Integrated safety, health and environmental management: An introduction
Integrated safety, health and environmental management: An introduction

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Integrated safety, health and environmental management: An introduction

5.3.4 Plan testing and validation

It is one thing to have a plan; it is another thing to have a plan that you can rely on to work. There is an old military maxim that ‘A plan only gets you into first contact with the enemy. After that, you fly by the seat of your pants’ (Anon). A 1993 IBM report on business continuity planning confirmed this when it revealed that ‘half of the plans failed completely or substantially when they were first tested’ (IBM, 1993, p. 5).

The IBM report identified three categories of plans:

  • viable plans – tested within the last year, and proved to work;

  • doubtful plans – tested, but not in the last 12 months;

  • untested plans.

Of course, the ultimate test of a plan is to attempt to use it to manage a real emergency. It is a thorough test, but that is not the time to find out that your plan has left you flying by the seat of your pants!

According to official guidance:

The most effective way to validate the effectiveness of plans (other than real events) is to test and review them regularly. Exercises are a key mechanism for achieving this: to assess the arrangements properly and then to update the plans as appropriate in the light of the experience.

(Cabinet Office, 2003, p. 68)

T835_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus