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The Suffolk Resilience Forum (SRF) is a non-statutory body required under legislation (the Civil Contingences Act 04) which helps to coordinate all multiagency activity to enable our county to plan, prepare and responds to major incidents. To find out more about the roles of a Local Resilience Forum (LRF), check out: The role of Local Resilience Forums – GOV.UK (


Definition of a major incident: An event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency. From: 


We facilitate multi-agency meetings to:

  • Agree and produce multi-agency emergency plans.
  • Assess risk to help inform Suffolk’s Community Risk Register.
  • Debrief incidents, events and training exercises.
  • Enable multi-agency partners to train together and attend mock emergency exercises.


The SRF coordinates multiagency training and exercising. This ensures that our emergency plans remain valid and appropriate and also provides opportunities for partner agencies to train together.

After each exercise the forum will debrief the event to record ‘Lessons Identified (LI)’ which enables us to improve. If there are significant lessons, including best practice, these can be shared nationally via JOL (Joint Operational Learning) –


The SRF has many working groups which include, but are not exhaustive to, the:

  • Business Continuity Group
  • Core Group
  • Cyber Group
  • Multi Agency Information Cell (MAIC) Working Group
  • Flood Working Group
  • Governance Group
  • Resilience Direct Group
  • Risk Group
  • Training & Exercising Group
  • JESIP Group
  • Suffolk VCSEP (Suffolk Voluntary & Community Sector Emergencies Partnership)

These are led by different agencies and are coordinated by the SRF.

  • JESIP (Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme)

    JESIP models and principles have become the standard for interoperability in the UK.

    JESIP is the thread that runs through all plans and subsequent incidents, and recovery from these. All incident phases need to consider multi-agency working, best served by following the JESIP principles.

    More Information
  • Suffolk VCSEP (Suffolk Voluntary & Community Sector Emergencies Partnership)

    The voluntary sector has an important role to play in supporting the statutory services in responding to a range of emergencies. Experience shows that active engagement of the voluntary sector in emergency preparedness work such as planning, training, and exercising, will enable them to be more effective in the event of an emergency.

    Suffolk VCSEP (Suffolk Voluntary & Community Sector Emergencies Partnership) is a collection of local and national voluntary sector organisations. This group can support Suffolk Resilience Forum partners in the response and recovery phases of a civil emergency.

    Group members have supported SRF and the Suffolk community in response to many and varied emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, severe weather events and flooding. During larger scale emergencies, SVCSEP members response would be coordinated through the active multi-agency emergency management structures.

Tactical, Strategic and Recovery Coordination

The SRF provides a Command, Control and Coordination function which ensures that multi-agency partners work together during major incidents.

The strategic officers or managers, sometimes known as Gold Commanders, from our partners will work together to form the Strategic Coordination Group. They will meet virtually or at Suffolk’s Strategic Coordination Centre.

The tactical officers or managers, sometimes known as Silver Commanders, from our partners will work together to form the Tactical Coordination Group. They will meet virtually or at Suffolk’s Tactical Coordination Centre.

In many scenarios, the response phase of an incident can be relatively short compared to the recovery phase. Recovery is a key part of the incident management process and organisations will continue to work together following an incident as part of the Recovery Coordinating Group (RCG) to support communities in the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social, economic, environmental and physical wellbeing.

The strategic vision for the SRF:

“The long-term vision of the Suffolk Resilience Forum is to make sure Suffolk is prepared for civil emergencies by providing a routine partnership of responder agencies to maximise the positive effects of risk assessment, contingency planning, co-operation through training and exercise, and regular working together to share information”.



Suffolk Resilience Forum (SRF) Executive Membership – made up of executive representatives from Category 1 agencies and supporting partners such as the military. This group provides strategic direction for the forum.

Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP) – made up of executive representatives across the health sector, including:

  • NHS (National Health Service)
  • UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency)
  • Suffolk Public Health
  • Patient Transport Services
  • Practice Plus Group

Scientific Technical Advice Cell (STAC)

The STAC (Scientific Technical Advice Cell) is made up of experts from a range of partner agencies such as UKHSA, NHS, Public Health and others to provide specific advice to the Strategic Coordination Group during major incidents.

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