Auditing your crisis plan

No crisis management plan will ever be perfect – and that reality has to be accepted. However, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s where a formal, in depth, audit of your crisis management plan really comes into its own.

The aim of this detailed audit is both to highlight possible weaknesses in the existing arrangements, and also to identify potential gaps in the overall plan. This is done by conducting a careful scrutiny of the proposed strategy and benchmarking it against the international standard ISO 22361:2022 (crisis management). In effect, it’s looking at things with a fresh pair of eyes.

Andy is well equipped to carry out such an important task as he also holds a qualification as a lead auditor for quality management systems.

However, it can be of limited benefit to try and evaluate a plan in isolation – you really need to know how the organisation is structured; what it actually does; and how it does it. Only then can you put the crisis plan into context.

So, at the start of the audit process the organisation would be asked to supply a detailed description of itself including information such as:

  • Size of company (staff; locations; etc)
  • The aims of the company (manufacturing; sports; retail; etc)
  • How it achieves those aims
  • Significant risks which have been identified
  • How those risks are managed
  • Its accident history
  • Its “near miss” history
  • And, crucially, what are its fears going forward?

Sometimes it might be necessary to supplement the written description with appropriate interviews in order to clarify certain points, but such interviews (if required) would be arranged in such a way as to cause minimum inconvenience to the organisation.

It’s important to understand that the aim of the crisis management plan audit is NOT to provide detailed solutions to EVERY issue identified. Sometimes the resolution of a problem may require technical knowledge which is outside of Andy’s particular field.

In the event that an issue is found which requires the attention of a specialist then Andy will make that clear in his report. In this way the organisation will be aware that it has a problem to deal with, and can make plans accordingly.

Of course, if Andy is in a position to give detailed advice then he will gladly do so. But he will always be mindful of, and respect, the fact that he is bound by a professional Code of Conduct. This, quite rightly, obliges him to offer detailed advice only about those things which fall within his training and experience.

Sadly, not every “consultant” will be so ethical!

For an informal initial discussion about crisis plan reviews, and how they might benefit your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Andy directly using our Contact Us page.