ALICE Training FAQ’s

The ALICE Training Institute has transitioned from a pure Instructor-led model of training that could take years to fully implement organization-wide, to a Blended Model of e-learning and Instructor-Led training which can be done in a matter of weeks. The user-level people will be trained with the classroom/theory portion being conducted via ALICE Training’s web training portal, and then that training is furthered by an ALICE Trained Instructor conducting hands-on demonstrations, drills and scenarios. In just a matter of weeks, the organization can become an ALICE Certified Organization. And as such, we are communicating that nothing is as important as our organization’s safety and security.

There is a difference and it is not just semantics. ALICE Training does not teach fighting skills. Competing recommendations do emphasize skills and techniques that would be considered “fighting”, such as gun take away, striking techniques, and pain compliance. “Fighting” skills take a lot of time and practice to become proficient and retain the skills. ALICE Training teaches the skills need to “Counter” an attacker’s ability to shoot accurately. We teach the use of noise, movement, distance, and distractions to make shooting accurately very difficult, and if appropriate, teach a swarm technique to take back control as a last resort. All recommendations and training are conducted at age and ability appropriate levels.

While no one can guarantee a lawsuit will not follow any critical incident, the strong defense of following the “best practices” and “standard-of-care” that is called for by our federal and state guidelines is what a reasonable court/jury would expect. It certainly puts us in a better position of defense then if we were NOT aligning with those recommendations.

Yes, ALICE Trained Institutions have had several situations where some part(s) of ALICE Training protocols were incorporated and the outcome was deemed by those in the event as positive due to their ALICE Training.

ALICE Training was the pioneer in active shooter preparation training in our country. They were the first program to question the reasonableness of “lockdown-only” policies and training. Because they were first, they have the most experience, the credibility and the most support for implementation of our program.

There is a new standard-of-care which emphasizes the need for pro-active, options-based, strategies. The federal and state government recommendations, as well as, major law enforcement associations support these strategies. ALICE Training is the model upon which these official recommendations were built.

While there is no active threat to our institution, we have to come to the realization that a violent intruder event can happen any time, any place and for any reason.

We have a responsibility to those in our care and employment to do all we can to prepare them for this rare event, not only in our location but wherever they may find themselves.


While the decision to allow an “opt-out” is up to the organization/company, it is always good to have everyone do the training so they know what to expect. If they choose not to participate when the times comes, once again that is a personal decision.

Although Armed Security perhaps would get help on scene quicker, there are no guarantees that they would be exactly where they could make a difference. With shots going off every four to fifteen seconds historically in Active Shooter events, occupants must know what to do to help them until law enforcement arrives.

Through the ALERT, INFORM or personal senses, occupants can make the decision to evacuate. Hopefully, the command center can give clear, concise and accurate information occupants can use. Or Law Enforcement will advise.

Yes, there will be a time when centralized Command and Control will be lost. But in actuality, there always is anyway. During the initial attack. The attacker is in control. Proactive actions on behalf of potential victims will create chaos, however, the gunman will have to operate in chaos as well…making his job of hurting others very difficult.

Yes, but knowing what to expect and then dealing with the ALICE Training strategies are much different. Because each area will be making different choices, the shooter cannot predict what those under attack will do.

Law Enforcement is on their way but time is not on their side. We must learn to help ourselves before they arrive. Just as the fire department equips us with fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, and EMS trains us in using AED for heart attacks, the law enforcement community is training us in our response options to be used before they able to arrive.

ALICE Training is always best received when all stakeholders are aware and educated about the program. It is always important to have local law enforcement in support of any active shooter program training, as they are the community’s experts in this area.

While there are no guarantees that, even with ALICE Training, no one will be injured or killed. The program was designed by law enforcement officers who used the same techniques that helped them survive life-and-death situations. The techniques were designed to be easily conducted but also effective in mitigating casualties.

Schools are some of the safest places for our children because most schools practice evacuation drills for fires and protective measures for tornadoes, but far fewer schools practice for active shooter situations. To be prepared for an active shooter event, schools should train their staff, students, and families, as appropriate, in what to expect and how to react. Best practices include the involvement of students in the training.

No. Confronting a violent intruder should never be required in any non law enforcement job description. How each staff member chooses to respond if directly confronted by a violent intruder is up to them.

Law enforcement officers may not be present when a shooting begins. The first law enforcement officers on the scene may arrive after the shooting has ended. Making sure individuals know how to respond helps prevent and reduce the loss of life.

Good planning includes conducting drills which must include first responders and school resources officers (where applicable). Exercises with these valuable partners are one of the most effective and efficient ways to ensure that everyone not only knows his or her roles, but also the roles of others at the scene. These exercises should include walks through school buildings to allow law enforcement to provide input on shelter sites as well as familiarize first responders with the location.

The more a plan is practiced and stakeholders are trained on the plan, the more effectively they will be able to act during an emergency to lessen the impact on life. Exercises provide opportunities to practice with community partners (local emergency responders) as well as to identify gaps and weaknesses in the plan.

According to the US Department of Education, “it is possible that staff and students will need to use more than one option.  Rarely will they have all of the information they need to make a fully informed decision about which option is best.  While they should follow the plan (EOP) and any instruction given during an incident, often they will have to rely on their own judgement to decide which option will best protect lives.  

According to the 2014 NYPD report on active shooters, 98% were carried out by a single attacker. Any shooters outside the building will be contacted an neutralized by police much quicker than a threat inside a building.

No, ALICE Training is not designed to be sequential nor is it meant to be a checklist. ALICE Training is a list of options that can be used to stay safe in the event of a violent intruder. Some may choose to Evacuate and some may choose to Lockdown and barricade. Others may choose to Counter if an armed intruder is able to enter the space they are in. ALICE Training is about options. Not every situation is the same. Alert and Inform are critical communication pieces that will aid those who have to make life saving decisions.

ALICE Training Institute has trained all types of organizations. We have of trained:

  • 3,280 Police/LE departments
  • 3,700 K-12 School districts
  • 1,300 Healthcare Facilities organizations
  • 900 Higher Education institutions
  • 1,700 Businesses
  • 600 Different Government Agencies
  • 310 Houses of Worship
  • 90 Individuals / Families

We recommend that all student training be age-appropriate with their teacher leading the training. This includes using the ALICE Training children’s book, “I’m not Scared…I’m Prepared” and the associated classroom workbook for teachers.

ALICE Training typically takes the place of the lockdown drills. The length of training for students may range from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the age of the classroom.