What your business continuity plan should look like

By now, many organisations are already putting actions in place to ensure minimal impacts to continuity of service delivery. Your business continuity plan should contain all the information you need to prepare your organisation to manage disruptions and get your organisation running again after an incident or crisis.

It should include a business impact analysis and an incident response plan, with plan activation, incident response team, roles and responsibilities, communications and contact list.

If you don’t already have a formal business continuity plan in place, or you need to update it, visit the Business continuity page for more information on what to include. You can download a business continuity plan template here or a template for a disaster plan for community organisations here.

COVID-19 pandemic planning templates

Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) has developed a COVID-19 Pandemic Business Continuity Planning and Scenario Planning template to help you collate the information you need and identify key scenarios you should be planning for. 

For organisations needing to accelerate their planning, CSIA has developed a Business Continuity Planning Accelerator. You can download this tool and work through each item to make sure you and your organisation are positioned to continue service delivery.

Pandemic emergency management response plan

QCOSS has shared its Pandemic Emergency Management Response plan, to appropriately mitigate risk and minimise the potential impact for employees and our business

The pandemic plan is to work in conjunction with the QCOSS business continuity plan.

To see further details of the plan visit the QCOSS website.

Business continuity planning for residential care services

This guide is to assist residential care services in the development of plans around service delivery during the ongoing pandemic, in recognition that children and young people in residential care are a highly vulnerable cohort, and may exhibit behaviours which put them at greater risk of infection. Being prepared is one of the best ways to lessen the impact of an infectious disease outbreak like COVID-19.

Business continuity planning - Advice for residential care services (Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women)

Where you should be up to by now

Review your organisation’s business continuity plan and ensure that all your staff, volunteers and key external stakeholders know what your emergency and business continuity actions are.

Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities is essential for timely decision making. It’s useful to define roles that can be filled by a range of people in case some staff or volunteers are unavailable.

At this stage ensure you have up to date contact details for all your staff and volunteers as well as their emergency contacts. It’s also helpful to have a list of key external contacts so your organisation knows who to contact and how.

Identify vulnerable clients and list the actions to be taken in relation to each group.

If your employees may be required to work from home, review your working-from-home policy and ensure that all staff are aware of the requirements. If you don’t have an existing policy in place develop a ‘self-check’ policy for employees to verify that they are working in a safe environment.

What to do if you can't deliver on services

Contracted service providers should review funding agreements in the first instance, and investigate other ways of delivering on contracts, such as telephone or video calls in the event that face-to-face services cannot be provided. If you are unable to deliver on your contract/s, contact your government contract manager as soon as possible, to see if additional resources can be provided, or to renegotiate contract deliverables.

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Samuel Mortimer, QCOSS

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