What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a policy and procedural document that details how an organisation aims to prevent and recover from any potential threats. The scale and scope of the BCP largely depends on the size and complexity of the company itself. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that all employees and associated personnel are aware of their obligations and requirements in the event of a disaster. A swift return to business as usual is the desired outcome of any BCP.
Why Do You Need a BCP?
Also referred to as disaster recovery, business continuity planning is an essential business tool that organisations of all scope and size should have. Being able to continue to operate following an unexpected disaster or incident is the main aim of any company. Failure to operate even a small part of any business can have devasting financial, reputational and operational consequences and so having a robust and effective BCP is a must.
What Should Be Included in a Business Continuity Plan?
A plan will usually include a range of potential threats, risks and disasters that should include both universal issues and those specific to the business type and industry. These include internal and external; natural or human-based threats, enabling the business to adequately prepare for potential disruption.
Sections to be included in a Business Continuity Plan can include (but are not limited to): –
- Distribution List
- Business Impact Analysis
- Critical Functions & Processes Checklist
- Critical Function Assessment & Recovery Process
- Non-Critical Functions
- Specific Disaster Scenarios
- Recovery Contact List
- Employee Contact List
- Key Suppliers Contact List
- Key Customers Contact List
- Utility Company Contact List
- Office & Alternate Physical Locations
The Main Objectives of a Business Continuity Plan
The obvious main objective of any disaster recovery plan is to restore standard operating procedures as soon as is possible after any threat has occurred. It is also useful for a company to document their main aims and objectives within the BCP so that they can ensure the finished document and processes are adequate and effective.
The aims and objectives of a BCP are subjective and will largely depend upon the type, size and scope of the business itself. However, some BCP objective examples can include: –
- Understand the critical functions and activities of the business
- Identify, analyse, assess and document the risks and threats posed to the business and its continued operation
- Identify the key roles, responsibilities and contacts to effectively respond to an emergency
- Maintain effective running of the business in the event of a crisis or emergency
- Ensure all employees are aware of the BCP and their role in complying with its processes
- Minimise disruptions to the businesses normal operations and activites
- Limit the extent and impact of any such disruption and/or damage
- Minimise the economic, financial, operational, reputational, customer and employee impact of any disruption
- Ensure that an alternate, adequate and appropriate means of operating is in place
- Ensure that employees and suppliers are fully trained as to their part in any emergency procedure
- Provide a safe, swift and effective restoration to normal service
Business Continuity Plan Template
Ensuring that all of the relevant sections and content are covered in a Business Continuity Plan can be a resource heavy project. This is why over 5000 organisations already use the Know Your Compliance Limited templates and packages to aid their policy development and regulatory compliance.
Our Business Continuity Plan Template can be purchased as a standalone document or comes included in our highly recommended Information Security Policy Toolkit. We excel at policy and procedure development and offer professional, high quality, fully customisable templates used by hundreds of industries.
If you are looking for a cost effective, user-friendly Business Continuity Plan Template, we can help.View our Information Security Toolkit View our BCP Template