Published 15 Feb 2023
What is a Business Continuity Plan Template?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template is a tool used by business continuity managers and IT teams to outline strategies for keeping businesses operational despite emergencies such as extreme weather events, building evacuations, power outages, etc. It identifies high business impact operational areas, assets, and recovery strategies with assigned personnel.
Business Continuity Plan Template
Use this Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template as an outline for your business continuity plan that will critically assess all aspects of the business and make sure the emergency procedures and equipment are adequate. This business continuity template can help with ISO 22301 compliance and allow business continuity managers and consultants to:
- Identify key business functions and components to be prioritized for restoration and recovery during an emergency.
- Add list of processes/equipment most at risk of disrupting business operations.
- Discuss roles and responsibilities of key personnel and gather confirmation (digital signatures).
Click on the Web or PDF report below to view the business continuity plan example.
Business continuity templates can be used in any industry for IT disaster recovery, continuity of customer-facing operations, and backup of transport & logistics operations.
In this article
- 7 Elements of Business Continuity Planning
- Components of a BCP Template with Examples
- FAQs about BCP
- How do you write a business continuity plan with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)?
- Featured Business Continuity Plan Templates
7 Elements of Business Continuity Planning
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the economy took a massive hit. The need for a business continuity plan became more apparent to organizations. Business continuity planning enables businesses, small or large, to build a more resilient operation.
A Business Continuity Plan should include:
1. BCP Team
In the midst of a disaster or emergency, having a team or point person to go to will be essential. The BCP team will be responsible for planning and testing business continuity strategies. Background of each member in the BCP team can vary from organization managers or supervisors to specialists.
2. Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis (BIA) identifies, quantifies, and qualifies the impact of a loss, interruption, or disruption. Having a BIA will be essential in discovering risks that your business is exposed to and the potential disruptions that may occur.
3. Risk Mitigation
This element pertains to the strategies against the risks that were discovered during the BIA. Risk mitigation strategies may include putting up security and safety systems in the workplace, conducting preventive maintenance of vehicles, machines, equipment, or any asset vital to operations, and training of employees, among others.
4. Business Continuity Strategies
A good business continuity plan should establish strategies or alternate practices to keep the business running despite disruptions or disasters. An example of a continuity strategy that a lot of businesses had to implement during the pandemic was remote working or work-from-home. This enabled businesses to continue their operations and keep their employees safe from contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.
5. Business Continuity Plan
The business continuity plan is a combination of findings from the performed BIA and the recovery strategies established by the organization. A BCP plan typically includes 4 key components: scope & objectives, operations at risk, recovery strategy, and roles and responsibilities.
All relevant personnel associated with the business continuity, disaster recovery, and incident response process should be trained according to the BCP plan that’s established and agreed upon.
In the testing phase, strategies and plans are being rehearsed or exercised to demonstrate its effectiveness. Testing the plan before rolling it out will enable the BCP team to discover potential flaws and fix them before they lead to damage or injury. It is recommended to review and test the plan periodically to ensure that all protocols and strategies are up-to-date.
Components of a BCP Template with Examples
BCP serves as a guide for organizations on creating an effective strategy for responding to potential business-disrupting events. Here are four key components of a BCP:
Scope & Objectives
States the purpose of the BCP, including specific business functions that should be prioritized for recovery during an emergency. This section should include examples of emergency events that would trigger the response of this BCP.
This BCP is to ensure the continuity of IT services and customer lines in the event of an unforeseen and prolonged power shutdown. Power disruption could be caused by emergency weather conditions or a building fire. Functional areas that are prioritized for recovery in this BCP include the customer support desk and finance team.
Operations at Risk
Includes possible risks with key operational functions which would greatly disrupt business and customer continuity. This also involves the magnitude of risk to each function, which will help the BCP committee decide on appropriate preventive actions.
Operation: Customer Support
Operation Description: Customer support team looking after 24-hour global operations of live chat and customer calls for US, EMEA and APAC regions
Business Impact: Critical
Impact description: 100% of live chats go through the customer support team in Manila. 20% of live calls are routed to Manila office. A disruption would mean no more live chat support and customers experiencing significant wait times on calls Project timeline and team schedules
Outlines all the relevant procedures to restore business operations after an incident or crisis. A good recovery strategy includes a realistic recovery timeline and essential emergency resources.
IT personnel and BCP committees should operate alternate backup programs and servers to help save customer requests after power outage. Customer support should be able to receive the requests and respond to customers within 30 minutes. IT Director should operate alternate server rooms in Area B if the power outage last more than an hour to prevent huge revenue loss.
Roles & Responsibilities
Refers to key personnel and their assigned tasks during or after an incident. Each committee member has a unique set of responsibilities to successfully carry out the BCP for each business function.
Representative: Jon Sims
Role: Head of Operations
Contact Details: email@example.com
Description of Responsibilities:
1. Must ensure BCPs are updated and must coordinate with team leaders regarding changes
2. Helps notify key stakeholders in EMEA region of threats in Customer Support programs & tools
FAQs about BCP
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is important because it helps organizations protect their business amid a crisis or emergency. A business continuity plan contains instructions that will serve as a guide for the organization to maintain their operations.
A business continuity plan should be tested at least every 6 months to verify the BCP’s effectiveness. Frequent testing can also allow the discovery of gaps, and potential issues. This will help the organization update protocols and strategies accordingly.
BCP documents should be updated regularly. If any organizational changes have been made in terms of team structures and operational procedures, the BCP should be updated. A review will be conducted to check if information in the BCP is still reliable. .
Outdated BCPs might result in loss of customer trust, huge revenue loss, and damage to brand and company reputation. This is why it is crucial for BCPs to remain up-to-date.
Regular BCP audits are essential to help evaluate emergency procedures and identify if there are vulnerabilities. They also help realign emergency procedures to the ISO 22301 standard, business goals, and industry practices. Up-to-date and efficient BCPs help businesses effectively manage any unexpected event, prevent extra costs, and continuously develop their overall processes and key functions. Using a business continuity plan checklist can aid business continuity managers and IT teams to ensure comprehensive BCP audit reports.
How do you write a business continuity plan with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)?
SafetyCulture, the world’s leading digital form mobile software, can help businesses create and prepare a good business continuity plan more efficiently. Paper-based business continuity plan templates and Excel spreadsheets can be troublesome for management to keep and regularly update. With SafetyCulture as a business continuity software, businesses can switch to a paperless planning process where you can create your own templates, easily assess the accuracy of recovery procedures, and update your plans as needed in your mobile device. With SafetyCulture, you can:
- Create and customize business continuity plans using your desktop, iPad, or even on your mobile phone
- Easily assign tasks to key personnel and BCP committee members
- Use speech to text dictation to easily complete audits
- Gather photographic evidence in your BCP drills
- Record electronic signatures as required
- Send and share an updated business continuity plan report to your team in a few taps. See sample business continuity plan PDF report here.
- Automatically save your BCPs in the cloud
To help you get started on your paperless planning, we have created the business continuity templates and checklists you can download and customize for free.
Featured Business Continuity Plan Templates
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan Template (IT)
A business continuity and disaster recovery plan template is used to identify business functions at risk during an emergency and come up with a plan for continuous operation and recovery. This business continuity and disaster recovery plan template aims to help IT teams and business continuity managers become proactive in preparing for events that could disrupt operations and come up with strategies for disaster recovery. This template empowers you to:
- Specify and prioritize IT functions for recovery during a disaster.
- Describe IT equipment/ systems at risk in disrupting normal operations and essential backup programs needed for recovery.
- Confirm assigned tasks with IT team members through their digital signatures.
Business Continuity Plan Checklist
Perform regular audits of your organization’s BCP with a business continuity plan checklist. Whether small or medium business, this checklist can be used to ensure BCPs are up to date and reflect current high impact operations. Review key operational functions outlined in the BCP including recovery strategies and relevant assigned resources. SafetyCulture (iAuditor) BCP templates can be edited to fit the organization’s needs.
Business Continuity Awareness Checklist
This template highlights the importance of employee awareness and employee knowledge of business continuity plans and business continuity processes. As a business continuity process template, this document helps:
- Gauge the level of understanding employees have regarding BCP processes.
- Determine opportunities how to better acclimate teams to internal business continuity plans.
- Identify the need for continuous improvement of business continuity programs.