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Guidance & Directives

The Doctrinal portion of this site highlights the national policy and guidance in which continuity of operations initiatives are based. Continuity plans and their supporting Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plans provide the framework for the nation’s continuity program. Planning addresses the guidance and assistance provided by National Continuity Programs to support continuity preparedness for federal Executive Branch departments and agencies; state, local, tribal, and territorial government jurisdictions; and private sector organizations. Included in this section is an overview of plans and programs designed to support the nation’s continuity programs and the National Essential Functions.

Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 1

Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 1 Cover

Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1), as signed by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, establishes the framework, requirements, and processes that support the development of executive departments and agencies’ continuity programs and by specifying and defining elements of a continuity plan. These required elements include delineation of essential functions; succession to office and delegations of authority; safekeeping of and access to essential records; continuity locations; continuity communications; human resources planning; devolution of essential functions; reconstitution; and program validation through testing, training, and exercises. The provisions of this directive are applicable at all levels of federal Executive Branch organizations, regardless of their location, and are useful for all non-federal entities.

This directive supersedes Federal Continuity Directive 1, dated October 28, 2012.

Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 2

Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 2 Cover

Federal Continuity Directive 2 (FCD 2) implements the requirements of FCD-1, Annex B (Essential Functions), and provides direction and guidance to federal Executive Branch departments and agencies to assist in validation of Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) and Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs). The update and validation of essential functions includes conducting a comprehensive Business Process Analysis (BPA) to understand those processes necessary to the performance of organizational functions and requirements. It also includes conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to identify potential impacts on the performance of essential functions and the consequences of failure to sustain them. Further, it requires the application of organization-wide risk analysis to inform decision making and strengthen operations through effective risk management. FCD-2 outlines requirements and provides checklists and resources to assist departments and agencies in identifying and assessing their essential functions through a risk-based process and in identifying candidate PMEFs that support the National Essential Functions. This FCD provides guidance for conducting a BPA and BIA to identify essential function relationships, dependencies, time sensitivities, threats, vulnerabilities, consequences, and mitigation strategies related to the performance of the MEFs and PMEFs. This FCD also provides direction on the formalized process for submitting deparments and agencies’ candidate PMEFs in support of the NEFs. To obtain an electronic copy of the MEF/BPA/BIA worksheet, email a request to

Continuity Risk Toolkit

The Continuity Risk Toolkit provides general information on risk and techniques that may be used to perform risk analysis. It serves as a continuity resource for stakeholders by providing reference material, information, and guidance intended to further develop and refine risk identification and determine the potential for all-hazard risks to affect the performance of essential functions and essential supporting activities (ESAs). It supports Federal Continuity Directives (FCDs) 1 and 2, which implement the requirements Presidential Policy Directive 40 (PPD-40), National Continuity Policy, and provide guidance to executive branch departments and agencies (D/As) on validation of Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) and Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs). A risk-based approach to business analysis informs decisions that sustain MEFs and PMEFs during all phases of a catastrophic emergency. For additional assistance, email a request to

Last Updated: 
02/09/2018 - 09:50