Continuity of Operations (COOP) Awareness Training


Current State

Continuity of Operations

(COOP) Plan

Key Personnel

(COOP Teams)

Alternate Facilities

Delegation of


Orders of


Personnel Issues and


Essential Functions

Vital Records and




Testing, Training and


Elements of a Viable COOP Capability

Essential functions include all functions:

Explicitly assigned by law or order of the


Determined by the agency head to be essential.

That provide vital support to another Federal

Executive Branch department or agency.

Elements of a Viable COOP Capability

Essential Functions are those functions that enable an organization to:

Provide vital services.

Exercise civil authority.

Maintain the safety of the general public.

Sustain the industrial and economic base.

Elements of a Viable COOP Capability

Essential functions:

Most important planning element

Basis for determining resource requirements:


Vital information/critical systems


Supplies and services


Mission Essential Functions

Compile all organizational functions

Identify mission essential functions

Roster personnel to complete those functions

Determine required resources and equipment

Assess alternate facility against needs of mission essential functions

Elements of a Viable COOP Capability


Staff required to support essential functions:





Timing of requirement

COOP Examples from Katrina

Southern U. of New Orleans eliminating 19 academic disciplines

Tulane layoffs of 233 faculty, elimination of 14 doctorial programs and 5 majors, suspension of 8 athletic teams

LSU system predicts 5,000 layoffs from its New Orleans health system

Dillard U. layoffs of 59% of faculty and staff

Xavier U. layoffs of 58% of full-time faculty and 53% of staff

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

Mission Essential Functions

Functions that need to be resumed within 30 days

Functions that impact external or internal customers

Functions that would cause delays or impact the services/operations of other Departments

Examples include functions that enable hiring of employees, grant management, are required by regulation/statutes, payroll, etc.

Elements of COOP Capability

Identifying Essential Functions

Establishes planning parameters

Essential functions - - vital services, civil authority, public safety, sustain industrial/economic base

Carefully review all organizational missions.

Improper identification of essential functions can have negative impact on entire COOP plan

Must also include external partners.

Consideration must be given to department and agency interdependences.

Elements of a Viable COOP Capability

Identifying/Prioritizing Essential Functions

Agencies must determine functions that must be continued in all circumstances.

Essential functions include those that:

Cannot be interrupted for 12 hours.

Must be resumed within 30 days.