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Name: Critical Personnel and Continuity of Operations COOP Planning Policy
Responsible Office: Office of Emergency Management

Applies to: (examples; Faculty,Staff, Students, etc)

Faculty , Staff

Policy Overview:

Issued: 03-01-2016
Next Review Date: 03-01-2018
Frequency of Reviews: Biennially

The St. Louis College of Pharmacy is committed to being institutionally resilient to all hazards that may impact its stakeholders and jeopardize its ability to fulfill its mission, and strives to develop innovative solutions to maintain the continuity of Critical Operating Units and preserve Mission Essential Functions for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This policy captures that commitment, and provides clarity, guidance, and resources to facilitate comprehensive Continuity of Operations (COOP) for office and department level entities at the College.

This policy applies to faculty and staff personnel working within an office or department designated as a Critical Operating Unit or identified as completing a Mission Essential Function, and employees, based on their normal role or membership on a group or team, determined to be Critical Personnel.


Definitions:

Term

Definition

COOP

Continuity of Operations - an effort within individual departments and offices to ensure that Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.

Critical Personnel

Any employee who has been designated as essential to the operations of the College, whose professional contribution is required regardless of the existence of an emergency condition, and/or whose absence from duty could endanger the safety and well-being of the campus population and/or physical infrastructure

Critical Operating Unit

Any designated department or office within STLCOP that delivers a Mission Essential Function.

MEF

Mission Essential Function - the limited set of department and office functions that the institution must continue throughout, or quickly resume after a disruption to normal operations; services that cannot be deferred or suspended, as doing so would be contrary to the STLCOP mission and/or cause significant safety, financial, institutional, or operational impacts

NIMS

National Incident Management System

Willful Failure

The intentional and deliberate neglect of duties or responsibilities for which a Critical Personnel person has been assigned.

Details:

The St. Louis College of Pharmacy is committed to being institutionally resilient to all hazards that may impact its stakeholders and jeopardize its ability to fulfill its mission, and strives to develop innovative solutions to maintain the continuity of Critical Operating Units and preserve Missing Essential Functions.

This policy, in concert with its supporting document (Attachment A – STLCOP Continuity of Operations Plan Template), establishes a framework to protect and provide for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors in the event of an interruption to our mission and operation. Further, the College recognizes that these responsibilities extend to each Critical Operating Unit within STLCOP to be able to meet its individual obligations. Such responsibilities include the ability to provide the services expected of them and to carry out functions essential to the mission of the institution should an incident occur – regardless of cause – which interrupts the normal course of operations.

Failure to have an adequate continuity of operations plan could lead to unnecessary injury or loss of life, financial disaster, interruptions of academic classes, failure of research projects, and delays in completing other Mission Essential Functions.

Critical Operating Units

 Departments or Offices that are essential to fulfilling STLCOP’s mission are deemed “Critical Operating Units”. This distinction is either imparted upon a unit by the Emergency Management Executive Group (EMEG) or from the unit identifying a Mission Essential Function that they provide to the College. These units must maintain a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan as well as exercise and update their plan routinely.

Within that plan, the Critical Operating Unit must identify a COOP Coordinator, whom the STLCOP Office of Emergency Management will coordinate with to conduct planning processes, ensure departmental review and update the plan when necessary. Additionally, the COOP plan must include strategies and procedures for continuing operations and sustaining services in the event of an interruption that compromises the ability of the Critical Operating Unit to carry out its Mission Essential Functions.

COOP Coordinators are responsible for training employees with responsibilities for execution of some portion of a Critical Operating Unit COOP plan. New employees in Critical Operating Units who are given responsibilities for implementing some portion of the COOP plan must be trained on their responsibilities within 60 days of their employment start date or when they assume such responsibility. The STLCOP Office of Emergency Management will assist with and review training compliance as part of the COOP review.

All other offices and departments not designated as a Critical Operating Unit are still encouraged to develop a COOP plan for their unit to ensure continuation of programs and services even during times of major disruption of operations.

A list of critical operating units is available on the College’s public website.

Critical Personnel

Critical Personnel are employees who have been designated as essential to the operations of the College, whose professional contribution is required regardless of the existence of an emergency condition, and whose absence from duty could endanger the safety and well-being of the campus population and/or physical infrastructure.

Along with those personnel associated with fulfilling MEFs, this also includes, but is not limited to those who provide for public safety, have subject matter expertise necessary for the resolution of the particular emergency or disruption, maintain equipment or infrastructure necessary to the College, or serve as a primary or secondary member of the Incident Management Team.

In emergency circumstances (as defined by the Emergency Management Framework), all management personnel (administrative and academic) shall be considered Critical Personnel until a decision is made by the Emergency Management Executive Group (EMEG) about which functions are essential given the nature and extent of the emergency. Dismissal of classes and/or cancellation of events do not necessarily mean that the campus operations shut down completely as students may remain on campus and staff are needed to continue operations.

Critical Personnel must make every reasonable effort to fulfill their responsibilities during applicable emergencies. Immediate notification must be given to a supervisor or COOP Coordinator should any circumstance result in the employee’s inability to fulfill their designated functions.

If Critical Personnel are required to remain on the STLCOP campus for an extended period of time, the College will provide adequate housing, food, and amenities.

Willful Failure to fulfill responsibilities will be documented and may result in disciplinary actions. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Human Resources, the employee, and the supervisor to determine appropriate action.

Procedures:

I. Develop or Update COOP Plan

A. Use the STLCOP COOP Plan Template to develop a Continuity of Operations Plan for your unit
Note: The Office of Emergency Management is available to assist with COOP development and updates
B. The COOP and associated documents must be available for review upon request
C. COOP plans must document how a MEF will be sustained or restored

II. Notify Employees Identified as Critical Personnel

A. Critical Operating Unit supervisors or COOP Coordinators must notify, in writing, employees designated as vital with COOP responsibilities (“Critical Personnel”) of said responsibilities and designation when this role is assigned or at the start of employment
B. Positions or personnel identified as Critical Personnel must have at least two alternate personnel (when available) identified within the COOP plan
C. The Office of Emergency Management must notify, in writing, employees designated as Critical Personnel due to their affiliation and responsibilities with the Incident Management Team or other roles defined in the Emergency Operations Plan
D. The Department of Human Resources will maintain a database of all employees designated as Critical Personnel

III. Train Employees

Critical Operating Units must ensure that training on the use of the COOP plan is provided at least annually to all employees of the unit in order to keep employees adequately familiar with their responsibilities in support of the sustainment and restoration process. The Office of Emergency Management may be available to assist with training.

IV. Exercise COOP Plan

The COOP Coordinator or other assigned personnel should exercise their COOP plan at least annually. A successful exercise will include identifying objectives, activating the COOP plan, evaluating and documenting outcomes, and making any appropriate changes for future improvements. With adequate notice and coordination, a unit may be able to participate in an institutional exercise per the STLCOP Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan to satisfy their need to exercise the COOP plan.

V. Review the COOP Plan

The Office of Emergency Management will provide a reminder to the COOP Coordinators to conduct the annual COOP Plan review. This review should verify that unit functions have been assessed, Critical Employees identified and notified in writing, MEF continuity strategies are in place, and the plan has been exercised and is current.

Responsibilities:

Position/Office/Department

Responsibility

Office of Emergency Management

Provides guidance and assistance to operating units including development of Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans; assessment of COOP exercises; coordination of COOP reviews for Critical Operating Units. Maintains accuracy of this policy.

Continuity of Operations (COOP) Coordinator

Serves as a focal point for COOP planning within a Critical Operating Unit. Is responsible for completing the COOP plan template, exercising, reviewing, and updating the plan, and training employees in their roles within the plan.

Resources:

STLCOP Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan Template (Attachment A)

Emergency Management Framework

Supplemental Information:

None