Business Continuity

This page has been prepared with the purpose of providing advice and guidance on Business Continuity Management to business and voluntary organisations in Lincolnshire.

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What is Business Continuity Management?

BCM considers the risks to the business and involves taking steps to reduce or, where possible, eliminate the likelihood of an incident arising from those risks.
The real focus of BCM is however, the impact on your business of an incident, whatever its cause. BCM involves identifying the threats to normal working e.g. access denied to buildings or loss of large numbers of staff, and working out in advance, how you would manage if one or more of these disrupting events occurred.
Put simply, BCM is about thinking ahead and planning for unexpected business interruptions or disruptions thereby reducing their impact and placing your business in the best possible position to weather the disruption and bounce back afterwards.
Disruptions can affect any organisation or business – no one is immune to their effects.

What are the benefits of BCM?

Good BCM delivers a number of benefits including:
>Key functions and services within the business are identified
>Impacts of an operational disruption are proactively identified
>Incident management capability is enabled through the creation of a Business Continuity
  Plan thereby ensuring an effective response to an incident, which minimises the impact on
  the service or organisation
>Staff are rehearsed and trained in ways of working through an incident
>BCM arrangements of service providers, partners, suppliers and contractors are examined
>The people, assets and reputation of the business are protected
>BCM benefits everyone, staff, customers, suppliers, partners, the community and economy
 
What type of incidents should you plan for?
Any incident, large or small, whether it is natural, accidental or deliberate could result in severe disruption to your organisation. The table below provides examples of hazards and how a related incident could impact on your business.
Hazard Potential impact on your business
Fire, flooding, gas leak Loss of, or restricted access to, your premises.
Fuel or transport interruptions, severe weather, industrial action, widespread outbreak of disease. Loss of staff
Power failures, loss of utilities, disruptions to IT or telephones. Loss of key systems
Suppliers go into administration or have a disruption in their normal working. Loss of, or a break in, your supply chain.
Any of the above could jeopardise the future viability of your business, however, you can prepare your business for disruptions and put it in the best possible position for survival and recovery by producing a Business Continuity Plan.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a documented set of procedures and information that is developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in the event of a disruption.
A BCP will not only make coping with a disruption or incident easier, it makes it possible for you to minimise the impact on your business, staff and customers. The BCP enables you to continue to deliver your essential services or functions, to an acceptable level, throughout that disrupting event and includes procedures for returning to normal working, once the event has passed. In short, it is about ensuring that a crisis is managed quickly and effectively and does not escalate into a disaster.
You also need to make sure that your key suppliers and partners have effective BCM arrangements in place to ensure that an incident affecting them doesn’t impact on you.
For information on what to include in a BCP please see the template below

Ten top tips for BCM

1. Plan for the effects of an incident, not the cause. At the time of a crisis what happens may well be more important than what caused it.
2. Remember that prevention is better than cure.
3. Test systems, exercise plans and rehearse the people involved on a regular basis. Maintain the plans - keep them up to date, build in a regular review of your plan.
4. Back up data regularly and store copies off site in a secure place. Practise restoring the data in an IT system outside your own company office to ensure that it works.
5. Ensure that important paper documents, such as contracts and employee information are protected. Make copies and use fire resistant and waterproof storage.
6. Keep a list of contact details for your staff, customers and suppliers off-site so that you can contact them if you do not have access to your usual premises. Review regularly.
7. Be clear about what your insurances cover and what they don’t. Keep copies of the relevant policies off-site so that you know immediately what to do in the event of an incident.
8. Have an emergency pack which will include your business recovery plan, key telephone numbers, as well as a first aid kit, torch, megaphone, spare keys, cash, credit card, stationery etc.
9. Make arrangements for a temporary base - you may not be able to operate out of your existing premises for weeks or even months. Remember, any temporary accommodation still has to comply with health and safety rules.
10. Make an inventory of equipment, materials, products and any other assets to give you an overview of the business. This will make it easier to work out losses and identify gaps in core resources after an incident.

Useful Links

When making the decision to introduce BCM practices into your business and to prepare a BCP there are many websites and sources of information, which provide information and support to businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises.
BCM guidance within the www.gov.uk website
Provides information on the most significant risks within Lincolnshire.
Developed to help SMEs and the Voluntary sector to implement Business Continuity Management
Looks in more detail at how you can protect your staff and the information and assets vital to your business, including how good security can give value for money.
The Business Continuity Institute.
Register to receive Flood warning alerts.
Cabinet Office Guidance for Organisations.
Cabinet Office Checklist for Businesses.
Guidance for schools to help increase resilience.
A light hearted look at the elements of the BCM lifecycle.

Useful Documents

When making the decision to introduce BCM practices into your business and to prepare a BCP please use the below documents to help you. Printable posters also available below.

exercise scenarios.pdf
(443.8KB, .pdf)

 
A3 Posters in a printable format for use in your premises.