This informal CPD article ‘Anticipating the unexpected’ was provided by Matthew Wardner, Managing Director of Inverroy Crisis Management, who are a trusted consulting, training, and technology provider that specialises in designing bespoke resilience solutions for businesses across sectors.
Information recording during incidents can help businesses deliver a more effective response and recover more quickly
Accurate log keeping is an essential crisis management skill. It helps make sure events and situations are managed as efficiently as possible. It is a critical part of investigations and improves learnings. It’s also a way to demonstrate that you and your business have made every reasonable effort to plan for the unexpected, to protect your people and, where relevant, the people who live or work in the area you operate in.
Logging incident information is a vital part of incident management. It ensures a common shared picture of what is going on during the response to the incident, and provides essential evidence for incident investigations. It offers a transparent audit trail that supports and protects the business and its people.
The role of a Log Keeper
That means the role of the log keeper is crucial. It’s their responsibility to capture, record and share accurate information during and after dealing with an emergency. They need to make sure all accountable actions and decision-making related to an incident are recorded and preserved. Their job is to provide running commentary about how incidents are managed so investigators have a clear understanding of timelines and actions taken. It also offers the business a useful learning tool.
It’s not only in times of crisis, however, that log-keeping skills come into their own. They’re also an essential part of crisis prevention. Storing, protecting and managing information relating to, for example, customer service or HR issues, provides contemporary factual information about the way those issues have been handled. In the event that a situation escalates, your business has a record of every step taken until that point.
Keeping a log of interactions with business contacts, such as banks and accountants, landlords, lawyers, utility companies, and so on fulfils the same role. You have a written account of every decision or agreement made, something to refer back to in the event of an error or dispute that will help you resolve the problem.
Even when your logs show you to have been at fault, it’s an opportunity to protect your business by admitting and correcting the fault and learning how to do better next time a similar situation arises. It could even help you avoid similar situations altogether.
All of which means the role of log keeper carries significant responsibilities. So, it’s critical to make sure the person carrying out that role has the skills and knowledge they need to do it confidently, accurately and in line with business and regulatory requirements. It’s not simply writing down what’s happened and how the business responded. The log keeper needs to know what to record and how to record it, as well as how to manage, store, protect and share that information and stay in line with regulatory requirements like GDPR.
Log keeping is a huge responsibility, so it’s important to make sure your people have the support they need. That means regularly reviewing and updating their skills to ensure they can carry out their role effectively and confidently.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Inverroy Crisis Management, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.