Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program

<<Back to At a Glance




L-480 - Instructor and Coach Qualifications

As defined by the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee, the L-480, Organizational Leadership in the Wildland Fire Service, course is designed to develop individual core competencies surrounding the strategic aspects of leadership. Strategic leadership requires a specific set of cognitive and behavioral skills that assist the leader in projecting an effective presence in a team setting.

Instructor Cadre Education Credentials

Required that at least one of the cadre have, as a minimum, a Bachelor's level degree in any of the following: Organizational Behavior, Organizational Leadership, Business Management, Psychology, or a related field.

Instructor Cadre Experience

  • Experience in facilitation skills in a training and workshop environment.
  • Experience in presenting complex multi-day courses.
  • Experience in providing principle-centered leadership training.
  • Experience in providing training for civilian or military emergency management/response organizations.
  • Experience in education, administration, management, or other applicable situations.

Instructor Cadre Knowledge

Instructor cadre must have the ability to provide instruction using the established L-480 course objectives and demonstrate expert knowledge communicating these concepts, personally demonstrating these concepts, and evaluating students to ensure they understand these concepts. The following list includes the primary concepts identified in the L-480 course package:

A. Personal Assessment Knowledge
Personal assessment knowledge is defined as those leadership and psychology concepts that primarily pertain to the individual, as opposed to the team.

  • Self Assessment Tools - Knowledge and interpretive skills utilizing standard self assessment tools.
  • Emotional Intelligence – Understanding one's own emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, and recognizing emotions in others.
  • Analysis of Leadership Style – Knowledge of different leadership styles and how they affect team success.
  • Core Beliefs and Values Hierarchy – Knowledge of how individual core beliefs affect the team or provide a foundation for team success. Assist participants to understand their own values.
  • Self Improvement Tools – Knowledge of self improvement tools for improving personal leadership attributes.
  • Command Presence – Expert knowledge of command presence principles and the ability to teach students how to develop them.
  • Stress and Burnout – Knowledge of stress physiology and psychology. Teach the use of common stress tools for assessing burnout symptoms and defense strategies.
  • Attitude for Success – Knowledge of psychological concepts sufficient to create a successful attitude.

B. Team/Organizational Leadership Knowledge
Team/organizational leadership strategies are necessary in order to effectively meet organizational goals. This requires knowledge in team dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and leadership in the team environment.

  • Leadership Development Program - Knowledge of the overall NWCG Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program.
  • Vision – Knowledge of the use of vision to create the foundation for team success.
  • Situation Awareness – Knowledge of tactical vs. strategic situation awareness.
  • Team Climate and Culture – Knowledge of team/organizational dynamics for creating and maintaining effective connectivity.
  • Motivation – Knowledge of the psychology of motivation.
  • Time-compressed Decision Making – Knowledge of concepts related time compressed decision making.
  • Delegation – Knowledge of delegation skills assessment tools and delegation effectiveness.
  • Conflict Style Analysis and Anger Management – Knowledge of conflict styles. Experience using evaluation tools in diagnosing personal conflict styles. Able to teach anger management concepts.
  • Mentoring and Coaching – Knowledge of mentoring methods and coaching techniques used in the emergency response environment.
  • Rewarding and Recognition – Knowledge of the distinctions between reward and recognition.

Coach Qualifications

A. Lead Coach Qualifications

The required qualifications for the Lead Coach include successful completion of L-480, L-380 and/or L-381, Type 1 or Type 2 Command and/or General Staff experience, facilitative skills, knowledge of the leadership curriculum, and the desire to help others.

The Lead Coach is responsible for the coordinating the course, facilitating, mentoring, coaching, and supervising group coaches. Specifically, the Lead Coach facilitates and ensures that the coach's involvement and interaction with the group is effective for the overall success of the student and class experience. The Lead Coach facilitates the interaction and coordination of instructor, students, and coaches throughout the presentation of the L-480 course.

B. Group Coach Qualifications

The required qualifications for a group coach include Type 1 or Type 2 Command and/or General Staff experience, facilitative skills, knowledge of the leadership curriculum, and the desire to help others. The successful completion of L-380 and/or L-381 is desirable, but not required.

* While it is a goal for all coaches to have successfully completed L-380 and/or L-381 courses, it is recognized that current Type 1 and Type 2 Command/General Staff personnel may not have had the opportunity to attend. It is strongly suggested that if the group coaches have not successfully completed L-380 or L-381, the Lead Coach should work with the group coaches to ensure that they have read Leading in the Wildland Fire Service (PMS 494-2) prior to the course.