Since 2017, the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) has worked in partnership with the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors to build awareness and promote uptake of user-led business continuity planning (BCP) in the Community Services Industry.

From July 2019, CSIA will be working on the next exciting phase of this project strengthening your organisation’s capacity to develop and mature business continuity planning and resilience.

A business continuity plan ensures your organisation has the information and resources needed to continue supporting clients and delivering services during an unexpected event.

CSIA CEO Belinda Drew emphasised the importance of continuity planning for business capability and organisational efficiency.

“We’re not just talking about preparing for a natural disaster,” said Ms Drew.

“Other unexpected events such as loss of power or communications should also be considered.

“Proactively planning how assets and human and financial resources are accessed during these times is critical for the delivery of services, avoiding revenue loss and additional expenses.”

Exploring how Peer to Peer Networking Builds Resilience and Supports Continuity Planning 

The next phase of the project will test what works to support peer-to-peer learning approaches. The work will leverage local capacity within community-based organisations for responses to business continuity and planning challenges.

Between July 2019 and March 2020, CSIA will work in partnership with Regional Social Development Coalition (RSDC) in the Mackay/Whitsunday region and with Community Projects Assistance Services Queensland in the Somerset region to explore the peer-to-peer model.

“Partnering on the ground in these regions places the capacity at a local level,” said Ms Drew.

“Optimising local expertise provides an opportunity for organisations to learn from and be supported by each other in the community. Local relationships are critical for resilience.”

Through this work, CSIA will develop a communication toolkit and guide capturing stories to learn more about what works to build capacity across Industry.

Building Resilience to Disasters – Business Continuity Planning Workshops 

Between July and October 2019, CSIA will work with local partners to deliver five workshops exploring user-driven planning for business continuity. The workshops will be in Townsville, the Torres Strait, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

We will draw on your feedback and experiences from all phases of this work to develop a facilitation resource for the toolkit. The resource will equip your organisation to facilitate your own business continuity planning workshops.

Prioritising Your Resilience 

Even if you have developed a business continuity plan it’s important to re-visit it regularly and keep informed of stories of resilience and best practice. When critical services cannot be delivered the consequences can be severe to local community and your organisation.

Find out more about CSIA’s disaster resilience work and access the planning toolkit and template here.