Every practice should have a plan which sets out what is to be done in the event of any unexpected disaster, incident or failure which has the potential to de-stabilise the practice and impact on the short, medium or long term running of the practice; such events as fire, flood, damage to buildings, failure of power / phones / computers, loss of data, loss of key personnel, epidemics / pandemics.
Such a plan may be called a Continuity Plan (but may also be known as a disaster plan, a recovery plan, a contingency plan). The plan should identify what actions should be taken in the event of an incident, what back up arrangements exist and how they should be activated. Creating a continuity plan involves identifying all the risks (i.e. the occurrences which can cause disruption) and setting out what actions should be taken for each circumstance.
To help practices develop their continuity plans, we have prepared a toolkit which describes in simple, plain English, the process of creating a continuity plan and provides a risk assessment template (including examples of typical risks), plus a draft of a complete continuity plan which you can adapt for your practice. Subscribers to the FPM website can access the Continuity / Disaster Planning Toolkit in the toolkits section of the website. If you are not a member, have a look at the information about the benefits of membership and how to subscribe.
What is the relationship between a continuity plan and The Civil Contingencies Act? See the The Civil Contingencies Act page for more information on this.