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Overview of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
This is the document that details the processes, procedures and contacts needed in the event of any type of incident that threatens the continuity of the organisation. It is advisable to keep the scenario generic so that the same document can be used in multiple different scenarios.
It is the one document that is most likely to be requested by any auditor, customer or potential customer
There are multiple options with a business continuity plan however one size or template does not fit all and each one needs to be adapted for each organisation.
Key elements that must be included in a business continuity plan as a minimum
a) Document Control
This is where you specify the document date, version number and last revision, it is vital for someone auditing to establish the age of the document
b) Invocation Process
A flow chart and description of how the invocation would work
Details of what the invocation and business continuity plan is expected to achieve, so a key part will be what is out of scope and what is in scope
d) Key Roles and Responsibilities
List of who is responsible for which element of the invocation of the business continuity plan and therecovery, together with deputies
e) Incident Management Team (IMT)
The core team that would be directing the invocation and business recovery, this may not necessarily mirror the standard BAU management structure
f) Activation Procedures
The method and tasks undertaken and used to activate the business continuity plan, and any safeguards in place to prevent an invocation by an authorised plan which could cause bigger issues
g) Alternative Locations
A list of locations other than the primary, where people can meet and or work initially and or on medium term basis need to be detailed in the business continuity plan
h) Communications Plan
Contains different messages for different stakeholders, e.g. customers staff and media and when and how the messages will be communicated
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