This paper presents an agent-based approach for error detection in incident management organizations. The approach consists of several parts. First, a formal approach for the specification and hierarchical verification of both traces and properties. Incomplete traces are enriched by enrichment rules. Furthermore, a classification mechanism is presented for the different properties in incident management that is based on psychological literature. Classification of errors provides insight in the functioning of the agents involved with respect to their roles. This insight enables the provision of dedicated training sessions and allows software support to give appropriate warning messages during incident management. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.