The PMA is a UK provider of leadership, management and practice management training and ILM qualifications with programmes recognised by ILM. PMA offers an education and workshop training programme focused on Excellence in Practice Management.

Purpose
The purpose of this business continuity plan is to prepare in the event of extended service outages caused by factors beyond our control (e.g., natural disasters, man-made events), and to restore services to the widest extent possible in a minimum time frame. All PMA sites are expected to implement preventive measures whenever possible to minimize operational disruptions and to recover as rapidly as possible when an incident occurs.

The plan identifies vulnerabilities and recommends necessary measures to prevent extended voice communications service outages. It is a plan that encompasses all PMA system, sites and operations facilities.

Scope and Objectives
This is a business continuity plan, not a daily problem resolution procedures document. The objectives of the BCP are to:

  • Serve as a guide for the PMA recovery teams.
  • Reference and points to the location of critical data.
  • Provide procedures and resources needed to assist in recovery.
  • Identify vendors and customers that must be notified in the event of a disaster.
  • Assist in avoiding confusion experienced during a crisis by documenting, testing and reviewing recovery procedures.
  • Identify alternate sources for supplies, resources and locations.
  • Document storage, safeguarding and retrieval procedures for vital records.

Assumptions

  • Key people (team leaders or alternates) will be available following a disaster.
  • A national disaster such as nuclear war is beyond the scope of this plan.
  • This document and all vital records are stored in a secure off-site location and not only survive the disaster but are accessible immediately following the disaster.
  • Each support organization will have its own plan consisting of unique recovery procedures, critical resource information and procedures.

Disaster definition
Any loss of utility service (power, water), connectivity (system sites), or catastrophic event (weather, natural disaster, vandalism) that causes an interruption in the service provided by PMA operations. The plan identifies vulnerabilities and recommends measures to prevent extended service outages.

Recovery teams

  • Emergency management team (EMT)
  • Disaster recovery team (DRT)
  • IT technical services (IT)

See Appendix A for details on the roles and responsibilities of each team.

Team member responsibilities

  • Each team member will designate an alternate
  • All of the members should keep an updated calling list of their work team members’ work, home, and cell phone numbers both at home and at work.
  • All team members should keep this plan for reference at home in case the disaster happens after normal work hours. All team members should familiarise themselves with the contents of this plan.

Backup Media retention policy
Backup media is stored at locations that are secure, isolated from environmental hazards, and geographically separate from the location housing the system.

Billing tapes

  • Backup media greater than three years old are destroyed every six months.
  • Backup media less than three years old must be stored locally off-site.
  • The system supervisor is responsible for the transition cycle of tapes.

System image tapes

  • A copy of the most current image files must be made at least once per week.
  • This backup must be stored offsite.
  • The system supervisor is responsible for this activity.

Off-site storage procedures

  • Tapes and disks, and other suitable media are stored in environmentally secure facilities.
  • Tape or disk rotation occurs on a regular schedule coordinated with the storage vendor.
  • Access to backup databases and other data is tested annually.

Emergency management procedures

The following procedures are to be followed by system operations personnel and other designated PMA personnel in the event of an emergency. Where uncertainty exists, the more reactive action should be followed to provide maximum protection and personnel safety.

Note: Anyone not recognised by the IT staff as normally having business in the area must be challenged by the staff who should then notify security personnel.

These procedures are furnished to PMA management personnel to take home for reference with emergency contacts. In the event of any situation where access to a building housing a system is denied, personnel are able to work remotely from home office sites.

In the event of a natural disaster or in the event of a major catastrophe affecting a PMA facility, immediately notify:
Ian Jones, email: ian@practicemanagersuk.org

DRT refers to Disaster Recovery Team – and EMT to Emergency Recovery Team

Step Action
1 Notify EMT and DRT of pending event, if time permits.
2 If the impending natural disaster can be tracked, begin preparation of site within 48 hours as follows:

  • Deploy portable generators with fuel within 100 miles.
  • Deploy support personnel, tower crews, and engineering within 100 miles.
  • Deploy tractor trailers with replacement work space, antennas, power, computers and phones.
  • Facilities department on standby for replacement shelters
  • Basic necessities are acquired by support personnel when deployed:
  • Cash for one week
  • Food and water for one week
  • Gasoline and other fuels
  • Supplies, including chainsaws, batteries, rope, flashlights, medical supplies, etc.
3 24 hours prior to event:

  • Create an image of the system and files
  • Back up critical system elements
  • Verify backup generator fuel status and operation
  • Create backups of e-mail, file servers, etc.
  • Fuel vehicles and emergency trailers
  • Notify senior management

In the event of a fire
If fire or smoke is present in the facility, evaluate the situation, determine the severity, categorize the fire as major or minor and take the appropriate action as defined in this section. Call 999 as soon as possible if the situation warrants it.

  • Personnel are to attempt to extinguish minor fires (e.g., single hardware component or paper fires) using hand-held fire extinguishers located throughout the facility. Any other fire or smoke situation will be handled by qualified building personnel until the local fire department arrives.
  • In the event of a major fire, call 999 and immediately evacuate the area.
  • In the event of any emergency situation, system security, site security and personal safety are the major concerns. If possible, the operations supervisor should remain present at the facility until the fire department has arrived.
  • In the event of a major catastrophe affecting the facility, immediately notify senior management.

Procedure

Step Action
1 Dial 999 to contact the fire department.
2 Immediately notify all other personnel in the facility of the situation and evacuate the area.
3 Alert emergency personnel on: Ian Jones 07880 788985
4 Alert the DRT.
Note: During non-staffed hours, security personnel will notify the Senior Executive responsible for the location directly.
5 Notify Building Security.
Local security personnel will establish security at the location and not allow access to the site unless notified by the Senior Executive or his/her designated representative.
6 Contact appropriate vendor personnel to aid in the decision regarding the protection of equipment if time and circumstance permit.
6 All personnel evacuating the facilities will meet at their assigned outside location (assembly point) and follow instructions given by the designed authority. Under no circumstances may any personnel leave without the consent of supervision.

In the event of a network services provider outage
In the event of a network service provider outage to any location, the guidelines and procedures in this section are to be followed.

Procedure

Step Action
1 Notify senior management of outage.
Determine cause of outage and timeframe for its recovery.
2 If outage will be greater than one hour, route all calls via alternate services.
If it is a major outage and all carriers are down and downtime will be greater than 12 hours, deploy satellite phones, if available.

In the event of a flood or water damage
In the event of a flood or broken water pipe within any computing facilities, the guidelines and procedures in this section are to be followed.

Procedure

Step Action
1 Assess the situation and determine if outside assistance is needed; if this is the case, dial 999 immediately.
2 Immediately notify all other personnel in the facility of the situation and be prepared to cease voice operations accordingly.
3 Immediately notify all other personnel in the facility of the situation and be prepared to cease operations accordingly.
4 Water detected below the raised floor may have different causes:

  • If water is slowly dripping from an air-conditioning unit and not endangering equipment, contact repair personnel immediately.
  • If water is of a major quantity and flooding beneath the floor (water main break), immediately implement power-down procedures. While power-down procedures are in progress, evacuate the area and follow management’s instructions.

Plan review and maintenance
This plan must be reviewed annually and exercised on an annual basis. The test may be in the form of a walk-through, mock disaster, or component testing. Additionally, with the dynamic environment present within PMA, it is important to review the listing of personnel and phone numbers contained within the plan regularly.

The hard-copy version of the plan will be stored in a common location where it can be viewed by site personnel and the EMT and DRT. Electronic versions will be available via PMA network resources as provided by IT. Each recovery team will have its own directory with change management limited to the recovery plan coordinator.

Notification of incident affecting the site

On-duty personnel responsibilities

If in-hours:
Upon observation or notification of a potentially serious situation during working hours at a system/facility, ensure that personnel on site have enacted standard emergency and evacuation procedures if appropriate and notify the EMT and DRT.

If outside hours:
IT personnel should contact the EMT and DRT.
Provide status to EMT and DRT

Contact EMT and/or DRT and provide the following information when any of the following conditions exist: (See Appendix B for contact list.)

  • Two or more facilities are down concurrently for three or more hours.
  • Any problem at any system or location that would cause the above condition to be present or there is certain indication that the above condition is about to occur.

The EMT will provide the following information:

  • Location of disaster
  • Type of disaster (e.g., fire, hurricane, flood)
  • Summarize the damage (e.g., minimal, heavy, total destruction)
  • Meeting location that is a safe distance from the disaster scene
  • An estimated timeframe of when a damage assessment group can enter the facility (if possible)
  • The EMT will contact the respective market team leader and report that a disaster involving voice communications has taken place.

The EMT and/or DRT will contact the respective PMA team leader and report that a disaster has taken place.

Decide course of action

Based on the information obtained, the EMT and/or DRT need to decide how to respond to the event: mobilize IT, repair/rebuild existing site (s) with location staff, or relocate to a new facility.

Inform team members of decision
If a disaster is not declared, the location response team will continue to address and manage the situation through its resolution and provide periodic status updates to the EMT/DRT.

If a disaster is declared, the EMT and/or DRT will notify IT Tech Services immediately for deployment.

Declare a disaster if the situation is not likely to be resolved within predefined time frames. The person who is authorized to declare a disaster must also have at least one backup person who is also authorized to declare a disaster in the event the primary person is unavailable.

Contact general vendors (see Appendix I)
Disaster declared: Mobilise incident response/Technical services teams/Report to command center

Once a disaster is declared, the DRT is mobilised. This team will initiate and coordinate the appropriate recovery actions. Members assemble at the designated location as quickly as possible. See Appendix E for emergency locations.

Conduct detailed damage assessment (This may also be performed prior to declaring a disaster.)

1. Under the direction of local authorities and/or EMT/DRT, assess the damage to the affected location and/or assets. Include vendors/providers of installed equipment to ensure that their expert opinion regarding the condition of the equipment is determined ASAP.

A. Participate in a briefing on assessment requirements, reviewing:
(1) Assessment procedures
(2) Gather requirements
(3) Safety and security issues

NOTE: Access to the facility following a fire or potential chemical contamination will likely be denied for 24 hours or longer.

B. Document assessment results using assessment and evaluation forms contained in Appendix G.

Building access permitting:
• Conduct an on-site inspection of affected areas to assess damage to essential hardcopy records (files, manuals, contracts, documentation, etc.) and electronic data.
• Obtain information regarding damage to the facility (s) (e.g., environmental conditions, physical structure integrity, furniture, and fixtures) from the DRT.

2. Develop a restoration priority list, identifying facilities, vital records and equipment needed for resumption activities that could be operationally restored and retrieved quickly.

3. Recommendations for required resources.

Contact DRT: Decide whether to continue to business recovery phase

The EMT and DRT gather information regarding the event; contacts senior management and provides them with detailed information on status.

Based on the information obtained, senior management decides whether to continue to the business recovery phase of this plan. If the situation does not warrant this action, continue to address the situation at the affected site(s).

Business recovery phase (24 hours – full recovery)

This section documents the steps necessary to activate business recovery plans to support full restoration of systems or facility functionality at an alternate/recovery site that would be used for an extended period of time. Coordinate resources to reconstruct business operations at the temporary/permanent system location, and to deactivate recovery teams upon return to normal business operations.

PMA system and facility operation requirements
The system and facility configurations for each location are important to re-establish normal operations. A list for each location will be included in Appendix F.

Notify IT staff/Coordinate relocation to new facility
See Appendix A for IT staff associated with a new location being set up as a permanent location (replacement for site).

Secure funding for relocation
Make arrangements in advance with suitable backup location resources. Make arrangements in advance with local banks, credit card companies, hotels, office suppliers, food suppliers and others for emergency support.

Notify EMT and corporate business units of recovery startup
Using the call list in Appendix B, notify the appropriate company personnel. Inform them of any changes to processes or procedures, contact information, hours of operation, etc. (This may be used for media information.)

Operations recovered
Assuming all relevant operations have been recovered to an alternate site, and employees are in place to support operations, the company can declare that it is functioning in a normal manner at the recovery location.

Continual Improvement – Plan Do Check Act – PDCA

PDCA (plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) is an iterative four-step management method used to control PMAs continual improvement of processes and products.

PLAN – Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals). By establishing output expectations, the completeness and accuracy of the specification is also a part of the targeted improvement. When possible we start on a small scale to test possible effects.

DO – Implement the plan, execute the process, make the product. Collect data for charting and analysis in the following “CHECK” and “ACT” steps.

CHECK – Study the actual results (measured and collected in “DO” above) and compare against the expected results (targets or goals from the “PLAN”) to ascertain any differences. Look for deviation in implementation from the plan and also look for the appropriateness and completeness of the plan to enable the execution, i.e., “Do”. Charting data can make this much easier to see trends over several PDCA cycles and in order to convert the collected data into information. Information is what you need for the next step “ACT”.

ACT – If the CHECK shows that the PLAN that was implemented in DO is an improvement to the prior standard (baseline), then that becomes the new standard (baseline) for how the organisation should ACT going forward (new standards are enACTed). If the CHECK shows that the PLAN that was implemented in DO is not an improvement, then the existing standard (baseline) will remain in place. In either case, if the CHECK showed something different than expected (whether better or worse), then there is some more learning to be done… and that will suggest potential future PDCA cycles. Note that some who teach PDCA assert that the ACT involves making adjustments or corrective actions… but generally it would be counter to PDCA thinking to propose and decide upon alternative changes without using a proper PLAN phase, or to make them the new standard (baseline) without going through DO and CHECK steps.

Appendixes
Appendix A: PMA recovery teams
Emergency management team (EMT)

Note: See Appendix B for contact list. Suggested members to include: senior management, human resources, corporate public relations, legal, IT services, risk management and operations

Charter:
Responsible for overall coordination of the disaster recovery effort; evaluation and determining disaster declaration; and communications with senior management.

Support activities:
The EMT:

  • Evaluate which recovery actions should be invoked and activate the recovery teams
  • Evaluate damage assessment findings
  • Set restoration priority based on the damage assessment reports
  • Provide senior management with ongoing status information
  • Act as a communication channel to corporate teams and major customers
  • Work with vendors and IRT to develop a rebuild/repair schedule

Disaster recovery team
Note: See Appendix B for contact list

Charter:
Responsible for overall coordination of the disaster recovery effort; establishment of the emergency command area; and communications with senior management and the EMT.

Support activities:

  • Coordinate with EMT and senior management
  • Determine recovery needs
  • Establish command center and assembly areas
  • Notify all company department heads and advise them to activate their plan(s) if applicable, based upon the disaster situation
  • If no disaster is declared, take appropriate action to return to normal operations using regular staff
  • Determine if vendors or other teams are needed to assist with detailed damage assessment
  • Prepare post-disaster debriefing report
  • Coordinate the development of site-specific recovery plans and ensure they are updated semi-annually

IT technical services (IT)
Charter
IT will facilitate technology restoration activities.

Support activities
Upon notification of disaster declaration, review and provide support as follows:

  1. Facilitate technology recovery and restoration activities, providing guidance on replacement equipment and systems, as required
  2. Coordinate removal of salvageable equipment at disaster site that may be used for alternate site operations

Appendix B: Recovery team contact lists

Emergency management team (EMT)

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones ian@delegatecentral.com
ian@practicemanagersuk.org
ian.ljones@tiscali.co.uk
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose austin@delegatecentral.com
austin@practicemanagersuk.org
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon cathryn@practicemanagersuk.org
cathryn21lyon@gmail.com
07964 705839
James Rooney james_rooney@hotmail.com 07850 877519

Disaster recovery team (DRT)

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones ian@delegatecentral.com
ian@practicemanagersuk.org
ian.ljones@tiscali.co.uk
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose austin@delegatecentral.com
austin@practicemanagersuk.org
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon cathryn@practicemanagersuk.org
cathryn21lyon@gmail.com
07964 705839

IT technical services

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
James Rooney james_rooney@hotmail.com 07850 877519
Austin Ambrose austin@delegatecentral.com
austin@practicemanagersuk.org
07726 921685

Appendix C: Emergency numbers

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number

Appendix D: Contact list

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones ian@delegatecentral.com
ian@practicemanagersuk.org
ian.ljones@tiscali.co.uk
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose austin@delegatecentral.com
austin@practicemanagersuk.org
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon cathryn@practicemanagersuk.org
cathryn21lyon@gmail.com
07964 705839

Appendix E: Emergency command centre (ECC) locations

Contacts
Contact: Austin Ambrose – 07726 921685
Contact: Ian Jones – 07880 788985

Appendix F: Forms

Incident/disaster form

Upon notification of an incident/disaster situation the on-duty personnel will make the initial entries into this form. It will then be forwarded to the ECC, where it will be continually updated. This document will be the running log until the incident/disaster has ended and “normal business” has resumed.

Time and Date
Type of Event
Location
Building Access Issues
Projected Impact to Operations
Running Log (ongoing events)

Critical equipment status form

CRITICAL EQUIPMENT STATUS
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION FORM

Equipment
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
Condition Status
Comments

Legend

Condition:
OK – Undamaged
DBU – Damaged, but usable
DS – Damaged, requires salvage before use
D – Destroyed, requires reconstruction

Appendix G: Building evacuation information

Provide evacuation procedures

Appendix H: Inventory of primary equipment and network services

Provide list of equipment and network services

Appendix I: Inventory of backup equipment and systems

Provide list of equipment

Appendix J: Approved vendor list

Server and computer equipment suppliers

Company Name Contact Work Mobile Phone

Communications and network services suppliers

Company Name Contact Work Mobile Phone

Notification contacts

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones ian@delegatecentral.com
ian@practicemanagersuk.org
ian.ljones@tiscali.co.uk
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose austin@delegatecentral.com
austin@practicemanagersuk.org
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon cathryn@practicemanagersuk.org
cathryn21lyon@gmail.com
07964 705839
James Rooney james_rooney@hotmail.com 07850 877519

Revisions control

Date Summary of changes made Changes made by (Name)
10th Mar 2016 PMA Business Continuity Plan reviewed Ian Jones
1st May 2016 PMA BCP reformatted Ian Jones
2nd Nov 2016 PMA BCP reviewed and updated ILJ & Austin Ambrose
20th Sept 2017 Added a component around continual improvement Ian Jones
6th June 2018 General update – contact details Etc Ian Jones
Next formal Review – Dec 2018