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Civil Contingencies Act

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 organisations and agencies who plan for local and/or national emergencies and explains how these organisations and agencies should work together, providing a framework to formalise joint working.

The act identifies which organisations are responsible for responding to emergencies and classifies them either as Category 1 or Category 2 Responders.

Category 1 responders are those at the core of emergency response; they comprise of the emergency services, including the coastguard, local authorities, health care trusts and the Environment Agency. All 'Category 1' responders have six duties placed upon them (local authorities have seven).

Category 2 responders are less likely to have a central role in planning forums but may be heavily involved in response to specific emergencies. Examples of Category 2 responders include specialist agencies such as utility and transport companies, the HSE and strategic health authorities. The Act only places two duties upon these organisations, these relate to sharing of information and cooperation with Category 1 and 2 responders.

Find out more

For more information about the Civil Contingencies Act visit the Cabinet Office website.