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Providing Public Health, Environmental, Scientific and Technical Advice to Resilience Partnerships in Scotland

October 2022


  1. Preparing Scotland is a suite of guidance to assist responders plan for, respond to 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 Scientific and Technical Advice Cell (STAC) guidance document is one of those spokes.
  2. Responders often require expert advice on a range of scientific and technical issues in order to deal effectively with the immediate and longer term consequences of an emergency. When a multi-agency response is required, this expert advice must be coordinated, and can come from a range of organisations and cover a variety of areas, such as public health, environment, animal health, water, technical failures, etc. This co-ordination can be done through the establishment of a STAC.
  3. The purpose of this guidance is to provide a core framework for STAC arrangements. Throughout the guidance the generic term ‘Resilience Partnerships’ is used. This applies to the legislative structures that support multi-agency co-operation, the Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRPs), the Local Resilience Partnerships (LRPs) and other multi-agency local resilience arrangements as determined by the RRPs, as well as the Resilience Partnership terminology often used to describe the response structure during an incident.
  4. The guidance should be applied in a flexible and adaptable way in recognition of the differing structures, capacities and practices that exist in responding to emergencies across Scotland. This includes tailoring the guidance to fit local circumstances.
  5. The guidance also draws on the UK Government’s STAC guidance applicable to Local Resilience Forums (England and Wales) - UK Government - STAC Guidance.
  6. As with all Preparing Scotland guidance, the STAC guidance will be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains reflective of the needs of the Resilience Partnerships (RPs) for the provision of scientific and technical advice in a potential or actual emergency situation. This version updates the previous 2012 guidance.

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