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Guidance for Scotland’s Regional Resilience Partnerships on Risk and Preparedness Assessments

December 2017

Are we ready?


Purpose of Guidance

Preparing Scotland is a suite of guidance to assist responders plan, respond and recover from disruptive challenges. It consists of a ‘Hub’ which sets out Scotland’s resilience philosophy, structures and regulatory duties, and ‘Spokes’ that provide detailed guidance on specific matters. The “Are we ready?” Guidance is one of those spokes.

The purpose of “Are we ready?” is to provide a comprehensive overview of the Risk Preparedness Assessment (RPA) process for Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRPs). This document provides the background to the RPA process including legislation, national documents and the purpose of each stage of the process. This document assumes no knowledge and can be read in isolation as a background document for anyone new to the RPA process. Therefore, the guidance includes general background information which is available elsewhere and may be familiar to most readers.

Accompanying the “Are we ready?” Guidance will be a Practitioners Toolkit which provides an in-depth understanding of how to complete each stage of the RPA process including examples of completed templates. The Practitioners Toolkit is currently being developed with key partners and this guidance will be updated when the Toolkit is available in 2018. A risk learning package is also being developed with key resilience partners.

Going forward the risk assessment process is still evolving and the process will continue to be developed as lessons are identified and acted upon. Therefore, “Are we ready?” will be periodically revised. It is recommended that you ensure you are using the current version available at Ready Scotland.

Links to useful websites containing guidance and information issued by Government, other responders and relevant groups is detailed in Annex A.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (as amended) is the legislation which outlines the key organisations and their duty to prepare for civil emergencies within Scotland.

In Scotland under the terms of the principle legislation, the structure which supports multiagency co-operation is the Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRPs). The three RRPs were established in November 2013, these were the North of Scotland, East of Scotland and West of Scotland. The RRPs comprise the representatives from the key organisation responsible for ensuring the effective management of emergencies from all Category 1 responders and some Category 2 responders as outlined in the Act and Regulations. These are referred to in the legislation as follows:

Category 1 responders:

  • Local Authorities
  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Health Boards
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Category 2 responders:

  • Electricity Operators
  • Gas Suppliers
  • Scottish Water
  • Communication Providers
  • Railway Operators
  • Airport Operators
  • Harbour Authorities
  • NHS National Service Scotland
  • Health and Safety Executive

In addition to the above, other agencies that can have an important role in the resilience community. These include but are not confined to:

  • The military
  • The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Transport Scotland
  • Commercial Organisations
  • The Scottish Government
  • The Voluntary Sector
Statutory Duties

There are seven main duties placed on Category 1 responders, aimed at ensuring effective arrangements are in place for planning for emergencies, responding to emergencies and the continued delivery of services. These are:

  1. Duty to assess risk
  2. Duty to maintain emergency plans
  3. Duty to maintain business continuity plans
  4. Duty to promote business resilience1
  5. Duty to communicate with the public
  6. Duty to share information
  7. Duty to co-operate

For Category 2 responders the basic legislative principle is that they must co-operate with Category 1 responders in connection with the performance of their duties, including sharing of information.

The RRPs bring together partners from within the region with the expertise to complete the RPA. The RPA is a self-assessment which provides a shared position on the risk affecting a region and resourcing priorities required for those risks. To comply with the duties outlined in the legislation the purpose of the RPA process is to:

  • Provide an accurate and shared understanding of the risks based on available evidence so that planning has a sound foundation.
  • Provide a rational basis for the prioritisation of effort and allocation of resources.
  • Assessment of plans and capabilities to identify gaps.
  • Facilitate multi-agency planning based on planning assumptions.
  • Provide an overview of emergency planning and business continuity for the stakeholders within their area.
  • Provide a basis for risk communication to the general public through

Community Risk Registers (CRR).

This guidance details the background to the RPA process so focuses on the duty to assess risk and the duty to communicate with the public. If required, a more detailed description of the statutory requirement can be found in Section 2 of Preparing Scotland.

Integrated Emergency Management

This guidance is written in line with the principles of Integrated Emergency Management (IEM). This aims to develop flexible and adaptable arrangements for dealing with emergencies, whether foreseen or unforeseen.

IEM is underpinned by five key activities:

  1. Assessment
  2. Prevention
  3. Preparation
  4. Response
  5. Recovery

Assessment is a fundamental component of risk management as it is important that responders have a realistic and common understanding of the risks that they should prepare for. In adopting an all risk approach to planning our response to emergencies, matters of prevention are not addressed. Preparation, by planning, training and exercising is a duty under the terms of the Act and a key aspect of responders’ efforts to protect the public. A robust risk assessment process ensures that planning is based on a sound foundation.

The RPA process has been developed based on assessment and preparation activities of IEM to comply with the legal requirement of Category 1 responders as defined by the Act.

Risk and Preparedness Partner Structure

The RPA process is not set out in legislation. It is a process which the Scottish Government has development to support Category 1 responders to discharge their duties as defined in the Act. In Scotland resilience partners with the relevant expertise to complete the RPA are brought together under each of the three RRPs (North, East, and West). The RRPs do not have the power to direct individual members in the undertaking of their duties. Each of the three RRPs has a Risk Lead who is supported by the Scottish Government Regional Resilience Partnership Teams and Scottish Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) Coordinators. Together they coordinate the multi-agency collaboration required to complete the RPA.

Once complete, the risk assessment element can be used to prioritise the disruptive events that may happen within a region. Following this the preparedness assessment can be developed, resulting in a work plan that prepares the region to deal with the consequences.

The work plan is a tool that can support resource allocation when used alongside the analysis of a range of options to prevent and protect against risks and their consequences. It is therefore, the responsibility of the RRPs to treat or tolerate risks and close the capacity and capability gaps identified through the RPA. While it is not directly a mechanism for reporting to Scottish Ministers, RRPs may seek to transfer or highlight risks which are beyond regional capability and capacity. A further outcome of the RPA process is that Scottish Ministers can be reassured that Scotland is prepared for a civil emergency or issues for higher intervention are identified.

The Local Resilience Partnership (LRPs) have a key role in supporting RRPs to prepare by ensuring local arrangements are in place and promoting wider awareness of the roles and responsibilities to their members. Clear direction during preparation should ensure that emergency management structure and procedures are agreed in advance and supported by training and exercise.

1 This duty is only placed on Local Authorities

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