Secretary’s Operation Center: HHS and ASPR headquarters elements, including the Secretary’s Operations Center (SOC), perform incident support activities and provide strategic situational awareness to the Department’s senior leadership and other U.S. Government leadership, as directed.

  4. Encourage a collaborative culture: The ASPR organization must embrace a collaborative culture that promotes integration across all of ASPR, all of HHS, and with key interagency, intergovernmental, and private-sector partners.

  5. Ensure interoperability and integration with existing standards: The ASPR organization’s approach to emergent threats and incidents must be scalable, flexible, and adaptable. It must also be compatible with the NIMS, the National Response Framework, and other core aspects of the National Preparedness System. Alignment with these national standards and proven principles, in a way that is tailored to meet HHS mission needs, is essential to ensure that ASPR efforts are right-sized, fully integrated, and interoperable with those of various diverse federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal agencies and non-governmental partners.

  6. Institutionalized accountability and continuous improvement: All ASPR personnel must be accountable for their actions and remain committed to organizational learning and continuous improvement.

About the Incident Response Framework

  • This page last reviewed: December 05, 2019