The UK Government Resilience Framework

HM Government, Cabinet Office | 2022

The professionalism and commitment of the people who contribute to the UK’s resilience is extraordinary, and we have a well-established framework for civil protection in the UK. But the last few years have exposed the need to build on these strong foundations and strengthen our resilience to prevent better, mitigate, respond to and recover from the nation’s risks. That is why the UK Government committed, in the Integrated Review, to a new Resilience Strategy: The UK Government Resilience Framework (pdf) or online.

The framework is the first articulation of how the UK Government will deliver on a new strategic approach to resilience. It is based on three core principles:

  • A developed and shared understanding of our civil contingencies risks is fundamental.
  • Prevention rather than cure wherever possible: a greater emphasis on preparation and prevention.
  • Resilience is a ‘whole of society’ endeavour, so we must be more transparent and empower everyone to make a contribution.

This framework focuses on the foundational building blocks of resilience, setting out the plan for 2030 to strengthen the frameworks, systems and capabilities which underpin the UK’s resilience to all civil contingencies risks. The framework’s implementation window reflects the UK Government’s long-term commitment to the systemic changes needed to strengthen resilience over time and matches the commitments made in the Integrated Review. Delivery has already begun, and we are making quick progress on our commitments, with 12 expected to be completed by 2025. This framework represents a package of measures to broaden and strengthen the resilience system centred on six themes:

  • Risk.
  • Responsibility and accountability.
  • Partnership.
  • Community.
  • Investment.
  • Skills.

For each theme, this framework aims to demonstrate how our proposals will deliver tangible changes and benefits for those working in the resilience system and the public.

From Annex D. Acronyms and definitions

Crisis: An event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security, or well-being of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wider area.

Resilience: The ability to anticipate, assess, prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from natural hazards, deliberate attacks, geopolitical instability, disease outbreaks, and other disruptive events, civil emergencies or threats to our way of life.

RiskAn event, person or object which could cause loss of life or injury, damage to infrastructure, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.

Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: “These are unsettled and troubling times. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine; the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; increasing signs of the impact of climate change; and constant and evolving cyber challenges are recent examples of an evolving threat picture.

We live in an increasingly volatile world, defined by geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts, rapid technological change and a changing climate. This context means that crises will have far-reaching consequences and are likely to be greater in frequency and scale in the next decade than we have been used to. We have a responsibility to prepare for this future.

This challenge is not unique to the United Kingdom but faced by countries around the world. However, we must act now to bolster the United Kingdom’s resilience and ensure we have plans to prepare for and mitigate a wide range of risks when they arise on our shores, ensuring we can face the future confidently.

We have bold and comprehensive plans to build resilience to specific risks. We have launched our Net Zero Strategy, the National Cyber Strategy and the British Energy Security Strategy, all of which tackle some of the most pressing challenges we face. We are also refreshing our Integrated Review to ensure that the UK’s security, defence, development and foreign policy strategy keeps pace with the evolving environment.

But alongside these plans, we must strengthen the underpinning systems that provide our resilience to all risks. This UK Government Resilience Framework is our plan to achieve this… This Framework is a broad and tangible set of actions. It is the first step in our commitment to develop a wide and strategic approach to resilience. We are committed to working with partners, industry and academia from across the UK to implement this Framework but also as we continue to develop our approach.

A strong resilience system – including UK Government departments, devolved administrations, local authorities, emergency services and the private and voluntary and community sectors – is more important than ever.

Working together to build our national resilience will mean we are better equipped to tackle the challenges that come our way, ensuring businesses grow, our communities thrive, and citizens can build a brighter future.”

This publication is part of Ecosystem City: Lessons from the Forest