Preparing Scotland: business resilience guidance

This guidance focuses on how organisations can become more resilient. In particular, it provides advice to Category 1 responders and information to other readers about the duties set out in the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and associated Regulations.

Questions to Ask

Disruptions can affect any part of your day to day business, and often affect several aspects at once. How would the following affect your organisation's ability to carry out its statutory duties and achieve its strategic objectives?

Loss of Access to Premises

Days of severe weather have made some important parts of your property unsafe for use and damaged the facilities and resources it contains; they have also caused a sharp increase in demand for your services.

  • How will this affect your organisation's ability to provide critical services?

Utilities Failure

The local power supply has failed and is expected to be off for many hours. Your offices are dark, IT systems are down and your mobile phone is running out of charge. These and other consequences will be felt across your organisation:

  • How will you assess the impacts elsewhere ( e.g. critical equipment and activities, safety and security in public areas, loss of data)?
  • How will the response be managed and staff and customers be kept informed?

IT Disruption

A 'software upgrade' leads to a loss of personal data belonging to service users or customers and staff - and it is being sold on a criminal website. Parts of your IT systems remain faulty, output is being lost and you are being accused of failing to protect against this risk?

  • How do you respond to the risk you have exposed these people to and the damage to your reputation?
  • What are the practical problems to overcome and how long will this take?


Staff may be absent for many reasons (illness, transport disruptions, caring responsibilities, school closures, etc.) some of which may be linked with increased demand for services:

  • Can you demonstrate that you have enough people, with the right skill mix, including key specialists, to deliver essential services, in a safe way for the probable duration of an extended disruption?

Equipment and Supplies

An organisation that supplies you with important equipment, consumables or services is accused of criminal negligence in supplying items likely to cause a risk to health. The supplier's credibility is in doubt and staff are occupied in remedial action:

  • How would you conduct safety assessments of people who might have been affected?
  • How would you source compatible alternatives and avoid falling behind on essential work?


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