Resilience First Update – January 2021

Launch of whitepaper on resilience

On 11 January, Resilience First launched its whitepaper titled ‘Transitioning from Risk to Resilience’. The paper is a compilation of contributions from separate authors who discuss the shortfalls in risk management highlighted by the responses to Covid-19 and offer possible solutions that will encourage a shift away from assessing separate risks to a more generic management of the consequences.

The first part of the paper begins with an examination of the impetus for change and the reasons for searching for new approaches. The second part looks at nine different but important elements that need to be incorporated into any new model. It covers clearer horizon scanning, better preparedness, upgraded collaboration and communication, improved culture, enhanced leadership, advances in technology, improved safety, and better agility and adaptation.

National Risk Register 2020

The UK Government has published an updated version of the National Risk Register (NRR) which supersedes the previous version being released in 2017. The NRR is the unclassified version of the National Security Risk Register (NSRA). The latest NRR provides information on the most significant risks that could occur in the next two years and which could have a wide range of impacts on the UK. The 140-page document also summarises what the government, devolved administrations and other partners are doing about them. It is useful to local emergency planners, resilience professionals and businesses, helping them to make decisions about which risks to plan for and what the consequences of these risks are likely to be. It also contains information and advice for the public.

The NRR 2020 remains based on a 5×5 matrix with likelihood and impact as the two criteria. The Reasonable Worst-Case Scenario (RWCS) is determined by the government department owing the risk scenario using extensive data, modelling and analysis. The bulk of the document is devoted to risk summaries of various risk types. New risk summaries are included for serious and organised crime risk, disinformation and hostile-state activity. Assessments for pandemics and high-consequence infectious disease outbreaks do not include Covid-19 as, at the time of publication, it remains a live issue. However, a dedicated case study for Covid-19 is included independently of the assessments themselves.

For a fuller brief, see Resilience First news webpage here.

Certificates for household flood resilience

Flood Re has commissioned a feasibility study on a system of Flood Performance Certificates (FPCs) and a framework for how they could be implemented effectively in the UK. The report explores the role of property flood resilience in addressing the UK’s flood risk and the current barriers to take up. It sets out the potential role that FPCs could play in breaking down these barriers. It also sets out how FPCs should be designed to maximise impact and provides recommendations for policy and regulatory infrastructure surrounding certification.

Call for Evidence – HoL inquiry on risk

The House of Lords has established a Select Committee to consider risk assessment and risk planning in the context of disruptive national hazards. A central question is how to ensure that the UK is as resilient to extreme risks and emergencies as possible.

The Committee on Risk Assessment and Risk Planning has issued a Call for Evidence. The Committee will report by the end of November and has requested evidence to be submitted by 28 January. The Committee is willing to receive submissions on any issues related to the subject of the inquiry but would particularly welcome submissions on a dozen questions offered. There is no need address every question.

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, Chair of the Committee, said: ‘The UK was one of the first countries in the world to institute a National Risk Assessment in 2005 and is widely recognised as a policy leader in this area. It remains one of the few countries in the world with a strong and deeply embedded civil contingencies secretariat and well-rehearsed disaster prevention and management protocols and procedures. However, several limitations have been identified with the Government’s approach, principally associated with identifying risk owners, balancing scientific advice and political decision making, dealing with unknown, longer-term or emerging risks, and how decisions are made about investment in preventing future emergencies. The Committee hopes to hear from as many individuals and organisations as possible with an interest, experience or expertise in this area of policy and practice.’

See also Resilience First’s news item on this subject here.