Policy 125 - Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program

Adoption

Date: 2019-06-26
Instance of approval: President

Originating/Responsible Department: Office of the Vice-President, Resources

1.    PURPOSE

1.1    The purpose of this policy is to establish the guiding principles by which the University manages a University Emergency (as defined in Section 2 of this Policy) and provides the foundation for the University’s Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program including the roles and responsibilities within it in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a University Emergency. 

2.    DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION

2.1    For the purposes of this Policy and any procedure, regulation, standard, rule or directive established pursuant to it, the following words and expressions shall have the following meaning:

  • a)    “Business continuity” is the ability to maintain critical University functions during and subsequent to an Emergency.
  • b)    “University Emergency” (“Emergency”) means a situation or an impending situation constituting a danger (or threat thereof) that could result in serious harm to the University community, or substantial or widespread damage to University property, personnel, or reputation, or that significantly affects the University’s ability to carry out University activities, whether or not caused by the forces of nature, a health risk, an accident or an act or failure to act, whether intentional or otherwise.
  • c)    “Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program” means the administrative structures and plans under which the University manages an Emergency and maintains business continuity during and after the Emergency as more particularly described in this Policy and in University procedures adopted pursuant to it and includes training programs and exercises provided by the University to ensure the readiness of the University community to act in an Emergency.
  • d)    “Head of Unit” means the individual with the authority over the management of a Unit and budget for that Unit or other individual as may be designated by the Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee referred to in Section 6 of this Policy.  The following position titles are considered to be a Head of Unit: President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary-General, Deans, Chiefs of Staff, Associate Vice-Presidents and Directors who report directly to a Vice President.
  • e)    “Unit” means a University faculty, school or other academic unit or University administrative service, or an office within such faculty, school, academic unit or administrative service carrying out University activities.
  • f)    “University activities” means activities, operations, services and functions carried out by or on behalf of the University. 
  • g)    “University community” means all individuals who have a relationship with or to the University, including but not limited to, the following:
    • i)    persons registered as students at the University, whether full-time or part-time (including special students), at the undergraduate or graduate level;
    • ii)    employees of the University, including all unionized and non-unionized academic and support staff as well as those whose salary is paid through sources other than the University’s operating funds, such as grants, research grants and external funding;
    • iii)    clinicians and physicians with an academic appointment; adjunct, visiting and emeritus professors; post-doctoral or clinical fellows; research trainees; and medical residents;
    • iv)    contractors, consultants, suppliers or other entities engaged by the University to provide services or goods when on University property or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University or entities renting or occupying University premises;
    • v)    members of the Board of Governors, of the Senate and any of their respective committees, as well as members of any advisory committee formed to help the University achieve its goals;
    • vi)    employees of both unionized and non-unionized employee and student groups when on University property or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University;
    • vii)    visitors, including visiting students and volunteers or persons who serve on advisory or other committees.

3.    SCOPE 

3.1    This Policy applies to the University community and covers emergency management and business continuity.  

4.    GUIDING PRINCIPLES

4.1    The guiding principles set out in this Section 4 are intended to prevail over any conflicting provision contained in any other University policy or procedure pertaining to the subject of emergency management and business continuity.

4.2    The University is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment for the University community.  Therefore, reducing risk and increasing University community preparedness in the event of an Emergency is an institutional priority.

4.3    The University shall maintain an emergency management and business continuity program consisting of emergency plans, training programs and exercises for members of the University community with respect to procedures to be followed in an Emergency and recovery activities, and the provision of necessary University activities, and that will include, at a minimum, administrative structures, levels of authority and means to enable the University to do the following:

  • a)    proactively identify the types of hazards and risks to the University that could give rise to an Emergency and identify the University resources, members of the University community and any other elements that are at risk of being affected by an Emergency;
  • b)    implement measures to prevent or minimize the occurrence of such Emergencies and associated risks;
  • c)    prepare to effectively and safely manage an Emergency;
  • d)    intervene and manage the Emergency immediately upon its occurrence;
  • e)    maintain critical University activities during the Emergency until recovery; and
  • f)    resume and restore normal University activities as quickly as possible.

4.4    The University shall provide training programs and exercises to the University community (some of which will be mandatory for some members of the University community) to ensure readiness to act under the University’s Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program. 

5.    Authority to suspend University activities

5.1    In the event of a University Emergency, the power and authority to decide whether to temporarily cancel, cease or restrict University activities and to thereafter resume normal University activities vests in the President, or, in the absence or unavailability of the President, in the person designated by the President to act in her or his absence. If no such person has been delegated, the Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs shall temporarily have such power and authority. In the absence or unavailability of the President and the Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs, the Vice President Resources shall temporarily have such power and authority. The decisions made by the President or his or her designated delegate (or by the Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs, or Vice-President Resources, as the case may be) pursuant to this Section are on the advice of and in consultation with the Director of Protection Services or, when absent, his or her designated delegate.

5.2    Notwithstanding the power and authority referred to in Section 5.1 of this Policy, the Director of Protection Services or, when absent, his or her designated delegate, shall have the power and authority to temporarily cease or restrict University activities and activate the Crisis Management Structure referred to in Section 8 of this Policy when, in the opinion of the Director of Protection Services, or, when absent, his or her designated delegate, there is an imminent threat to safety of persons or threat of substantial damage to property and the urgency of the situation requires that a directive to cease or restrict University activities be made immediately to prevent, reduce or mitigate a danger that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property.  The Director of Protection Services or, when absent, his or her designated delegate shall promptly notify the President upon the exercise of such power and authority. In the event that the President cannot be promptly notified, the Director of Protection Services shall notify the appropriate person as defined by Section 5.1.

6.    Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee

6.1    The Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee is a committee that reports to the President and is responsible for the oversight of this Policy and the oversight, development, implementation and maintenance of the University’s Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program.  

6.2    The Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee is composed of the following members: 

  • a)    Vice-President, Resources, who will act as chair
  • b)    Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs
  • c)    Vice-President, Research 
  • d)    Secretary-General
  • e)    Chief of Staff of the Office of the President
  • f)    Director, Protection Services
  • g)    Manager of the Office of Emergency Management, Protection Services

6.3    The Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee establishes the Crisis Management Structure as described in Section 8 of this Policy.

7.    Office of Emergency Management (“OEM”),

7.1    The Office of Emergency Management (“OEM”), is an office within Protection Services responsible for the following:

  • a)    comprehensive planning of the response to and recovery from Emergencies;
  • b)    coordination of the University’s Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program; 
  • c)    working with the University’s Office of Risk Management and Facilities and other Units, as needed, in the development of a hazard identification risk assessment and response plans;
  • d)    setting standards for the development and implementation of emergency plans and providing guidance and advice to the Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee, to Units and to members of the University community who have a direct role and responsibility in the University’s Emergency management and business continuity; 
  • e)    management of the University’s Emergency notification system (ENS) (the system used by the University to alert the University community of a potential Emergency); 
  • f)    management of the University’s building warden program (the University program that provides training to designated University employees to guide building occupants in taking safety measures in the event of an Emergency),  
  • g)    management of the elements of the Crisis Management Structure (as described in Section 8 of this Policy);
  • h)    determining the type, amount and frequency of training for the University community and for those with roles and responsibilities within the Crisis Management Structure referred to in Section 8 of this Policy and maintaining a record of such training; and
  • i)    determining the type, number and frequency of exercises to test and ensure that the University’s Emergency management and business continuity program remains current, complete and effective and maintaining a record of such exercises.   

8.    Crisis Management Structure 

8.1    The Crisis Management Structure is an overarching management structure established by the Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee to provide leadership in the following three areas, depending on the type of Emergency, level of its severity and need of the level of involvement: 

  • a)    Strategic leadership (setting of high-level priorities and policy direction) through the crisis management team (“CMT”) composed of the President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary-General and the Director of Protection Services;
  • b)    Operational leadership (scene support, operational coordination and communication with the crisis management team) through an emergency operations centre (“EOC”) led by the Manager of the Office of Emergency Management and who keeps the CMT (referred to in (a)) above informed on and advised of the status of the Emergency;
  • c)    Tactical leadership (on-scene response to specific Emergency conditions) through one or more incident response teams (“IRT”) and each IRT is led by a member of the University community member who is knowledgeable in the subject-matter relevant to the IRT and who communicates with the EOC (referred to in (b) above) when the EOC is activated as referred to in Section 8.5 of this Policy. 

8.2    The following diagram illustrates the general Crisis Management Structure described in Section 8.1 of this Policy:
 

Diagram illustrating the general Crisis Management Structure described in Section 8.1 of this Policy

 

8.3    The Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee designates the Units, the Head of Units and the members of the University community who have a role or responsibility within in the Crisis Management Structure, the level of frequency of their involvement and the stage of escalation depending on the level of severity of the Emergency.  Such Unit, Head of Unit and member of the University community so designated must be available to immediately respond to incidents escalated to their attention through the Crisis Management Structure. 

8.4    An individual who has been designated by the Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee as having a role and responsibilities within the Crisis Management Structure may delegate such role and responsibilities only if the individual is absent or is unavailable.  In such case, the individual can temporarily delegate such role and responsibilities to another member of the University, provided that the delegate is trained to carry out such role and responsibilities, holds a position at the next higher level of authority of the individual making the delegation or holds a position with decision-making authority appropriate to carrying out such role and responsibilities, and fully participates in all planning and mandatory training. The individual so delegating remains responsible for the role and responsibilities assigned to them in the Crisis Management Structure. 

8.5    IRTs are typically the first on scene to manage the Emergency and shall notify Protection Services of the Emergency.  The Director of Protection Services is the authority to decide on the activation of the EOC and the CMT, as needed, and in light of the type of Emergency, level of its severity, the ability of the ITRs to manage the Emergency and such other Crisis Management Structure activation criteria as may be established by the OEM.

9.    Members of the University Community 

9.1    All members of the University community have an important and active role in ensuring effective Emergency management and business continuity.  Without limiting the general interpretation of the previous sentence, 

  • a)    Every Head of Unit shall formulate and maintain the following plans and submit them for approval to the Office of Emergency Management:
    • (i)    a business continuity plan governing the continuous provision of critical University activities of their respective Unit during and following an Emergency and identifying necessary resources and staff, a means to identify and secure alternative work space and a means to communicate with staff; and
    • (ii)    incident response plans relevant to the hazards or risks specific to their respective Unit.
  • b)    All academic staff are responsible for the following:
    • (i)    directing students under their supervision to follow University procedures or instructions in an Emergency;
    • (ii)    allowing a means by which the University’s Emergency Notification System is available in the classroom, lab or other University learning setting (for example:  permit at least one device to function by either turning on the computer if available or allowing an exception to any 'no device' rule they may have in place so that an alert to at least one device is possible); and 
    • (iii)    checking from time to time that students and others under their supervision are aware of how to receive alerts from the University’s Emergency notification system.
  • c)    All staff, who are supervisors, are responsible for directing employees under their supervision to follow University procedures or instructions in an Emergency and ensuring that the University’s Emergency Notification System is available in the University work environment and that employees and others under their supervision are aware of how to receive alerts from the University’s Emergency Notification System;
  • d)    All staff and students are expected to participate in emergency preparedness training or exercises provided by the University and must participate when such training or exercises are mandatory; and
  • e)    All members of the University community must follow the directions of and cooperate with those having authority in the Crisis Management Structure during an Emergency, are expected to bring to the attention to the member of the University community that they report to or to the University’s Protection Services or other Unit relevant to the type of Emergency, any Emergency and fully participate, as required by the University, in University Emergency preparedness training and awareness efforts.

10.    IMPLEMENTATION, REVIEW AND AMENDMENT

10.1    The Vice-President, Resources is responsible for periodic review of this Policy as necessary or every 5 years and for recommending to the Emergency Management and Business Continuity Steering Committee any changes to it or to any procedure adopted pursuant to it. 

10.2    Amendments to this Policy, other than those set out in paragraph 10.3, below shall require the approval of the President.

10.3    The Vice-President, Resources may amend this Policy in order to update the following information, as applicable, contained in the Policy:

  • a)    The designation, title or identity of officials, offices, or departments and contact information within the University;
  • b)    The designation or title of government ministries or agencies;
  • c)    The title or citation of legislation, regulations, policies or procedures.

10.4    The Vice-President, Resources may establish, amend, abrogate or make exceptions to procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this Policy, provided that such procedures or exceptions are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.

Back to top