Civil Contingencies Act 2004

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 came into effect on 14 November 2005. It aims to establish a consistent level of civil protection across the United Kingdom. 

The act provides a basic framework for people who plan for local and national emergencies. It explains how organisations and agencies should work together. 

Definition of Emergency

The Civil Contingency Act focuses on the consequences of emergencies. It defines an emergency as:

  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare.
  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment.
  • War, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to security.

Which organisations are responsible for responding to emergencies?

The act has identified two categories of organisations that are responsible for planning for emergencies.

Category One Responders

Category One responders also referred to as 'Core Responders' play a vital role in emergency response and are subject to a full set of duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

These responders are: 

  • Emergency Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Health Bodies
  • Government Agencies

They're duties are to:

  • Undertake risk assessments
  • Put in place emergency plans 
  • Put in place business continuity plans 
  • Information sharing with other responder agencies
  • Co-operation between responder agencies
  • Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary sector (Local Authorities only)

Category Two Responders

Category Two Responders are also referred to as 'Co-operating bodies'.

Although they are less likely to be involved in planning and response, they likely will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector. These also are subject to duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004; however these duties are less than the duties required from Category One Responders.

These responders are: 

  • Utilities 
  • Transport Providers 
  • Health Bodies 
  • Government Agencies

Their duties are: 

  • Co-operation with other responders 
  • Information Sharing

How do these organisations work together?

The UK has been broken into a number of Local Resilience Areas. We are part of the Gwent Local Resilience Area. 

Each Local Resilience Area has a Local Resilience Forum, made up from chief officers from the Category One organisations. 

Each Local Resilience Forum is responsible for creating and maintaining a Community Risk Register. This identifies potential emergency situations in the area, and the possible actions needed to deal with each. To find out what the current risks are in the Gwent area, take a look at the Community Risk Register.

Last Modified: 21/10/2021
For more information contact:

Emergency Management

Tel: 01495 762200

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