Incident Management Plan Cover Letter

For those companies that have no current IMP in place, it is important to advise personnel as to the rationale behind the creation of such a plan in order to avoid rumors and speculation, or at worst concern or fear within a workforce when such plans are developed or distributed. The following list provides a sample of some elements that might be included within such a cover letter:

  • Rationale.: In order to ensure the protection of our employees working and traveling worldwide, the company has approved the development of an IMP. The purpose of this plan is to enable personnel to respond in an organized and professional way to any incident that threatens the lives or health of the company's employees, or adversely affects its operations.

  • Context.: We have no reason to believe that the company or its employees are at any greater risk than other companies working in our industry, or in similar parts of the world. However, given political uncertainties around the world and the increasingly international nature of our business, we believe it is only prudent that we should seek to be as prepared as we can be.

  • Value.: The IMP is a functional element of the company's Business Continuity Management Plan, supporting local managers and first responders in understanding the nature of common risk types, as well as providing clear and pragmatic response guidelines to assist them in bringing control to a crisis event. The IMP is the first step in dealing with an issue, and bridges the response gap as the crisis response teams mobilize. The IMP is designed to deal with a range of incidents, whether they involve personnel or facilities or are associated with political unrest, natural disaster, medical emergency, criminal act, or otherwise.

  • Definition.: The IMP responsibility extends to any unexpected event that may have a significant impact on the company or its employees, or the community in which it operates, including political and security risks, medical emergencies, natural disasters, accidents, or any other event that might threaten the health and well‐being of personnel, damage the reputation of the company, or cause impediments to business operations.

  • Utilization.: The IMP has elements by which to provide a brief insight into the types of risks the company and its employees may face, as well as pragmatic response guidelines and data call formats to support first responders and local managers in gathering accurate information and managing the first steps of an emergency. Each incident will require a tailored approach, although notification of designated incident and crisis response managers should occur as quickly as possible. The IMP is not designed to restrict sensible responses, but rather to act as a tool to support effective management.

  • Training.: The IMP will be supported with training for selected managers. Additional training may be provided for those exposed to new operating environments, or who may form an element of an incident management or crisis response team. This will be determined on a case‐by‐case basis.

  • Crisis Management.: Personnel should be aware that a detailed Business Continuity Management Plan is in place, and that the IMP forms a functional response component of this plan. Designated and experienced crisis managers will take control of an incident at the earliest opportunity, and all appropriate emergency response organizations will be incorporated within response plans, as well as leveraged during an incident itself.

The IMP introduction or cover letter should seek to allay any fears or concerns while placing the IMP into a broader context and crisis management framework. The author may be the CEO or a selected representative, and the recipients may be limited to incident and crisis response personnel, or the letter may be open to the entire organization.

Incident Management Plan Policies and Instructions

The IMP's association with other aspects of the Business Continuity Management Plan should be clearly stated within the policies and instructions component. This will ensure that users are guided to the correct supporting policies and procedures that govern the implementation of the IMP (if they are not included within the IMP as stated). The IMP should not seek to duplicate unnecessarily those instructions, policies, plans, or procedures captured within other components of the Business Continuity Management Plan; however, it should briefly articulate how those elements guide the management of the IMP. The core subjects that might be covered for IMP usage are:

  • Structure of the crisis management organization.
  • Decision‐making and authority matrixes.
  • Alert states and response trigger points.
  • Organizational interfaces and their part in the IMP.
  • Communicating IMP activities through the communications plan.
  • Leveraging resources through the resource and procurement plan.
  • Reference policies, protocols, and other planning documents associated with the IMP.
  • Reporting and record‐keeping guidelines.
  • Reference mapping and schematic usage.

As the IMP is designed to be a user‐friendly document, the introductory elements should seek to be succinct and relevant. At most, these elements should introduce supporting policies and plans so that the user can be guided to these elements where required.

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