Business continuity (BC) is a resilience discipline and foundational element that can help build organisational resilience capabilities. In organisations, BC’s position in wider management systems is known as a BC Management System. When we think of an organisation and all of the priorities that it has, the continuation planning for these priorities is BC. That’s why BC is an essential part of supporting the organisation’s strategic objectives and also why it is crucial that the organisation’s executive and strategic leads, as well as management and practitioners are suitably qualified, experienced and empowered (SQEEP) in business continuity management.
The contribution of BC to civil protection and emergency planning is that all of the collaboration between authorities and agencies with their respective services, is reliant on the effective continuation of all of these impactful services, despite possible disruption individually to these organisations, or from the larger scale emergency response facing them.
Business Continuity forms an integral part of building capability to respond to, and recover from situations which are wider than an operational disruption, and so cannot be considered separately from crisis management.
Those in respective roles in BC may be known as BC or Resilience Officers, BC or Resilience Managers, Head of BC; or often BC has formed a part of roles such as Emergency Planners or Resilience Leads. More recently, there are more roles named as Operational Resilience Manager for example – which is a wider, holistic discipline that is currently yet to be firmly defined across sectors. Similarly, the term Organisational Resilience is often used. This is a strategic capability, centred around organisations being prepared, adaptable and able to thrive in a changing environment (BS 65000). It is important to note that it is not simply ‘good BCM’.
BC Practitioners will usually have an analytical and overarching wealth of knowledge into the organisation’s services, operations and priorities.