2020 has been one of the most intense and challenging years on record, for individuals and organisations alike. Australian businesses have had to deal with the impact of widespread bushfires, storms, and the effect of COVID-19. Along with the immediate associated risks of these events, there has also been an increase in incidents such as suicides, injuries and other WHS/OHS issues.
While the impact of COVID will continue to affect businesses moving forward, organisations must start to look to the future. With 2021 just around the corner, now is the time for companies to begin creating a 2021 resilience program.
Resilience preparedness goes beyond mere compliance – although compliance does play an essential role in any business resilience program. Resilience promotes healthiness within an organisation and can be measured by how quickly and successfully it is able to recover from disruptions.
Taking the time now to line up your financial, operational and people resources to create a 2021 resilience program will ensure your company is prepared as we move into the new normal.
The compliance requirements
Business resilience planning provides guidance to ensure personnel are equipped to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption.
In creating a resilience plan, it is essential to start with your compliance requirements, which are as follows.
- Establish an Emergency Planning Committee
- Establish an Emergency Control Organisation (warden team)
- Conduct a risk assessment to determine emergency procedures required
- Document the Emergency Response Procedures
- Develop evacuation diagrams
- Ensure wardens have warden identification
- Ensure training is provided for the Emergency Control Organisation and Emergency Planning Committee
- Ensure training is provided for other relevant persons, such as staff, contractors, other occupants
- Ensure evacuation drills are conducted
- Document business continuity policy
- Conduct a business disruption threat assessment
- Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
- Establish recovery strategies
- Document business continuity plan
- Conduct training and testing
Critical Incident Management and Crisis Management
- Conduct an assessment on what could go wrong
- Document the incident and / or crisis management plan
- Conduct training and exercising
At Bounce, we work with clients in high-risk industries, with a responsibility for large numbers of people, including those considered to be vulnerable, such as children and residents. While the base compliance requirements set out by The Australian and International Standards for Risk and Resilience Management are essential in emergency management, critical incident management and business continuity, they offer a one size fits all approach, which doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of individual clients. Resilience programs require customisation to ensure procedures are tailored to your organisation and its unique requirements. The program also needs to ensure all relevant people receive education to build confidence and capability, empowering them to make the decisions required during any incident or business disruption that might occur.
To go beyond base level compliance and meet best practice, the following ten questions should be considered:
- Have you conducted a threat assessment to identify what may occur in your organisation?
- Have you defined your escalation levels? For example, triggers for moving from an emergency to critical incident to business disruption to crisis management?
- Do your processes cater to the whole organisation/site rather than just a building-based process?
- Have you documented in a plan(s) all levels of a business disruption response, as required for your business?
- Resilience policy
- Emergency response plan
- Critical incident management plan
- Business continuity plan
- Disaster recovery plan
- Crisis management plan
- Crisis communications plan
- Cyber response plan
- Are your plans customised to your organisation?
- Do your plans cater for all response outcomes? E.g. evacuation, lockdown, extended relocations, loss of site, loss of IT etc?
- Do your processes consider the stakeholders that may also need to be involved in the response and recovery? E.g. staff, occupants, students, residents, family, off-site staff, suppliers, contractors, emergency services.
- Have you consulted with your IT team to ensure the business continuity outputs integrate with the disaster recovery plan?
- Have you identified all stakeholders with who you will need to communicate? How will you communicate with them?
- Is your training and testing program customised for your business and your unique needs? Including training and testing of seasonal staff/contractors.
Your Resilience Plan For 2021
A simple calendar and roadmap developed in readiness for 2021 will prepare your team for any emergencies that may occur. The benefits of a resilience plan go far beyond just compliance. A well thought out plan will allow you to rapidly adapt and respond to any business disruptions, safeguard your people and assets, and ensure continued business operations.
To receive a complimentary roadmap and calendar template you can get in touch here.
If you would like advice and guidance on developing a simple resilience roadmap and 2021 resilience program calendar contact us today on 1300 650 954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.