Critical services assurance framework

All organisations have critical services that they depend on.

In the financial services sector, there are regulations to ensure that there are adequate business continuity arrangements in place, including that contracts allow for services to transition seamlessly to a third party in the event of total failure. In the case of a bank this would likely be the Bank of England or the PRA, however, for corporates it could be the administrator, for example.

To help you consolidate your own position, we've provided you with an adaptable template to document and monitor assurance of the critical services your organisation relies upon. A mandatory requirement in the financial services sector, all organisations should consider it good practice.


User guide

*Click thumbnail to download framework template

1) The framework is generic - It is a starting point. You will need to adapt the categories to fit/suit your own organisation.

2) Research - Your organisation may have identified the services/processes that are critical to continuity of the business eg what happens when a pandemic hits if it impact a major supplier eg coronavirus and China, which is exactly the position that Land Rover has found itself in.

  • If so, this is your starting point.
  • If not, perhaps a team brainstorm and discussions with 'heads of' may be necessary to produce such a list.
  • It is useful to think of critical services as those that the organisation relies on to continue operating in the short-medium term (crisis management).
  • Services that are provided by other parts of a Group or by third parties are where the focus needs to be.

3) Identify all of the service providers - Noting whether they are internal or external providers.

4) Identify existing assurance:

  • Who monitors the external provider for financial stability (think Carillion, Interserve) and performance quality?…