Business continuity

Are you prepared?

If your business or organisation was affected by an emergency or disruption would you be able to continue? How resilient is your organisation if you encountered the following examples of emergencies or disruptions:

  • utility failure 
  • disruption in the supply chain 
  • an emergency in the vicinity which could affect your building(s) or access to your building(s) for a considerable time 
  • health issues resulting in large percentage of staff absence 
  • flooding 
  • fire

Nearly 1 in 5 organisations suffer disruption every year

80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months

90% of businesses that suffer a significant loss of data go out of business within two years

With the introduction of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Local Authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance to local businesses and the voluntary organisations in relation to Business Continuity Management.

Bradford Council is committed to undertaking this duty to ensure Bradford Metropolitan District is more resilient and prepared when an emergency of any kind threatens or disrupts local businesses and other organisations.

What is Business Continuity Management?

Business Continuity Management is defined as:

“a flexible framework designed to help organisations to continue operating in the face of a wide range of different types of disruptions right the way along the spectrum of severity.” (HM Government, 2005 p75)

Business Continuity Management is designed to help you to protect your organisations essential activities and resources from disruption so that you can continue your business or recover from any disruption quickly.

What are the benefits?

Adopting Business Continuity Management enables your business/organisation in the event of an emergency to:

  • protect your essential activities, processes and resources 
  • protect your image and reputation 
  • be more resilient in providing/maintaining your essential activities 
  • be able to recover more efficiently and quickly 
  • prevent or limit the disruption of a service to customers, partner organisations and stakeholders by quickly and efficiently recovering from disruption 
  • know what to do!

What will Business Continuity Planning involve?

The extent you undertake Business Continuity Management will depend on the type of organisation, size and resources available to you. Businesses and organisations of all type and size are encouraged to undertake Business Continuity Management as part of their business planning.

The advised methodology to apply to Business Continuity Management is as follows:

Research and understand the process

You will need to understand Business Continuity Management and the principles behind it to fully appreciate the need and benefits. Links to other organisations and websites providing further advice have been listed on this page and within the “Business Open As Usual – Are You Prepared” leaflet.

Business Impact Analysis

Firstly identify key activities you offer. Consider your business/organisation's aim(s), any contractual agreements, statutory requirements by law. For each activity identified list the stakeholders involved both internally and externally.

The key stage of Business Impact Analysis is to look at the identified activities services and assess the disruption to or loss of these activities. To achieve a realistic planning process you need to understand what might affect your business and what would be the short to long term impact on your business.

The West Yorkshire Community Risk Register highlights the major risks that exist within West Yorkshire. This document together with your knowledge and understanding of your own business and the local area you are located in; will provide you with what might affect your business.

The main areas to consider for impact during the planning process are:

  • worksites 
  • staff and skills 
  • suppliers and partners 
  • specialist or essential equipment 
  • technology and communications 
  • data and information

Risk Assessment

Risk assessing the activities will enable you to prioritise and identify if any control measures are required or Business Continuity Plans will be required. Risk assessment is carried out by assessing the likelihood of an emergency/disruption occurring and the impact it would have.

Mitigation strategies and Business Continuity Plan(s)

Any level of risk identified by you to be too great to your business/organisation then actions will need to be implemented to eliminate or reduce your vulnerability to that risk.

This could be in the form of mitigation controls or actions; for example if you have all you customers details only stored at your place of business then you may have identified this as a high risk if your building was not accessible or destroyed. A control measure you may introduce to reduce this risk is to ensure regular backups of this information is stored in a second locations as well, eg alternative site or at your home.

Your highest risks which you have little control over or where mitigation controls will not reduce the risk to an acceptable level will require further planning measures by producing a Business Continuity Plan.

Provide staff training

Once you have your plan in place ensure your staff are trained in the roles and responsibilities they have been allocated.

Exercise the plan(s)

By actually rehearsing your plan you will be able to confirm if your arrangements fully work. Any gaps and lessons that are identified can then be reviewed and changed to ensure you have the most resilient and flexible plan in place.

For further advice contact the Emergency Management Team.

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Contact details

Emergency Management Team
Appleton House
130 Barkerend Road

Phone : 01274 432582
Email :