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Civil Contingencies Act 2004


What is the Civil Contingencies Act 2004?

The Civil Contingencies Act establishes a new legislative framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom. It imposes a clear set of roles and responsibilities on those organisations with a role to play in preparing for and responding to emergencies. Local authorities are a Category 1 responder under the Act, and have a key role to play in respect in discharging their duties in the legislation.

Provisions of the Civil Contingencies Act

The Act, and accompanying Regulations and guidance, delivers a single framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom capable of meeting the challenges of the twenty first century. The Act is separated into two parts: local arrangements for civil protection (Part 1) and emergency powers (Part 2).

Part 1 of the Act, the supporting Regulations and statutory guidance Emergency Preparedness, establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level. Local responders are divided into two categories, with a different set of duties applying to each.

Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies). Category 1 responders are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. These include:

  • assessing the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning in the form of a Community Risk Register;
  • Put in place emergency plans;
  • Create business continuity plans to ensure that they can continue to exercise critical functions in the event of an emergency;
  • Make information available to the public about civil protection matters, and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;
  • Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;
  • Co-operate with other local responders to enhance coordination and efficiency;
  • Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management (Local Authorities only).

Category 2 responders are required to co-operate and share information with other Category 1 and 2 responders to ensure that they are well integrated within wider emergency planning frameworks, and contribute their expertise on risks and essential services in the form of the Local Resilience Forums.

Further information on the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Link to External Website.