Note: This feature is currently in Beta and available only to select customers 


In Freshservice On-Call Management, each service is covered through an on-call schedule. Each schedule consists of shifts based on time of the week, geography, or both. The escalation within all shifts in a schedule are decided by its notification channels and rules. Let’s explore how to navigate each of these modules in detail.

Create an On-Call Schedule

Step 1

Navigate to the Admin panel of your Freshservice instance, scroll down to the IT Operations Management section, and select On-Call Schedules.

Step 2

You are now on the On-Call Schedules page that typically lists all the schedules created till date. A first-time user, however, would see the following page. To create a new on-call schedule, select New on-call schedule.

Step 3

Name the schedule and associate an agent group with it. Both these steps are mandatory. A description of the schedule is optional. For instance, let’s create an on-call schedule for Database EMEA agent group. 

Note: An agent group associated with an on-call schedule will not be available for selection. In case no agent group is available for selection, go to the Admin panel, scroll down to User Management section, and create a new agent group. This new agent group will then be available for selection when you create a new on-call schedule.

Step 4

Save your selection by selecting Save.

Create a shift

Step 1

To create a shift for this on-call schedule, select ‘Create Shift’

Step 2

You are now on the Shift Detail page. 

  • Name the shift. Ex: Weekday, weekend, EMEA, North America, etc.

  • Select the appropriate time zone

  • Specify when the shift begins. Adding the end date is optional.

  • Create a roster of primary on-call agents. Each roster can house up top 25 agents

  • Similarly create rosters of secondary and tertiary on-call agents

  • Specify how often the shift is to be rotated amongst the roster members i.e. daily, weekly, or custom

You can also customize the on-call shift duration to specific times of a day or specific times during a week.   

For instance, in our example, we add three agents to the primary roster with a daily rotation, another three agents to the secondary roster with a weekly rotation, and two agents to the tertiary roster with a custom rotation plan set to every two weeks.

As you design the shift, you can preview it in the calendar right underneath.

Design an Escalation path

Step 1

By default, the Escalation Path features a single level mapped to the primary on-call roster for that shift. However, you can customize this setup as per your unique requirements. Some examples include:

  • Adding primary, secondary, and tertiary agents to level 1 while adding subject matter experts to level 2

  • Adding one or more subject matter experts (who are not agents) to the same level as the primary on call

  • Adding primary and secondary agents to level 1, tertiary on-call agents to level 2, and subject matter experts to level 3

  • Retaining just 2 levels or adding up to five levels of escalation

Each level can accommodate up to 10 agents and/or subject matter experts, and there are 5 levels available. 

Step 2

Once you’ve designed the escalation path, specify the number of times the path could be repeated in case an incident remains unacknowledged. 

Step 3

If you want, you can also notify stakeholders (upto 10) about the progress of an incident through a notification channel of your choice. While stakeholders can’t take action on an incident, this feature enables them to stay updated.

Create and update Notification Rules & Channels

Step 1

Navigate to the Notification Rules tab i.e. the second tab on the respective On-Call Schedule page. 

You are now on the Notification Rules and Channels page. Each accordion (tile) expands on selection. In this example, the first accordion specifies the notification channels and rules for high or urgent priority incidents. The other two accordions similarly expand to reveal notification channels and rules for medium and low priority incidents respectively. Customize as per your requirement.

Step 2

This is where you can put your micro-management skills to good use :)

  • Specify how soon after an incident occurs, should the on-call agents be notified

  • Specify the channels of communication i.e. phone call, SMS, or email

  • In case the incident remains unacknowledged after the first round of notification, specify how long should the system wait before sending another notification

  • Specify the channels of notification for the second round

  • Similarly, specify the waiting period and the channels of notification for successive rounds of notifications for the same level

If an incident remains unacknowledged after exhausting all the rounds specified for notifying agents at a specific level, the incident is escalated to the next level. Therefore, specify the notification rules and channels for the successive in a similar fashion.


Edit or delete an On-Call Schedule

Navigate to the on-call schedule page. In this example, the schedule is named Hardware-1 and is mapped to the Hardware Team. 

  • To edit this schedule, select the pencil icon on the top right

  • Update the name of the agent group mapped to it

  • Select Save

To delete the schedule, select the trash can icon, and confirm by selecting Delete.