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Business continuity

Plan to protect your business in the event of a disaster.

Business Continuity Planning

The Civil Contingencies Act requires Category One responders to maintain plans to ensure that they can continue to exercise their functions in the event of an emergency so far as is reasonably practicable.

The Business Continuity Management duty in the Act relates to all the functions of a Category One responder, not just its civil protection functions. Hence the legislation requires Category One responders to maintain plans to deal with emergencies (Category One responders consist of Local Authorities and all other 'blue light' emergency services).

The Act also requires local authorities to provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations in relation to business continuity management. This duty is an integral part of the Act's wider contribution to building the UK's resilience to disruptive challenges.

At present the council is reviewing its Business Continuity Plans, however you can still use the council's pdf icon Business Continuity Planning Advice [370kb] which contains information that may help you to better understand how it can help your business.

Business Continuity Plan template

The council has produced a word icon Business Continuity Plan Template & Guidance for Small Businesses [163kb] to help you to protect your business.  It is designed to help you capture important actions that you or your staff would need to undertake should there be a business disruption.

Why should I consider a Business Continuity Plan?

  • Experience shows that businesses are more likely to survive a disaster if they have thought about it in advance and planned
  • Banks, investors, insurers, customers and suppliers will take a company that has a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) more seriously
  • BCPs build employee confidence; they will appreciate that their employer is doing what it can to ensure their safety and continued employment

What should I plan for?

Take a look at your business and decide what the critical activities are, then look at which of the following is required to maintain those activities:

  • Staff
  • IT
  • Premises/Resources
  • Suppliers

Then decide how you might cope, where you could trade from and what equipment you would need to continue trading.

Suppliers and customers often stay loyal to those businesses who keep them informed when work or services are delayed.

Business continuity - otherwise known as the "What if" syndrome

What if your premises became suddenly unavailable because of fire, severe weather, vandalism or some other event and you couldn't trade from them?
What if half of your staff succumb to pandemic flu or have to look after family with pandemic flu?
What if your IT develops a problem and you have no access to your client base or appointment system and contact details?
Think for a minute...How would you continue to run your business if all or one of these scenarios happened to your company?
If you are not coming up with answers similar to:

  • "I can work from another branch office/home/remote access."
  • "I have an agreement with an agency or another branch/I can delay some of my business as I have discussed this with my clients."
  • "I have backed up all my IT systems and have client/supplier details secure elsewhere."

Then you may not have a business continuity plan or be aware of one in your organisation.

Ask your manager if your company has one, how often it is updated, what are the roles and responsibilities of staff.

If you don't have a business continuity plan you should strongly consider writing one.

It doesn't matter if yours is a small, medium or large business - its good practice to plan for how you would continue to trade following a disaster that affects you.

Don't leave it to chance

If you need advice and support we are happy to help.


Contact Emergency Planning