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The EPS has recently responded to the House Of Lords Select Commttee’s call for evidence and views on how we can ensure that the UK is as resilient to extreme risks and emergencies as possible. The Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee are examining hazard-related risks to the United Kingdom which have the potential to cause significant human, economic, environmental and infrastructure damage. These include events such as flooding, heatwaves and global pandemics.

The Committee will look at a wide range of issues including:

  • The national risk identification and assessment process
  • Governmental risk ownership
  • Planning for emergencies
  • Emerging and unknown risks
  • International co-operation

Since its creation in 1993, The Emergency Planning Society has become a driving force in the world of resilience, working with members to develop professional standards to enhance and promote the profession. Through regular consultation with Government and other authoritative bodies, we provide a voice for our members to influence change at the highest level. Our members are from a wide range of sectors; public, private, business, education, research/academia, security, voluntary and from the communities we serve. We are the leading voice of the resilience profession. 

We define and underpin the ”Body of Knowledge” through professional practice, education, competences, standards, research, and the production of a learning landscape that provides a pathway to have trained, skilled and competent members enabling them to be “match fit” and “ fit to practice”. 

Our Submission 

The content of the submission (which can be read in full by members of the EPS here) is based on feedback from our members via a survey. In addition, information which has been shared through our various networking sessions which continue to be held frequently and specifically in support of our members during their ongoing response to the global pandemic. Our submission is written in the spirit of raising the challenges, without apportioning blame. The call for evidence must be submitted with honesty and integrity, whilst recognising the sensitivities of highlighting areas for improvement across Governments and responding agencies. 

Key themes emerging are leadership, competence, resources, investment, concurrency and complexities of risks, decision making, accountability, whole systems approach, assessment of current harms and inequalities, learning so as to influence the futures thinking, rehearsing, performing, co-ordination and communication. 

We seek strategic and holistic change and assurance to invest in the profession. There must be recognition and commitment to learn from the magnitude of lessons from inquiries, reports, debriefs and research. Wicked problems will continue to emerge and re-emerge if we continue to repeat the same mistakes time and time again, and yet expect different results; or the worst is yet to come (Kettl 2008). We must look to new horizons and build back better.