Glossary of Terms


  • Account

    To group or organize individual responders for the ease of managing qualification records in IQCS. The groups are based on their employment agency, home unit, or even their type of crew. Organizing into groups allows the implementation of agency standards as well as providing security permissions and boundaries for account holders managing the group of responders.

  • Account Manager Role

    A user role that has wide-capabilities in IQCS to add and modify qualification-related responder records within the assigned organizational codes. This includes incident experience, training, career development, Incident Qualification Cards, contact data, employment information, and Incident Qualifications in general. Account Managers are given authority to manage the training and certification by local Agency Management.

  • Action/Reason

    The reason a responder’s job or employment information is added or updated such as add a new responder, data change, or transfer.

  • Admin Location

    Physical address of where the responder administrative records are maintained. May be different from Duty Location.

  • Administrative Action (Admin Action)

    Used to change the qualification status of a position for a responder. This action is taken on the Incident Qual Card screen and requires a justification explaining the reason for the change before the action can be saved.

  • Agency

    Per NWCG definition: An administrative division of a government with a specific function, or a non-governmental organization (e.g., private contractor, business, etc.) that offers a particular kind of assistance. A federal, tribal, state or local agency that has direct fire management or land management responsibilities or that has programs and activities that support fire management activities.

  • Agency Certification

    Per NWCG definition: The process whereby the employing agency or contractor documents that the individual is fully qualified to perform duties and responsibilities for a specified position.

  • Agency Representative Role

    Assigned to national representatives of each participating agency who are responsible for applying agency standards, policies, and IQCS business practices.  Access includes the ability to view all data on responders within their own agency and limited capability to edit values in certain foundation tables in the application.

  • All Hazard Incident

    Per NWCG definition: An incident, natural or human-caused, that requires an organized response by a public, private, and/or governmental entity to protect life, public health and safety, values to be protected, and to minimize any disruption of governmental, social, and economic services. One or more kinds of incident (fire, flood, mass casualty, search, rescue, evacuation, etc.) may occur simultaneously as part of an all hazard incident response.

  • Annual Certification

    Per NWCG definition: Annual review by an employing agency of an individual's position qualifications and documentation certifying that the individual is fully qualified to perform duties and responsibilities for a specified position. Annual certification is based on established performance standards and agency specific requirements.

  • Authorized Session Access

    IQCS applies security to training session management. Only those individuals with designated access will be able to make changes to session data and completion. These individuals are the session creator, course coordinator, and those identified under the authorized session access.

  • Authorizing Official

    The individual who is authorized to change a responder’s experience status from qualified, trainee or blocked on the Incident Qualification Card. The Authorizing Official is usually the Certifying Official, but can be someone else such as another supervisor or manager.

  • Awarding Official

    The individual who is authorized to manually award a competency to a responder’s qualifications. The Awarding Official is usually a supervisor, manager or the Certifying Official but can be delegated to the account manager level.


  • Certified

    The process whereby the employing agency documents that the individual is approved to perform duties and responsibilities for a specified position.This includes Task Book certification and selecting the position to appear on the Incident Qualification Card.

  • Certifying Official

    Per NWCG definition: The agency official at the home unit who is responsible for authorizing and granting position certification per agency policy. The agency official is responsible for completing the agency certification block located on the inside front cover of a Position Task Book.

  • Certifying Official Role

    IQCS has a user role called Certifying Official which gives permissions and access to certain components and pages for responder competency management. The role may be assigned to an IQCS user who has been delegated that authority by agency management and has completed the Certifying Official training course.

  • Competency

    Per NWCG definition: A broad description that groups core behaviors necessary to perform a specific function.

  • Competency Category

    General function to filter competencies by a category such as fitness, position, task book, licenses and certificates, recurrent and training. Each competency in the system has been linked to a single category. The responder’s competency record is established and maintained at other screens and, in most cases, IQCS will automatically update the responder’s competencies screen.

  • Competency Code

    Abbreviation up to seven characters that represents the competency title/description. The code is the key field in data tables that the system uses for competency records.

  • Competency Type

    General function to filter competencies by type such as  NWCG positions and ICS functional areas or job family.

  • Complex Competency

    Identifies an instance where prerequisite experience and/or training is defined by more than one way to meet the requirement set for position qualification. All complex competency codes end with the suffix CPX (positions) or TPX (training).

  • Control Tables

    Foundation for implementing agency standards in IQCS. Control tables serve numerous functions in the system including providing a place to establish and maintain the core data; eliminate redundant data entry by providing default values, and contribute to data integrity through uniformity and consistency of data entry.

  • Converted Training

    Part of a responder’s training record that displays the courses completed prior to the implementation of IQCS and documented in a legacy system.

  • Correct History

    The most inclusive of action types. This action is not available on all pages. One goal of IQCS is to preserve true historical data so this action should be used judiciously and only when the data has been entered incorrectly.

  • Course Code

    Abbreviation that represents the course function/agency, level or course title. For NWCG courses, the first digit designates the complexity level at which the course is designed. The code is the key field in data tables that the system uses for training records.

  • Currency

    Maintained by successful performance in that position within the given time frame, or successful performance in positions identified in this guide. NWCG establishes minimum requirements for currency as well as training, experience, and physical fitness level standards for wildland fire positions; which all participating agencies have agreed to meet for national mobilization.


  • Delete Position Task Book

    Function on the Position Task Book page that allows the user to delete a responder’s PTB that has been entered in error.

  • Dispatch Center

    Per NWCG definition: A facility from which resources are assigned to an incident.

  • Duty Location

    Physical address of where the responder is assigned. May be different from Admin Location.


  • Effective Date

    The date the action or information entered becomes active. Effective dates in IQCS allows managers to create and build a historical qualification file for a responder without overwriting or eliminating data.

  • Effective Sequence

    Only used when more than one action is taken on an Effective Date row during the same day. This tells the system when there are multiple effective dates that are the same which one is the most current.

  • EmplID (Employee ID)

    A system-generated 11-digit unique number assigned to each responder when a profile has been created in the IQCS database to track incident training, experience, and qualifications. Empl ID is the key field used in database to search for responders.

  • Employment Category (Empl Kind)

    NWCG data standard that identifies the type of employment appointment or agreement under which a person is hired.

  • Equivalency

    An equivalent course is determined by agency identified “evaluators” (at the national/state level) to be equal to a NWCG approved course. Awarding course equivalency is an agency specific responsibility. Only agencies have the authority to certify their employees meet NWCG training requirements when alternative course offerings are used. Individual agencies will set guidelines for equivalency determination and may grant credit for courses they deem equivalent. For IQCS, there is an Equivalency Table to reflect approved equivalencies and reduce the need for course competencies to be manually added to the responder record.

  • Evaluator

    Per NWCG definition: The individual who is qualified in the position being evaluated, or supervises the position being evaluated, having responsibility for observing task(s) being performed and documenting successful performance for agency certification or re-certification. Evaluator responsibilities must remain separate from the individual assigned as Trainer/Coach.

  • Event Category

    A code and description that identifies the types of incidents and planned events to which the interagency wildland fire community responds. The Event Category is a sub-group of the Event Kind that further breaks down the (incident) into more specific event categories.

  • Event Kind

    NWCG data standard that specifies general, high-level codes and descriptions to be used in categorizing the types of incidents and planned events to which the interagency wildland fire community responds.

  • External Training

    List of manually entered training that is not referenced in the IQCS system against a responder’s qualifications or identified on the course table.


  • Field Manager's Course Guide (FMCG)

    This guide is designed to provide administrative information concerning the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) training curriculum. It is to be used in conjunction with the Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1. Only NWCG-certified training courses and materials are included in this Guide. Information concerning Technical Specialist and agency-derived training packages are not included. Information specific to each course as described in the FMCG is held in the IQCS Course table.

  • Final Evaluator

    Per NWCG definition: The individual responsible for completing the position task book's verification statement once all tasks in the position task book have been completed and signed off. Only the evaluator on the final position performance assignment (the assignment in which all remaining tasks have been evaluated and signed off) will complete the verification statement recommending certification.

  • Fire Qualifications

    Per NWCG definition: Computerized interagency summary of fire suppression qualifications of listed personnel. Available information includes fire training record, fire experience record, and physical fitness testing score for each individual.


    Competency code in IQCS for the NWCG work capacity test. Associated proficiency levels: Arduous, Moderate, Light, or None.

  • FMO/AFMO Role

    This role has limited IQCS access for viewing qualifications data and querying relevant reports, verifying position criteria have been met, ensuring qualifications criteria are maintained, and determining workforce analytics needs for the affected unit. Those assigned this role are often the Certifying Official or other supervisors (e.g. Agency, Regional/Geographic Area, FMO, AFMO) who are normally responsible for the incident qualifications for their organization.

  • Fuel Model

    The fuel model which best represents the primary carrier of the fire for the reporting period. Valid values are one of the 13 fuel models described for Block 29 of the ICS209 User Manual.


  • Group

    Each organization can define Groups to enroll a group of responders in a course session or document experience on an incident more efficiently than for each responder individually.

  • Group Leader Role

    Has modified account management authority (e.g.entering responder experience, incident setup, and troubleshooting responder qualifications) for responders in the assigned organizational code. The group leader role might be assigned to a Hotshot Superintendent, Helitack Supervisor, or Fire Operations Supervisor.


  • INAC

    Inactive status of a responder. Used when a responder no longer works in your organization and will allow others to view and transfer to their unit if needed using the Organization Code block on the Job Data page.

  • Incident

    Per NWCG definition: An occurrence either human-caused or natural phenomenon, that requires action or support by emergency service personnel to prevent or minimize loss of life or damage to property and/or natural resources.

  • Incident Command System (ICS)

    Per NWCG definition: A standardized on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its user(s) to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.

  • Incident Qualification Card

    Per NWCG definition: A card issued to persons showing their incident management and trainee qualifications to fill specific fire management positions in an incident management organization.

  • Include History

    This action works the same as Update/Display, but allows the user to review not only current and future rows of information, but also historical rows of data.

  • IQCS Incident ID

    Unique identifier assigned to each incident record in IQCS. System assigned by IQCS when an Incident is added to IQCS.

  • IQI Import/Export

    Process that allows the exchange of personnel qualification data between IQCS and those who are tracked by Incident Qualification System (IQS).

  • IRWIN Incident ID

    Unique identifier assigned to each incident record in IRWIN. Assigned by IRWIN when an Incident is created and added to IRWIN.


  • Job Data

    Once a responder is hired/entered into the IQCS system, they will not have to be entered again as it is historically saved. This page is where you would manage their organization, location, and job information.

  • Justification

    Statement entered into the IQCS record that explains why a particular action was taken on a responder’s qualification record. Agencies require justification for manual awarding of competencies, admin action to a qualification status and deleting a position task book.


  • Last Activity Date

    Track how often activity is performed on a responder’s account. This field is updated with the current date whenever any activity occurs on the responder’s account. After 3 years, IQCS will identify responders who have not had activity on their account and automatically place them into INAC status. If no activity is performed on an account in 5 years, IQCS will archive the responder.

  • Level of Access

    Screens the user is authorized to view and data the user is authorized to view, enter, or modify.

  • Licenses/Certificates

    Screen to manage external certifications, licensing, warrants, and/or agency-defined specialties. IQCS will track information that applies to position qualification and certification because the expiration of a license or warrant will result in the loss of a qualification. A manually awarded competency will have to be added for any license/certificate that is an approved Technical Specialist.

  • Location Code

    The IQCS identifier used to define a physical address for a responder’s administrative and duty location.


  • Manually Award Competencies

    Competencies are generally system awarded but there may be circumstances that require you to manually award competencies to accurately reflect the responder’s record. In most cases, competencies are managed on other screens but there are some circumstances  where a competency will need to be manually awarded; for example: Technical Specialists positions and for cleaning up responder historical documentation.


  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)

    Per FEMA definition: A systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

  • National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)

    Per NWCG definition: An intergovernmental body that provides national leadership to develop, maintain and communicate standards, guidelines, qualifications, training, and other capabilities that enable interoperable operations among federal and non-federal entities for wildland fire program management.

  • Nightly Batch Process

    IQCS will automatically examine every record in the database, check data in responders’ records against position criteria and update experience status. Some data entries result in real-time changes to qualifications status.  However, others will not take effect until the nightly batch process is complete or when the ‘Show Qual Card Details’ is clicked/run on the Incident Qualifications Card screen.

  • Nomination Coordinator Role

    This IQCS role includes being able to view responder training records, view instructor history, define course sessions, course session enrollment and nomination flow. This position will not be able to edit the responder training record, manage instructor history, or add a non-employee for session management.

  • Nomination Workflow Process

    Responders training nominations are submitted electronically in IQCS which enables the course prioritization at the local, zone, geographic, and/or national levels. Roles with access are Training Officer, Training Coordinator, and Nomination Coordinator.

  • Non-Employee

    Employees of non-member agencies (e.g. States, Contractors, non-wildfire agencies) can be added as a non-employee to create the required EmplID to document personnel as an instructor or student in training session management. IQCS is not the system of record for the non-employee’s qualifications.

  • Non-Qual Data

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) Data that is sent to ROSS that is both personal and job relevant.  The addition or change of this data will prompt a message that will send data to the CH. The data includes: first name, middle name, last name, suffix, phone numbers, business email address, unit identifier, dispatch unit identifier (when hired or placed from INAC) and employment kind.

  • NWCG Representative Restricted Role

    Provides designated members of one or more NWCG Working Teams access to view position qualification criteria and allows limited edit ability for various foundation tables related to criteria. Runs system reports to compile supporting qualifications documents (such as the Field Manager’s Course Guide and PMS 310-1).


  • Operational Period

    Per NWCG definition: The period of time scheduled for execution of a given set of tactical actions as specified in the Incident Action Plan. Operational Periods can be of various lengths, although usually not over 24 hours.

  • Organization Code (Org Code)

    A code used within IQCS to uniquely identify a particular organizational unit in order to manage responders and user access. Org Codes are linked to a Set ID.


  • Pagelet

    Each block of content on the homepage is called a pagelet. These pagelets display summary information within a small rectangular area on the page. The pagelets provide users with a snapshot of content and are controlled by their permissions and roles.

  • Position Code

    Data standard that provides a code (mnemonic) and title for each position used in incident management response. System of Record is the NWCG Position Naming Board.

  • Position Competencies

    The accumulation of core behaviors (task book, training, licenses and certification, position, and/or fitness), that define the requirements of a position for agency qualification.

  • Position Currency Requirement

    Per NWCG definition: The requirement to perform satisfactorily in a specified position within the last five years (three years for aviation, dispatch and faller positions) in order to maintain qualification for the position.

  • Position Performance Assignment

    Per NWCG definition: An assignment in which an individual is being evaluated for tasks found in the position task book.

  • Position Task Book (PTB)

    Per NWCG definition: A document listing the performance requirements (competencies and behaviors) for a position in a format that allows for the evaluation of individual (trainee) performance to determine if an individual is qualified in the position. Successful performance of PTB tasks, as observed and recorded by a qualified evaluator, will result in a recommendation to the trainee's home unit that the individual be certified in the position. 

  • Possible Duplicate

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) Requires the manual verification by the CH Data Steward to ensure each registered resource is unique in ROSS.  Verification may result in the rejection of the entry, addition of the entry, or merger with an existing resource and the entry.

  • Process Monitor

    Function and screen of report component(s) in which the individual who is running the report can view the ‘Run Status’ (i.e., queued, processing, and success).

  • Provider

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) Per ROSS definition: The organization responsible for a given resource item, which may or may not be the resource item’s owner. The organization may fund the resources directly, such as USFS or BLM engines and personnel. In this case the Provider and Owner are the same. For contracted resources (resources provided by a vendor) the provider is the organization that holds the contract.


  • Qual Data

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) Data that is contained on the qualification card and then chosen to be sent to ROSS. The data includes: position code, expiration date, and position status (qualified, unqualified, trainee, or blocked).

  • Qualification Card

    Per NWCG definition: A card issued to persons showing their incident management and trainee qualifications to fill specified fire management positions in an incident management organization.

  • Qualification Status

    IQCS automatically compares a responder's competencies to established criteria for a given position based on the requirements of the responder's agency. This automatic process results in the responder receiving one of the following qualification statuses on the Incident Qual Card page:Qualified, Trainee or Unqualified. System qualification statuses on a responders Incident Qualification Card page are directly tied to competencies in the responder’s Competencies page and/or experience records to maintain currency.

  • Qualifications and Certification

    Per NWCG definition: This subsystem of NIIMS provides recommended qualification and certification for those personnel responding to an incident regionally or nationally, allowing for the development of local minimum standards to meet local needs. Standards typically include training, experience, and physical fitness.

  • Qualified

    All required training and position experience for a specified position has been met.


  • Re-Certification

    Per NWCG definition: Confirmation through the re-issuance of an incident qualification card that an individual has regained qualifications for a specified position that was lost through a lack of current experience. A key component in the certification or re-certification process is the subjective evaluation by the appropriate agency official of an individual's capability to perform in a position.

  • Reactivate Task Book

    Function on the Position Task Book page in IQCS which allows you to temporarily activate the PTB in order to enter in an experience and certify.

  • Recurrent Training

    Per NWCG definition: Training scheduled at established intervals that has been identified as required training in order to maintain position currency.

  • Registered Overhead Resource (OH)

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) The term overhead resource (OH) used in ROSS is similar to a responder record in IQCS. The qualifier of ‘registered’ notes that the record is now entered in the Clearinghouse and is accepted as being a unique record in ROSS.

  • Report Manager

    Component where the last 7 days of reports can be accessed.

  • Required Experience

    Per NWCG definition: Documented, satisfactory performance in a specified position needed to qualify for another (usually higher level) position. Required experience cannot be challenged.

  • Required Training

    Per NWCG definition: A course or courses that must be completed prior to initiating a position task book. Training which has been identified as required cannot be challenged; an agency equivalent course may be used as a substitute when the course meets or exceeds a required course's learning and performance objectives.

  • Resource Clearinghouse (CH)

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) The database that registers and tracks all responders transferred to ROSS from IQCS.  The Clearinghouse tracks the System of Record (SOR) for each resource.  The mission of the CH is to limit the duplicate responder records created in ROSS.

  • Resource Clearinghouse Data Steward

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) ROSS staff member that monitors and resolve all possible duplicates identified by an algorithm used by the CH. Coordination between the ROSS Data Steward and the IQCS Application Steward is often required to resolve duplicate records and get clearinghouse ID’s assigned.

  • Resource Clearinghouse ID (CH ID)

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) The unique identifier generated by ROSS in order to transfer data from IQCS.

  • Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS)

    Per NWCG definition: A national system that provides automated support to interagency and agency dispatch and coordination offices. The system will provide current status of resources available to support all-risk activities; enable dispatch offices to exchange and track resource ordering information electronically; enable dispatch offices to rapidly and reliably exchange mission-critical emergency electronic messages.

  • ROSS Response Messages

    These messages are generated when an action is sent to ROSS from IQCS. For example if requesting a ROSS CH ID and there is a possible duplicate responder, a ROSS response message will be displayed.

  • Run Control

    A run control is a type of online page that is used to begin a process, such as the batch processing of a qualifications run or running a report. Run control pages generally start a program that manipulates data (i.e., used to pull together data from various tables to generate predefined reports, such as the Responder Master Record, C-028).

  • Run Control ID

    An ID that is required to run any report in IQCS. Run Control ID’s are uniquely defined and associated to each user but can be used repeatedly.


  • Search Criteria

    Creates a subset of information based on user input.

  • Search for Responder

    To manage responder data, this function allows users to find any responder in the IQCS system, if they exist, and see very basic information including organization, location, job details, and contact information for their training officer and account manager.

  • Session

    A single-scheduled training course. The session stores the specific date, location, meeting time, instructor(s), sponsoring unit, and course coordinator. Each session is assigned a session ID that defines it uniqueness from other like training courses.

  • Set ID

    A five character code used to represent an agency. Also utilized to establish the agency’s organizational structure and reflect qualification requirements.

  • Size Class of Fire

    NWCG data standard provides a standard code and definition for classifying a fire into one of several ranges of fire size based on the number of acres within the final fire perimeter.

  • Supervisor Role

    This role is for users who mainly view responder data and run numerous reports. The only edit access includes updating responder personal information, entering experience by incident, licenses/certificates management and troubleshooting responder qualifications. There is view-only access to responder qualification management.

  • System Change Request

    Allows users to submit ideas and/or changes that might  help with the functionality within the IQCS system.


  • Technical Specialist Positions

    According to the PMS 310-1 and IPQG, Technical Specialists are personnel with specialized skills gained through educational degree programs or industry training in established standards. These personnel may perform the same duties during an incident that they perform in their regular job and may receive supplemental training in order to use their specialized skills in the incident environment. The Federal Wildland Fire Qualifications Supplement and the IPQG specify the specific agency requirements for many of the Technical Specialist positions. These requirements have been added to the IQCS system, which will check to see if the responder meets all these requirements. While these additional requirements have been added to agency-specific SetID jobs, the system will still require the position competency be manually awarded to the responder.

  • Trainee

    Per NWCG definition: An individual who has met all required training and position experience for a specified position and is approved by their home unit's certifying official, to initiate a performance based training assignment in order to become qualified in the position.

  • Trainer/Coach

    Per NWCG definition: A position-qualified individual who provides instruction to a trainee in the classroom, on-the-job, or on an incident. While many of the requirements of the trainer/coach are similar to the evaluator, it is important that the roles of training and evaluation remain separate.

  • Training Coordinator Role

    This IQCS role includes being able to add a non-employee record, access to their responder’s training records, and edit any training administration needs. The training administration includes managing courses sessions, editing training details, student enrollment, and nomination flow.

  • Training Officer Role

    Manages their responders in all aspects of training, coordination and nomination administration. This includes adding a non-employee, creating groups, viewing position task books, access to manage their responder’s training records, perform needs assessment processes, and edit any training administration needs. The training administration includes managing courses sessions, editing training details, student enrollment, edit course instructor history, and nomination flow.

  • Tree Viewer

    The organizational hierarchy in IQCS that represents the structure of the agency.


  • Unique Incident ID

    NWCG data standard that provides a standard format and rules for a unique identifier assigned to each incident. yyyy-SSUUUU-xxxxxx  yyyy = calendar year, SSUUUU = unit identifier (5 or 6 characters), xxxxxx=local incident identifier (6 to 10 characters).

  • Unit Identifier (Unit ID)

    These are the codes used to uniquely identify the organizational units within the federal and state government that are involved in wildland fire management. The NWCG Unit Identifier Unit (UIU) provides national leadership in the approval and use of Unit Identifiers in support of effective fire management decision-making. Wildland Fire Management Information (WFMI) is the system-of-record for the codes that are used throughout the wildland fire community to uniquely identify the fire organizations.

  • Unqualified

    Does not meet the requirements of the position. The responder could have been previously qualified in a position but their recurrent training (RT-130, A-100, ect), fitness (work capacity test), and/or license/certification (EMT licenses, faller certification, etc.) has expired. Once requirements have been met, the responder status will change to fully qualified or trainee in the IQCS system.

  • User Roles

    Defines menus, pages, tabs, and reports an IQCS account holder has access to. A user account can have multiple roles assigned within IQCS . Don’t confuse the IQCS Role with the ‘regular job’ duties of a person who might be assigned the IQCS User Role with the same name.


  • Verified Duplicate

    (IQCS-ROSS Interface) A responder record that will not be registered at the CH due to the responder record already existing in ROSS. See ROSS Business Rules on duplicates for further information.


  • Work Capacity Test (WCT)

    Per NWCG definition: A test to determine firefighter physical capabilities. Work capacity tests are used to ensure that persons assigned to fire activities are physically capable of performing the duties of wildland firefighting and to meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standards for wildland firefighters (Wildland Fire Qualification Subsystem Guide PMS 310-1). The WCT is a family of tests to determine firefighter physical capabilities at three levels: arduous, moderate, and light. Each performance level has its own unique WCT: pack test, field test and walk test.