UK creates resilience strategy for future threats

The UK has unveiled a comprehensive plan as to how it will deliver resilience in the case of future emergencies.

The Resilience Framework sets out a new strategy, officially making resilience a national endeavour for the first time – and the government say it will “fundamentally strengthen the Government’s approach to risks”.

A new “whole of society” approach to emergency planning is to be adopted  and will encourage individuals, businesses and other organisations to play their part in building resilience across the UK.

“The Government will make better use of data and external challenges to build a more robust understanding of the country’s strengths and weaknesses and share this information to ensure that every group with a part to play in national resilience is empowered to do so,” it said in a statement.

A new sub-committee of the National Security Council will now specifically consider issues relating to resilience.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, said: “Resilience has long been part of the UK’s approach to national security, but in an increasingly integrated world in which we cannot predict or prevent all of the challenges ahead, we need to refresh our approach – that’s why we are making resilience a national endeavour, so that as a country we are prepared for the next crisis, whatever it may be.

“We have set out an ambitious plan and have already begun, strengthening accountability and transparency here in government and refreshing the way we assess national security risks. Our framework is a tool for local government, emergency services, charities and the public, to enable everyone to prepare for crises.

“The new Framework builds on the work that the government has already taken to strengthen its resilience structures. The National Security Risk Assessment methodology was refreshed earlier this year to ensure it was fit for the future – looking at a longer timescale and using the widest possible range of data and insight alongside external challenges.”

The statement said by bringing together all levels of government, critical national infrastructure operators, the private sector, the public and all parts of civil society through improved data and communications, the UK will be better placed to prepare for, respond to and recover from, a range of risks and hazards – such as extreme weather, terrorism and pandemics.

The Framework follows the commitment made in the Integrated Review for greater strategic planning in resilience, to strengthen the approach to preparedness and civil protection. It sets out a number of commitments across six themes – Risk, Responsibilities and Accountability, Partnerships, Communities, Skills and Investment. These include:

  • Delivering a new UK Resilience Academy, built out from the Emergency Planning College, making world class professional training available to all that need it.
  • Appointing a new Head of Resilience, to guide best practice, encourage adherence to standards, and set guidance – making government more transparent and accountable
  • Introducing an Annual Statement to Parliament on civil contingencies risk and the UK government’s performance on resilience.
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities in the UK government for each National Security Risk Assessment risk, to drive activity across the risk lifecycle.
  • Growing the UK Government’s advisory groups made up of experts, academics and industry experts to inform risk planning and provide external challenge.
  • Significantly strengthening Local Resilience Forums in England by working across three key pillars of reform – Leadership, Accountability, and Integration of resilience into the UK’s levelling up mission.
  • Developing a Measure for Social Vulnerability as an indicator of socio-economic resilience and how risks impact across communities and vulnerable groups – to further guide and inform decision making.
  • Conducting an annual survey of public perceptions of risk, resilience and preparedness.