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The Civil Contingencies Act 2004

The Civil Contingencies Act, and accompanying non-legislative measures, delivers a single framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom capable of meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. 

Part 1 of the Act and supporting Regulations and statutory guidance 'Preparing Scotland' establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparation, response and recovery at the local level. The Act divides local responders into two categories, imposing a different set of duties on each.

Those in Category 1, are those organisations at the core of the response to most emergencies (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies). Category 1 responders are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. They will be required to:

  • Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning;
  • Put in place emergency plans;
  • Put in place Business Continuity Management arrangements;
  • Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;
  • Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;
  • Co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency; and
  • Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management (Local Authorities only).

Category 2 organisations (e.g. Health and Safety Executive, transport and utility companies). These "co-operating bodies" are less likely to be involved in the heart of planning work but will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector. Category 2 responders have a lesser set of duties - co-operating and sharing relevant information with other Category 1 and 2 responders.

Category 1 and 2 organisations will come together to form Local Strategic Coordinating Groups (based on police force areas) which will help co-ordination and co-operation between responders at the local level.

The bulk of Part 1 of the Act was brought into force in November 2005 (the duty on local authorities to provide advice and assistance to business and voluntary organisations about business continuity management commenced in May 2006).

Supporting Regulations - The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2005

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