May 14, 2020 | Posted by Michael Berman
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2 Minute Read

It’s a safe bet that your financial institution had a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place before COVID-19—one that you put into effect as sheltering in place and work from home became the new normal.

But did you have a pandemic plan? Do you know the difference?

Related: Business Continuity Planning vs. Disaster Recovery Management: Understanding the Difference

BCM vs. Pandemic Planning

Business continuity management (BCM) and pandemic planning are both important elements of business resiliency. They are outlined in guidance:

In short, BCM is the process of ensuring that a FI is prepared for potential business disruptions. It includes resiliency, continuity, and response capabilities for critical functions and activities. The BCM plan can be triggered by any type of event from a cyberattack to a tornado.

Pandemic planning is a type of BCM that focuses on a specific type of event: a pandemic. Unlike traditional BCM, which typically covers short-term events contained to a specific geographic area, pandemics are typically long-lasting events characterized by staffing shortages and a widespread, international impact.

Because the impact of a pandemic is so far-reaching, regulators have provided specific pandemic planning guidance separate from BCM. The good news is that much of the work done for BCM can be applied to pandemic planning.

Laws Vs. Regulations Vs. Guidance

There is a huge amount of overlap between BCM and pandemic planning guidance. Both borrow heavily from risk management best practices and the risk management lifecycle. It’s about finding ways to improve resilience rather than simply responding to problems as they emerge.

Learn how to leverage existing BCM work when pandemic planning by downloading A Guide to Guidance: Where Does Business Continuity Management End and Pandemic Planning Begin?

We’ll breakdown both guidance to show you 10 key areas of overlap so you can find the most efficient way to develop and test your pandemic plan.



Michael Berman

Michael Berman

Michael Berman is the founder and CEO of Ncontracts, a leading provider of risk management solutions. His extensive background in legal and regulatory matters has afforded him unique insights into solving operational risk management challenges and drives Ncontracts’ mission to efficiently and effectively manage operational risk.