incidentBusiness Continuity Incident Contact Policy


All employees, engaged in a role that could be required as part of the University’s response to an incident (either as part of their department’s business continuity plan or by the University’s Major Incident Plan) should be contactable for this purpose.

Key Principles:

1. The University must have in place robust management systems to ensure business continuity at all times.

2. A key component of the management system is an effective mechanism for contacting staff both during and outside of normal working hours.

3. All employees engaged in a role that is highlighted by their department, or by the University, as part of the response to an incident, accept personal responsibility for ensuring that they are contactable, as far as reasonably practicable, in such circumstances.

4. All employees, who are provided with a mobile phone, or other mobile device as appropriate, in order to fulfil the requirements of their job role, may reasonably be contacted, via their work mobile phone or other mobile device, out of normal working hours, in relation to incidents.

5. It is recognised that there may be occasions where an employee is unavailable and consequentiality each department should ensure they have at least two people nominated as incident contacts.

How the University supports this policy:

  • Appropriate training will be provided for key personnel within the Major Incident Plan and departmental business continuity plans.
  • Departmental plans have been developed to address known, localised, risk factors.
  • The business continuity incident contact procedure underpins the effective delivery of the policy.
  • There are a wide range of flexible working arrangements that can be utilised to support the effective implementation of the policy.

Business Continuity Incident Contact Procedure

1. The Incident Contact System is the means by which the University collates and stores the personal contact information necessary to effectively manage business continuity during a minor or major incident.

2. Access to the data is limited to restricted personnel and may only be used for the purpose for which it was provided.

3. In accordance with the business continuity incident contact procedure, it is the responsibility of all relevant employees to ensure that their personal contact details, both in and outside of normal working hours, are inputted correctly and are updated as necessary. The data to be collated will include;

  • Name and job title
  • Out of hours contact details e.g. mobile phone number, home landline number
  • Estimated travel time details between home and work
  • The list is not exhaustive.

4. The system is administered on a self-service basis and initial data should be entered as soon as possible and usually within 4 weeks, but no later than 12 weeks of the employee being nominated to be an incident contact (and therefore integral to the business continuity process).

5. If, after 12 weeks, the employee data is missing or incomplete this will be brought to the attention to the Head of Department (HoD), or delegate as appropriate. The HoD should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the employee completes the data entry as soon as possible and no later than 8 weeks. In the unlikely event that an employee fails to engage with the process, at the end of the 8 weeks, this will be brought to the attention of the relevant Faculty Director of Operations (or equivalent within Professional Services). A final reminder of the requirement to provide the data will be given to the employee with an expectation that the data is completed post haste. If, after all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the employee complies with the requirement of their job role, it may be necessary to initiate additional processes including the University of Sheffield's Disciplinary Procedure.

6. The Head of Department, or their delegate, will be the first person to provide their details and until other details are provided, they will be used as the point of contact for incidents.

Document Control

Last Updated: 10/12
Date of next Review: 10/15