Activities at UBC typically depend on specialized equipment, supplies, support services, and of course, highly skilled and knowledgeable people. In the event of a breakdown or disruption in any one of these elements, academic, research and operational activities could be impacted. As prolonged failures in some of these areas may cause risks to human life or significant harm to campus infrastructure and services, it’s important to make continuity plans to mitigate against the risk of this happening.
The objective of continuity planning is to ensure the continuation of critical university services including teaching and research for an extended duration of time following an initial emergency or threat. The duration of time may range from a few hours to many days or even months. Under UBC Policy SC10, Disaster Management, service units are charged with conducting or delivering critical services to the university under the following conditions:
- Workforce Disruption – disruption involving personnel such that sufficient, trained and skilled personnel are not available.
- Workplace Disruption – any disruption of a business entity (office, teaching facilities, utilities).
- Disruption of IT Services – any disruption affecting access to IT Services.
- Supply Chain Disruption – any external supplier, service provider, utility or logistic disruption that stops the movement of critical products and/or services.
You can find resources to help with business continuity planning in UBC’s three main areas of activity:
Academic Continuity Planning template
Operational Continuity Planning template
Research Continuity Planning template
Minimizing Exposure to Risks
Continuity planning seeks to minimize certain exposures to risks that may impact the recovery and resumption process, including:
- The number of decisions that must be made following a disaster or severe disruption.
- Single point of failure conditions in the unit.
- Dependence on the participation of any specific person, or group of people, in the recovery process.
- The lack of available staff with suitable skills to affect the recovery.
- The need to develop, test, or debug new procedures, programs or systems during recovery.
- The adverse impact of lost data, recognizing that the loss of some transactions may be inevitable.