Business continuity

Creating a business continuity plan

If you consider Business Continuity before an emergency occurs, your organisation is much more likely to be able to continue to provide customers with the goods and services they require.

When creating a Business Continuity Plan, there are five stages to consider:

  1. Understand your organisation
    Before beginning your Business Continuity Plan, it is important to carry out a Business Impact Analysis to identify the essential functions of your organisation and the resources required to carry these out.
    • Which functions enable you to deliver goods and services to your customers?
    • What resources are required to ensure the delivery of goods and services?

    It may also be useful to carry out a risk assessment to identify potential threats to your organisation and the likelihood of them occurring.

    Developed jointly by West Yorkshire Local Authorities and key partners, the Community Risk Register details the main risks for the West Yorkshire area: Community Risk Register|External link. This may assist you in identifying risks for your organisation.

  2. Develop a plan
    There are a number of key factors which should be included in your plan:
    • Record key personnel contact details and backups;
      which personnel carry out critical functions within the organisation and who else could assume the role in their absence
    • Identify critical staff; are they able to work from home or from a different site?
    • Document key external contacts including suppliers, customers and utility companies
    • Document critical equipment including software.
      What equipment do you need for your organisation to continue to function?
      If this equipment is not available, where else could it be sourced from?
    • Identify critical documents for example bank and insurance details
    • Identify a relocation site; where could your organisation operate from if your usual site became unavailable?
    • Identify roles and responsibilities within your business continuity plan; assign these to employees.
      Create a checklist for each role to identify actions to be undertaken in the event of the Business Continuity Plan being activated
    • Large organisations may wish to create departmental / team / service plans.
    • Once complete, keep an on-site and off-site copy of the plan and ensure key personnel receive a copy.

    For further information about creating a Business Continuity Plan visit:

  3. Train key personnel

    Once your Business Continuity Plan is complete, provide training for all staff – whether they have a specific role or not - so they are aware of what actions to take in the event of an emergency incident.

  4. Test the plan

    It is important to test the plan to ensure it would work should an incident occur. Once all employees have been trained on the content of the Plan, run a test and following a review of how it worked, amend details where necessary.

  5. Review and maintain

    Review your Plan once a year to ensure it is up-to-date. If something changes in the meantime, amend it. Make sure you update all copies of the Plan.

Carry out a ten-minute survey on your business

Undertake this simple to do, ten-minute survey, the results will assist you in your business continuity planning process.

Last Updated: 28/06/2016