Don’t worry: I‘m not about to offer advice on claiming compensation, but I am interested to know whether you have “what if?” plans for business continuity.

Sounds scary? Not really, and not complicated either if approached logically and systematically.

So what sort of things could affect your ability to continue serving clients? I’m not talking here about major national disasters like earthquakes, but the kind of day to day events that compromise your ability to work effectively: IT failure, holiday management, power outage due to weather, unplanned absence of senior/key personnel.

Consider each risk and plan what you can do to reduce those risks. Is cash flow affected? Can you access all client files, either paper-based or their electronic equivalent? If the COLP (who is also the MLRO) is on an unintentionally extended holiday in Mauritius due to volcanic activity, who will step in? Set out the steps you will take to address each perceived risk.

Now you’ve identified the risks and the mitigation, keep a log of all interruption events. This will form the basis of your review at the end of the year: how often did the interruption event occur? Is there a pattern? What more can we do? How well did our steps work and were there any gaps?

Now enjoy your holiday!

Fiona Gillam runs training courses and practical workshops on planning for business continuity. You can contact Fiona at

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