The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 raised the Nations awareness of the potential vulnerability of our critical infrastructure and key resources, and of the need for a unified and coordinated approach to their protection. Uninterrupted operation of basic services such as energy, communications, water, and transportation, and unbroken access to other goods and services used on a daily basis are essential to Americas security, safety, economic vitality, and way of life.

Introduction to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) (IS-860) is a web-based course developed jointly by the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute. It provides an orientation regarding the key concepts of the NIPP and is designed to meet the training needs of a wide range of government and private sector security partners involved in implementing infrastructure protection programs.

The course addresses the importance of protecting the Nations critical infrastructure and key resources, and provides an overview of many of the key concepts of the NIPP, including: the risk management framework, the partnership model designed to facilitate coordination and cooperation between infrastructure owners and operators and the government, the networked approach to information-sharing, and the new risk-based approach to resource allocation.  It describes the 17 sector-specific plans that address the particular needs of each sector, including the Postal and Shipping Sector, and it underscores the opportunities and benefits of participation.

The course is intended to introduce the NIPP and foster an understanding of the purpose, goals, and key concepts.  The course provides awareness level training for DHS and other Federal staff responsible for implementing the NIPP, and for State, local, tribal, and private sector homeland security and emergency management professionals.  The course is also designed to teach potential security partners about the benefits of participating in the NIPP processes. The course was developed as a collaborative effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Infrastructure Protection (OIP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI).  The course is offered through the EMI online learning center with options for individuals who want to take the course for credit or review the information on a less formal basis.  Those who complete the course for credit are required to complete a final examination and will receive a certificate from DHS.

Course Goals

Explain the criticality of protecting and ensuring the continuity of critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) of the United States. This includes lessons that:

  1. Describe how the NIPP provides the unifying structure for the integration of CI/KR protection efforts into a single national program.
  2. Define CI/KR and protection in the context of the NIPP.
  3. Identify the relevant authorities and roles of NIPP security partners.
  4. Describe how the use of the risk management framework ensures a steady state of protection within and across the CI/KR sectors.
  5. Identify the risk management activities implemented by NIPP security partners.
  6. Explain how the NIPP fosters information sharing; provides guidance on the content of the CI/KR protection-related aspects of homeland security plans; and helps to ensure an effective, efficient CI/KR protection program over the long term.

NIPP Video (18 minutes)

The training video provides a comprehensive overview of the NIPP and the importance of protecting the Nations Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources.  It includes excerpts of interviews with a cross-section of security partners who talk about the importance of this plan as the blue-print for building a safer, stronger, and more secure and more resilient America.  In addition to key DHS officials, the vide features comments from private sector partners representing sectors, local government and other Federal departments and agencies who are able to bring the concepts of the blame to life.  This video can be used to introduce the NIPP during meetings or workshops.  It serves as a helpful orientation tool for corporate executives to help them understand the NIPP value proposition.  Copies of the DVD are available by request addressed to


NIPP Resource Center

The NIPP resource center provides a web-based tool for DHS staff and other security partners to quickly access the most current information, training, briefing materials, background information, event calendar and other useful content.   This site is intended to augment the public NIPP site, that provides public access to the NIPP documents and other helpful related links and information.  The Resource Center is designed to serve as a one-stop location for the latest in talking points, briefing materials, and frequently asked questions.  


The course is available free of charge and may be accessed through the EMI Independent Study Web site at  (select course number IS-860). The course can be taken for certificate credit or for information purposes only.