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5. Composition and structure of STAC

  1. The STAC should have a standard core membership to ensure consistency, to support a rapid response and for planning purposes. The core membership should normally consist of the following:
    • NHS Board – Director of Public Health (DPH) or Consultant in Public Health Medicine (CPHM)
    • Public Health Scotland (PHS) – Director of Public Health Science or Consultant in Public Health Medicine
    • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) – Specialist Adviser
    • Local Authority – Senior Environmental Health Representative

Annex B - Acronyms

The table below provides a list of acronyms used in this guidance.


Airborne Hazard Advisory Cell


Animal and Plant Health Agency


Atomic Weapons Establishment


Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear


Chief Medical Officer


14. National Emergencies and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)

  1. In some circumstances, the response to an emergency may require coordination by the Scottish Government (for example, volcanic ash cloud, severe weather across many regions). In such a scenario, the Scottish Government will consult with its own professional advisors, such as the offices of the Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs), Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO Scotland) and wider networks as required, to establish a body of scientific or technical advice. These bodies provide advice via SGoRR meetings, convened as necessary during the emergency.

13. Multiple STAC coordination

  1. The arrangements described in Section 12 (Scientific and technical advice when multiple Resilience Partnerships have been established) should be viewed above all else as a vehicle for ensuring coordinated and consistent advice from national organisations. Unless there are exceptional circumstances that require the direct intervention of the Scottish Government, the response to an emergency will be coordinated by the local RP which may apply any advice it is given to its own particular circumstances.

12. Scientific and technical advice when multiple Resilience Partnerships have been established

  1. This section sets out guidance for the provision of health, environmental, scientific and technical advice to RPs where a major or widespread emergency has led to the establishment of multiple RPs and their associated STACs. In such a multiple location incident, similar issues requiring expert assessment and advice are likely in all the affected areas but it will not be practical for national organisations (such as PHS, SEPA, APHA, Food Standards Scotland/Food Standards Agency and Health and Safety Executive) to support multiple STACs.

11. Specialist advisers to Resilience Partnerships

  1. In some specific types of emergency, individual or groups of specialist advisers, for example, the Government Technical Adviser in civil nuclear emergencies, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in counter terrorism (CT) and CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) emergencies, or other government agency advisers can support the work of the RP. The advice from these specialist advisers must be fed to the RP through the STAC to ensure coordination of the advice.

9. Administration and support of STAC

  1. There will be a need for adequate administrative support staff to enable the STAC to operate effectively. The organisation chairing the STAC will be responsible for ensuring that there are adequate administrative arrangements in place to support the operation of the STAC in the initial establishment of the STAC, but contingent arrangement will be required to be put in place for an ongoing response.

8. Activation

  1. The STAC should be activated by the lead responder through the RP’s generic procedures for obtaining scientific and technical advice. The provision of scientific and technical advice should be part of the first considerations when a RP is activated. Where other arrangements exist for specific types of emergency, as described in Section 7 (Flexibility in approach), they should be recognised when consideration is being given by the RP for the activation of STAC arrangements.
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