After-Action Review and Reporting: An Introduction

After-Action Review and Reporting: An Introduction, an eLearning course, provides an overview of after-action review and reporting processes, as applied within a law enforcement organization following incidents ranging from common, everyday situations to complex, high-impact, critical incidents.


Title slide for the After-Action Review and Reporting An Introduction course with VCPI logo.

Arizona POST Approved Course
AZPOST Approval 22-329
AZPOST does not require the standard approval form for this course; however, if you would like one, please contact AZPOST directly at [email protected].

Course Overview

The application of after-action reviews is an effective organizational learning tool and powerful community policing strategy. This course equips law enforcement personnel with a basic understanding of when and in what circumstances an after-action may be best utilized, as well as how to conduct impactful reviews that result in written reports, including guidance on ways to organize, document, and communicate the findings of an after-action review. Although designed specifically for first line supervisors or officers in charge of conducting/overseeing the after-action process within an organization, this course benefits all local, state, and tribal law enforcement personnel, regardless of rank or position. Non-law enforcement community stakeholders may enhance their awareness of community policing efforts by taking this course. Learners may access and utilize an assortment of multimedia resources as needed in the future.

Target Audience

Public safety practitioners, first line supervisors or officers, local, state, and tribal law enforcement personnel, and non-law enforcement community stakeholders.

Cooperative Partners

This tuition-free online training was developed by the National Center for Policing Innovation (NCPI), formerly known as the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, and was supported by cooperative agreement 2015-CK-WXK-003 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the basic principles of community policing as they relate to the after-action process
  • Discover what makes after-actions a credible learning tool for law enforcement
  • Explore the role of after-actions in identifying and addressing wellness issues stemming from critical incidents
  • Explore the dynamic nature of the after-action review process
  • Identify ways to determine the type of review to conduct
  • Distinguish informal reviews from formal reviews, and the circumstances in which either may be most appropriate
  • Describe the leader or supervisor’s role in guiding and institutionalizing the process
  • Discover essential qualifications for an independent review team or consultant
  • Identify the role of comprehensive, well-written reports in the after-action review process
  • Examine the fundamental information typically included in written after-action reports
  • Explore the National Police Foundation’s online library of published Incident Reviews

National Center for Policing Innovation

The National Center for Policing Innovation (NCPI), formerly known as the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative community policing training, technical assistance, and program management services to law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve throughout the United States.