The Master Sequence of Events List (MSEL), is the primary document used to manage an exercise, to know when events are expected to occur, and to know when to insert injects (information) into the exercise.


A summary version of a MSEL document can also be used to assist exercise facilitators in the monitoring and management of exercise activities.

When designing a tabletop exercise, a well organized process should be followed to ensure nothing is missed. Here are some of the MSEL details that can be used to help design and manage a simple tabletop exercise.


Header Information:

  • Name of the Exercise – The title of the exercise.
  • Person of Contact – The name of the person responsible for managing the exercise.
  • Date of Exercise – The date the exercise will begin.
  • Date of Last Revision – The date the MSEL was last revised. Important to ensure everyone is using the latest version of the document.


Column Descriptions:

  • Seq No – Sequence Number, identifies the injects in chronological order.
  • Date/Time Delivered – the date and time in which the inject will be delivered during the exercise. This is sometimes an approximate time based on how events are unfolding.
  • Inject Type – This identifies what the inject is, be it a piece of information (informational) an actual event (event), media report, social media etc.
  • Delivery Method – This identifies how the inject will be delivered to the participants. Could be a handout, verbal, a graphic, a phone call, an email, etc.
  • Originator (From) – The entity from which the inject is originating. This can either be simulated or real.
  • Recipient (To) – The entity that is going to be receiving the inject. This could be an individual, person, or group of people, or all participants.
  • Inject description – A brief description of the inject to be used for quick reference. For specific details of a particular inject, refer to the exercise planning documentation.
  • Expected Outcome – Describes what actions are expected as a result of the inject.


There are several free formats of a MSEL that can be accessed via a number of government websites. These documents are usually in a word format and can be useful. We designed one in a PDF summary format that is dynamic and focused on helping corporations with the process of designing and delivering a simple tabletop exercise.

Related: 12 Tasks to Organize your Tabletop Exercises 

MSEL PDF Template

Here’s a dynamic fillable PDF MSEL Template we’ve created. 

Rob Burton

Rob Burton

Rob is a Principal at PreparedEx where he manages a team of crisis preparedness professionals and has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to crises. Part of his leadership role includes assisting PreparedEx clients in designing, implementing and evaluating crisis, emergency, security and business continuity management programs. During his career Rob has worked for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, as a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords and he served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. Rob was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit The Grenadier Guards where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. Rob was a highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanded covert operational teams and was a sniper. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. Rob has a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.