Published 10 Oct 2023
What is a Business Continuity Plan Template?
A business continuity plan 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 templates can be used in any industry for IT disaster recovery, continuity of customer-facing operations, and backup of transport and logistics operations.
In this article
- Why Use a BCP Template?
- What to Include in a Business Continuity Plan Template
- FAQs about BCP Templates
- Writing a Business Continuity Plan with SafetyCulture
- Featured Business Continuity Plan Templates
Why Use a BCP Template?
Business continuity plan templates help organizations protect their business amid a crisis or emergency. This ready-to-use document provides a structured framework, ensuring the plan is comprehensive and no essential detail is overlooked. It is also typically customizable, allowing businesses to modify them according to their specific needs.
What to Include in a Business Continuity Plan Template
BCP serves as a guide for organizations to create 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.
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.
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.
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.
FAQs about BCP Templates
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 the 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 in ensuring comprehensive BCP audit reports.
A business continuity plan template typically includes detailed information about the plan’s scope and objectives, the operations or functions that might be affected and the risks associated with them, recovery strategies for uninterrupted operations, and the specific roles and responsibilities of essential personnel during and after an incident.
Writing a Business Continuity Plan with SafetyCulture
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), 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
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.
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.
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 to better acclimate teams to internal business continuity plans.
- Identify the need for continuous improvement of business continuity programs.
Small businesses and other organizations can use this BCP template as a planning tool that can guide them on what to do during crisis situations. This ready-to-use document specifically indicates aspects such as the emergency planning team, plans for coordinating with customers and suppliers, critical operations and who’s in charge of them, employees’ emergency contact information, suppliers and contractors, plus alternatives, communications, and cyber security.
This generic school business continuity plan template is especially useful for academic organizations. It is customizable and can be modified to meet the needs of users. It also specifically contains the following information:
- Plan details
- Purpose and scope
- Plan activation
- Incident management phase
- Business continuity phase
- Business continuity strategies
- Mitigation plans
- Recovery and resumption phase
Use this generic BCP template to easily provide a continuity plan for you, your team, and your business. To get started, you can specify the overall threat and its risk level, review cycle, response, plans, and standard operating procedures (SOPs).