Business Continuity Policy
Procedure Number: 014
Date of Last Revision:
Date of Last Review:
Date of Next Review:
The purpose of this plan is to outline the continuity arrangements we have in place to safeguard our provision. The policy identifies reasonable measures in place to respond to and be able to mitigate business risks where there is a potential of significant damage to business operations.
Our Managing Director is responsible for this policy and plan, it will be reviewed on an annual basis. All staff are responsible in adhering to this policy and plan.
The principles of this plan are to:
- Outline actions required in the event of an emergency or incidents which threatens to disrupt the normal working practices of our business;
- Ensure limited or no disruption to provision in the event of an emergency or threat. We consider that the threats most likely to affect the services we provide are:
- Loss of key staff –requiring change of communication
- Damage to main premises of business eg Fire
- Loss of critical systems – IT failure or breach of IT
- Telephone line failure
- Supply chain failure -consumables
- Supply chain failure -trainers
- Severe weather condition. In some cases these incidents can be due to natural-causes e.g. severe weather, while in other cases, equipment failure or human error or involvement may be the cause. They have the possibility of leading to the following loses, which are likely to have a major impact on our operations. ·Expertise
- Funding and or contract withdrawal
As this plan is stored on a remote server, it is secure in the event of a localised system failure, disaster or emergency and may be accessed by any team member, who is able to connect to the internet.
Telephone and e-mail contact details for team members and trainers are stored in the staff and managers’ mobile telephones.
- The business has buildings, contents, business interruption and practice expenses insurance policies, to meet the cost of repairs and other overheads, where necessary.
- All data is backed up daily by back-up tape, which is stored off site. This is also supported by our IT company (Document Network Services), who take a remote back-up, which is stored at their premises
Every staff member must be aware of the evacuation and health and safety arrangements that will impact their working environment. Staff must ensure they report critical incident or concern to the lead of this policy immediately. Staff will be made aware of this policy within their induction and reinforced within training and drills.
The person (s) responsible for managing serious incidents and supporting this plan are listed below:
Gary Gwynne firstname.lastname@example.org 07484 883363
Elliott Gwynne email@example.com 07770 507744
In the event of a serious incident the ESFA must be contacted. Their contact details are:
- Telephone 08000 150 600
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Short term incidents
Power failure, water failure, heating and or severe weather will often lead to short term impacts on daily operations. These incidents are managed by the Managing Director and key staff listed above. Information to staff and stakeholders will be communicated by the Managing Director to ensure each team has up to date information on the current situation. Where an incident prevents staff from accessing our offices ,staff will be asked to stay home where possible to work from home until further notice.
Where apprenticeship delivery is conducted on employer premises it is determined there will be limited disruption to apprentices and employers with short term incidents. Where a Trainer is unable to attend the delivery site due to severe weather, remote learning approaches will be applied to ensure there is no detrimental impact to the apprentices progress. We will aim to rectify any incident as soon as possible to ensure minimal disruption to the operations of the business.
Telephone line failure:
Modes of transport
Alternative site of operations
Supply chain (consumables) preventive measures
Back-up of business-critical systems
Is externally managed allowing us to regularly update the site via a third party, ensuring updates regarding services are timely uploaded, communication channels such as change of personnel or phone numbers can also be updated.
Head Office is a central support team that can support all stakeholders within apprenticeships. The central team is able to communicate on mass to apprentices and employers to ensure regular updates are provided where a significant change or incident has occurred.
The MIS Coordinator and the Senior Management Team has direct phone and email to support further communication lines.
IT systems will be rebooted and email downtime will be monitored, where email is not available apprentices, suppliers, staff and employers can be contacted via phone. In addition to the landline telephone line, all company directors and delivery staff have business mobiles. These numbers are sent to all employers, delivery staff, and suppliers.
Our telephone and internet supplier can redirect calls to the alternative numbers, so that we can continue to receive and make calls using our normal telephone number. If all our landlines fail, calls can be redirected to the Managing Director’s mobile .E-portfolio message board:Communication updates to apprentices and employers can be added through our e-portfolio system. This gives real-time updates and ensures that there is limited disruption to any apprenticeship services.
Where there are changes to our Trainers the Business Development Manager can directly call or email the apprentices or employer. The Trainers have the ability to provide learning interventions face to face and remotely, ensuring flexibility to meet the employer’s needs
The primary transport method to apprentices is by car, however alternative transport by public transport such as rail and bus are available. Head office/central staff have multiple transport approach these being car, public transport and walking. We have localised staff to open and close the premises, they are able to reach the premises by foot in the event of severe weather. No apprenticeship delivery is carried out at our head office. We do not offer transport to apprentices as part of the provision.
Managing Director is responsible for procuring alternative accommodation. The Company Accountants will support the procurement processes and identify facilities and equipment required. Our delivery team have the flexibility to work from home as they are most often visiting apprentices and employers. Office based staff will also be able to work from home with provided equipment until alternative site is made available.
Our supply chain provides us with paper, printing services, courier, and learning support material. For each of these we have alternative suppliers, from whom we can source the same standard of services. We also store reserve stocks in the event of low supplies.
We renew IT systems on a regular basis. All IT hardware is protected by antivirus and antimalware software, that automatically updates from the internet on a regular basis. We also employ firewalls to protect our systems from unauthorised access and malicious damage. Our operating systems automatically download and install upgrades to reduce system vulnerabilities. The server contains a specific back up system which backs up business critical data daily. Data backups can be accessed on the server, which is backed up daily to tape via the main server and is stored in a fireproof safe. If there is an issue of a catastrophic system failure, our computer system can be reinstated within 24 hours. For further security, staff laptops are encrypted in case of loss or theft. We also provide Guest Wi-Fi networks to minimise risk to our corporate network.
Incidents that have trigged this policy are monitored to ensure there is a full recordof events. The managing Director who manages the quality management system is responsible for working with the all people and organisations involved in recording the incident within the critical incident log. The log will review trends in incidents, timeframes for resolution, and impact to ensure further preventative actions are implemented where possible.