Business continuity planning is an important process that makes sure key critical business functions continue, no matter what kind of incident threatens to bring matters to a standstill.

Local organisations need to be ready for an emergency that may affect their ability to provide a service to the public. Therefore, if an incident occurred there should be less impact on the local economy and community life will return to normal as quickly as possible.

Business continuity plans

Business continuity management will benefit your organisation by embedding business continuity planning into the culture of your organisation, you will increase the confidence of staff and customers in your ability to respond and sustain critical service delivery.

Without plans and procedures in place, your business will have to rely on an ad-hoc approach, leaving you vulnerable in your ability to ensure your critical services are maintained. To be able to recover quickly, it is essential your staff fully understand what you expect from them. They should be trained in their roles and responsibilities, and the necessary actions required to ensure your critical functions and services suffer minimum disruption.

The involvement of key players in the organisation is essential. They will provide vital information about procedures, identify any gaps, take part in training to respond to incidents and will validate plans. In doing so they will learn more about all of these matters, what they need to do to improve on them and will consider their own development needs.

Where to start

Managers need to decide what areas are crucial and think about what to do to improve the resilience of critical functions.

Managers should:

  • Assess current continuity planning in your organisation
  • Develop a strategy to manage risks to your critical functions
  • Produce a business continuity plan to include;
    • Detailed steps to maintain robust business continuity procedures
    • Training and testing programmes
    • A recovery plan
  • Ensure any contractors or service providers you employ also have business continuity plans
3 February 2023