Search Planner

The course focuses on separating Search Planning from Search Operations as we believe that these are two distinct roles. This also fits neatly into the ALSAR strategy to develop a Search Manager certification based on Search Planning and Search Operations skills and complies with existing ALSAR guidance.

We discuss the features of the 3 main types of missing person statistics in use today; Koester, CSR and Grampian and cover the pros and cons of all three.

The course presents a logical and systematic process for managing the search – a framework! This involves the use of bike wheel model techniques in Step 1, however, the overriding difference is the emphasis on building scenarios and writing plans to address them in Steps 2 and 3. (If you already know ‘Bike Wheel’ then you are in luck!)

We place the emphasis on making decisions based on FACTS, STATISTICS, BEHAVIOURS and SCENARIOS where decisions should be logical and justifiable.

Throughout the course students will learn to write and deliver in a logical order, search plans, derived from plausible scenarios created from the information collected from the missing person reports, statistics, missing person behaviour traits.

The syllabus includes:


  • Search Planning Introduction (why, who, when, differences between planning and operations)
  • Missing Person Behaviour Studies and statistics
  • Step 1 – Collect information and make the initial critical decisions (IPP, Missing person type, Terrain, map marking, attractors (reflectors) and statistical distances
  • Step 2 – Generate scenarios. What might have happened to the missing person given the information you have or can get.
  • Step 3 – Write a search plan and tasks that address each of your scenarios.
  • Steps 4 – 6 are about preparing to deliver the plan (resources, briefing/debriefing and the planning cycle)
  • When to end searching, documenting the search, closing the search (paperwork and stats submission)
  • Developing further skills and knowledge
 Course Name
 Start Time
 Finish Time
 Search Controller
 Friday 19.00hrs
 Sunday 16.00hrs