Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE) College at any moment. Fire, natural disasters like flooding, pandemics or even a cyber-attack could all result in serious interruption to your organisation. All FE Colleges should be prepared to respond to an unexpected emergency, disaster or crisis. Having pre-planned strategies in place should help you recover from the effects of such situations in as timely a manner as possible. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) helps increase organisational resilience by identifying the priority activities and developing suitable strategies and solutions for continuity following a disruption. It will also assist you by assessing the impacts of potential scenarios that could affect your college and help you to allocate the necessary resources to minimise the disruption.

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE) College at any moment. Fire, natural disasters like flooding, pandemics or even a cyber-attack could all result in serious interruption to your organisation. All FE Colleges should be prepared to respond to an unexpected emergency, disaster or crisis. Having pre-planned strategies in place should help you recover from the effects of such situations in as timely a manner as possible. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) helps increase organisational resilience by identifying the priority activities and developing suitable strategies and solutions for continuity following a disruption. It will also assist you by assessing the impacts of potential scenarios that could affect your college and help you to allocate the necessary resources to minimise the disruption.

18 Apr 2024, 15:35

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Helping you provide a safe and secure environment

All colleges, regardless of size, face the risk of disruption preventing their ability to meet the needs of their students and provide a safe and secure environment. Whilst many colleges may already have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), it’s essential to regularly test, exercise and review the plan to understand and maximise its value. By testing the plan, you can identify any potential weaknesses and ensure it is effective and fit for purpose.

A robust BCP could ease some of the pressures and decisions you and your people may face and ensure you have developed effective strategies to help protect them. Having a resilient and comprehensive continuity plan will help ensure staff are prepared and trained in advance and help you to safeguard your college community. Effective continuity planning builds confidence and reassurance and helps ensure you are providing the necessary duty of care. It can also help improve response and recovery times, so that if an incident does occur your people are better prepared.

In difficult times, you need to be able to turn to robust business continuity management policies and procedures that will help protect you and your organisation.

Business continuity management process

In order to develop a BCP arrangement consistent with good practices, organisations should develop, implement and embed an effective process. Your organisation may benefit from working with an external provider who can help you to achieve this.

Business continuity lifecycle

Policy and Programme Management

  • Establish the organisation’s BCP policy.
  • Ensure it aligns with the organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Define how the BCP system will be implemented.

Analysis

  • Business impact analysis.
  • Risk assessment.

Design

  • Identification and selection of business continuity strategies and solutions.

Implementation

  • Development of business continuity plans (BCPs).
  • Includes response framework and structure.

Validation

  • Testing and exercising BCP arrangements.
  • Maintenance and updating.
  • Management reviews and audits.

Embedding

  • Integration of BCP into the ‘business as usual’ culture of the organisation.
  • Inclusion of BCP consideration in any organisational change
How can Gallagher help?

Gallagher is a specialist in the Further Education sector, working with over 75% of Further Education colleges in the UK to create tailored insurance and risk management solutions.

The Gallagher team has also created a consistent method for running tabletop exercises with college senior leadership teams. These exercises focus on various realistic scenarios that might disrupt normal college operations.

The aims and benefits of conducting such exercises include:

  • Identify Gaps and Weaknesses: This process helps uncover areas that may not have been adequately addressed or potential vulnerabilities that need to be rectified before an actual crisis occurs.
  • Validate Effectiveness: It allows colleges to assess whether the BCP can effectively mitigate risks, minimise downtime, and ensure the continuity of time-critical activities.
  • Train Employees: Testing and exercising the plan helps train employees on their roles and responsibilities during a crisis, ensuring they understand their tasks and can execute them effectively when needed.
  • Build Confidence: Testing and exercising builds confidence in the BCP and the college’s ability to handle crises.
  • Improve response and recovery time: By testing the plan, colleges can identify areas where response and recovery time can be improved.
  • Governance and Compliance Requirements: Testing and exercising are often required by regulatory bodies or industry standards. Colleges need to demonstrate that they have tested their BCP to comply with these requirements and avoid potential penalties or legal issues.
  • Enhance Communication and Coordination: It helps identify any communication gaps or breakdowns and allows colleges to improve their communication strategies during a crisis.
  • Continuous Improvement: It provides valuable insights and feedback that can be used to refine and enhance the BCP over time, ensuring it remains effective and up-to-date.
Face your future with confidence

While insurance provides a foundation for recovery that keeps the wheels turning in the short term and recoups your losses over the long, it’s only one part of the equation. Our qualified professionals take the time to understand your organisation, determine a suitable business continuity strategy, implement the responses and then maintain and review the plan over time.

It is not uncommon for FE colleges to fail the audit requirements for an effective BCP. The Gallagher team is able to assist your college by conducting a Business Continuity Test Workshop, which involves reviewing the existing BCP and running a test with an agreed scenario. The BCP is then assessed and feedback provided so any required improvements can be made.

To find out more about how Gallagher can support your college by developing an effective Business Continuity Plan or conducting a BCP workshop please call Karen Banks on 07804 042 951. Visit https://www.ajg.com/uk/education/education-insurance/ for more information on our insurance and risk management solutions for further education colleges.

Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909.

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