Publication - Advice and guidance

Preparing Scotland: resilience guidance

"Core" guidance on resilience, covering resilience philosophy, principles, structures and regulatory duties

90 page PDF

3.1 MB

90 page PDF

3.1 MB

Preparing Scotland: resilience guidance

90 page PDF

3.1 MB




We live in a complex and increasingly interdependent society. Whilst this brings many benefits, it also leaves us, potentially, more vulnerable to a number of challenges. These challenges take many forms, both new and old. Our vulnerabilities around power supply and information technology are relatively new, whilst others, such as pandemic disease, have been with us for centuries.

Maintaining the continuity of our way of life or returning to relative normality after any disruptive event requires resilience. Resilience is defined as "the capacity of an individual, community or system to adapt in order to sustain an acceptable level of function, structure and identity" 1 .

In this context "system" includes the broader infrastructures, networks and processes which sustain society. The supply of fuel, for instance, relies on a complex web of relationships, including supply of raw material, transport infrastructure, availability of staff and the means of electronic payment. A failure in any one of these could affect supply as a whole.

"Community" refers not only to geographical communities (such as urban or coastal) but also communities of interest, where people are brought together through common interests and a shared sense of commitment. Communities of practitioners exist too, whereby those engaged in many aspects of public service or commercial activity are drawn together by the common goal of preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies.

"Individual" refers to the man or woman in the street, the people of Scotland, who also bear a responsibility to consider how best to prepare themselves for unforeseen or challenging events and how they might assist those around them during emergencies.

In all of this, a robust civil contingencies planning process is a key factor in establishing resilience.

Purpose of Guidance

Preparing Scotland is not intended to be an operations manual, but is instead guidance to responders assisting them in planning, response and recovery. It establishes good practice based on professional expertise, legislation and lessons learned from planning for and dealing with major emergencies at all levels. It reflects a process which prepares for emergencies from the identification of a risk to the completion of the recovery process.

It is intended to be a flexible and responsive document, able to respond to new hazards and threats. The guidance is designed to be able to integrate new practices established through innovative thinking or the incorporation of lessons learned. It encourages training and development of those involved and lays out structures to assist in this. Whilst some development is in response to legislative duties, other programmes will be in response to stakeholder requirements.

Preparing Scotland - The "Hub and Spokes" Model

Preparing Scotland ( PS) guidance is set out as a "hub and spokes", in which the central hub (this document) incorporates:

- the philosophy of resilience in Scotland
- the principles that underpin effective Integrated Emergency Management ( IEM)
- governance structures
- regulatory guidance and recommended good practice
- clear signposting to the detailed "spokes".

The spokes provide detailed guidance on specific matters, covering:

Responding to Emergencies

Preparing Scotland: Responding to Emergencies in Scotland

Recovering from Emergencies

Preparing Scotland: Recovery Guidance

Warning and Informing the Public

Preparing Scotland: Warning and Informing Scotland - Communicating with the Public in Civil Emergencies

Resilience Framework Cycle

Preparing Scotland: Resilience Framework Cycle (interim)

Caring for People

Preparing Scotland: Care for People Affected by Emergencies

Business Continuity

Preparing Scotland: Guidance on Business Continuity Management: It's Your Business

Secure & Resilient
(Critical National Infrastructure)

Secure & Resilient: Strategic Framework for CNI in Scotland

Fuel Disruption

Preparing Scotland: Fuel Disruption Guidance
(summary document)

Mass Fatalities

Preparing Scotland: Guidance on Dealing with Mass Fatalities in Scotland

Scientific and Technical Advice

Preparing Scotland: Scottish Guidance on Preparing for Emergencies: STAC Guidance

Exercise Guidance

Preparing Scotland: Scottish Exercise Guidance

As well as in the table above, hyperlinks to these documents are included at relevant points throughout the "hub". Additionally, the hub provides references to further information for the benefit of the reader, generally via references to written material or hyperlinks.

As with all doctrine and guidance, the spokes (and the hub) will be subject to periodic revision 2 . A version control process is in place to ensure that only the most current guidance is available on-line. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that they are using the current version, which can be found at Ready Scotland: Preparing Scotland.

Should you wish to suggest changes to the guidance, please contact the Scottish Government's Resilience Division at