Business continuity is the planning to prepare for any major incident which may stop the Post Office operating in a normal manner. It includes increasing levels of resilience across all areas to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring and planning how to respond and recover from an incident.
Within planning Post Office must:
- Consider the impact of an areas not being able to function
- Consider the risks within which areas operate
- Plan how to respond to a crisis
- Plan how to recover business operations
- Implement recovery strategies to ensure business continues within acceptable timeframes
- Train all those involved with business continuity
- Test all plans and strategies
- Maintain all plans and strategies in place
An incident can be anything which impacts Post Office in anyway. This could be our reputation, our staff safety, our buildings, systems, assets or capability to work.
Anyone can spot an incident and report it to their team, manager and Grapevine and as such everyone in their own way is responsible for ensuring Post Office business continuity is in place and fit for purpose.
Business continuity is there to protect staff, reduce the likelihood of an incident happening and protect jobs and our capability to continue in business.
All major incidents are managed by the Business Protection team, this is a team made up of senior managers from across all areas of the business who can be invoked 24x7x365 for any major incident.
One of our key systems is Horizon used in every branch and other areas. If there is ever an incident which affects Horizon this reduces our ability to easily communicate with all users of the system. To support this we have implemented “option 9” on the NBSC call centre options which will always have up to date information about the incident and will save you queuing or needing to speak to an operator. You should have this printed off and to hand.
The key part of any physical incident is the safety of staff and customers. As such you should now assess your own location and determine what levels of safety you have within your work place. If you are to evacuate make sure you know where to. If you are then moved on from this make sure you have identified a secondary place further away, preferably with shelter. Investigate if there are any safe areas within your office when it might be safer to stay in your office rather than leave, if in doubt liaise with Health and Safety when you are planning for this.
Current Government advice (2016) on the response to an armed intruder is to “run, hide, tell” and all staff should be aware of this.
Working from home is a key recovery strategy for many staff and it is important that all those that have this capability ensure they can do so. Using Microsoft 365 from home also enables many people to work and all those that require this should test it works for them. If you have a work laptop ensuring it is at home will always support a recovery capability.
Other offices may have dedicated recovery locations and if so all those that use these should know where they are and if they are expected to go to them. If in doubt ask your team leader