Continuity of operations vs. business continuity

Paul Kirvan discusses the similarities and differences between continuity of operations planning and business continuity planning.

Is a continuity of operations plan the same thing as a business continuity plan? If not, how are they differen...


Continuity of operations is generally viewed as the same as business continuity, albeit its primary focus is government and public sectors. Policies and procedures in both models are designed to ensure that an organization can recover from a potentially destructive incident and resume operations as quickly as possible following that event.

From a government perspective, the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan (NCPIP) and the National Security Presidential Directive-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20 (NSPD-51/HSPD-20) define and mandate a detailed process to individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that primary mission essential functions (PMEFs are the critical activities that government agencies must be able to perform without disruption) continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents and technological or attack-related emergencies.

This was first published in January 2013

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