Developing and Managing a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
Each Critical Operating Unit must develop a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to document the continuity and recovery strategy that enables the Critical Operating Unit to continue to perform essential functions and/or provide services within a pre-defined time frame. The type and level of service to be provided within this time frame and the method of recovery must be defined.
Units that have not been deemed "Critical" are encouraged to use the template as a tool to create a COOP.
Develop or Update COOP
Download the Continuity (COOP) Template. The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) is available to assist with COOP development and updates.
- The COOP and associated documents must be available for review by the Office of Internal Audit and/or DEM, upon request
- COOPs must document the procedures for notifying Critical Employees in the event of an interruption, emergency or disaster
Notify Employees with Essential Functions
Unit Administrators or Continuity of Operations Coordinators must:
- notify, in writing, employees who have been designated as vital with continuity responsibilities as “Critical Employees” at start of employment or when this role is assigned
- identify alternate employees for each Critical Employee (three deep)
Departments must ensure that training (on the use of the plan) is provided at least annually to all employees of the unit in order to ensure that all employees are adequately trained to fulfill their responsibilities in support of the recovery process. DEM is available to assist with training.
Training must include familiarity with and a working knowledge of the unit's Continuity of Operations plan.
Continuity of Operations Coordinators should exercise Departmental Continuity of Operations Plan at least once per year. A successful exercise will include the following:
- identifying exercise objectives
- conducting exercises using the Continuity of Operations Plan
- evaluating exercise results and, if needed, making appropriate changes to the plan and re-exercising to ensure that objectives are met
- documenting of exercise results and the steps proposed to correct any problems
- After Actions Report
DEM will provide a reminder to the Continuity of Operations Coordinators to conduct the annual Continuity of Operations Plan review. The review should verify that:
- essential functions have been identified
- critical employees have been notified of their designation in writing
- continuity and recovery strategies are in place
- documentation for the plan is current
- minimum levels of required operation and recovery time frames have been set
- exercise of the plan has been completed during the last 12 months