BAE Systems (BAES) is a global leader in the defence manufacturing sector, providing some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employing a skilled workforce of some 83,400 people in over 40 countries.

They have developed a comprehensive capability regards nuclear and non-nuclear emergency preparedness and response at their submarine production facility at Barrow-in-Furness. A critical element of these provisions resides in the tactical level, or Silver, that is charged with coordination of any incident or emergency response across the site.

The Incident Control Cell (ICC) is a vital component of the tactical capability developed at the Barrow-in-Furness facility, for which the company has established a pool of highly experienced operating teams. In line with their approach to consistently ensuring best practice the company required that an impartial and external assessment of the command and control capability provided by each ICC team be undertaken. This validation of capability was to be used to inform continual improvement, including how individuals and teams might be supported in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities through further training or enhancements to ICC procedures and resources.

Working closely with the BAES Resilience Team, so as to get to know them better and absorb their culture and emergency response language, our project lead developed the aim, objectives and format for a number of individual validation exercises for each ICC team. We read into the full suit of extensive plans, policies and procedures operated by BAES for incident and emergency management, along with past exercise reports, before drafting the scenarios and detailed content or each bespoke exercise. To finalise the exercise build our team spent two days on site immersing themselves in the approach adopted by BAES and interviewing key staff. We delivered the exercises over a six week programme, to tight deadlines, and formally reported on team and individual performances after each exercise.

Our findings, summarised in a final report provided on completion of the programme, have been used by BAES to enhance their incident and emergency management capabilities. As part of that enhancement programme we were requested to design and deliver supplementary training and exercise interventions as well as provide impartial evaluation on team performance during the annual nuclear regulatory imposed exercise regime. We continue to support BAES and are currently working with their Resilience Team to deliver programmes of training and validation for a wider remit of emergency personnel, including senior managerial staff.

"Operating as we do in a regulated environment achieving continual improvement is crucial. Risk and Resilience have demonstrated that they understand this by investing the time to get to know our plans, our requirements and us. As a result their methodical, imaginative and professional approach has been extremely well received by our teams and has greatly assisted in the further embedding of our emergency response capabilities."

Head of Resilience Team