Purpose and Objectives

The University of Toronto has operations which must be continually performed or rapidly and efficiently resumed in an emergency or any other extraordinary operational interruption. The impact of an emergency cannot be predicted: planning for continued operations under such conditions can mitigate the impact on our people, our facilities and our mission. Business Continuity is part of the emergency management cycle that connects the emergency response phase to the recovery phase. Therefore, the University of Toronto recommends the preparation of Business Continuity Plans (BCP), both centrally and within divisions.

This site provides guidance to ensure the execution of our central critical functions and central intermediate functions in the event that an extraordinary operational interruption at the University or in its service area(s) threatens or incapacitates operations and/or requires the relocation of selected personnel and functions.  Critical functions are those defined as Essential Services, Critical Business Functions or Critical Services (see definitions tab) for which there is central accountability, and which must be operational within 72 hours of the extraordinary operational interruption. Intermediate functions are secondary to the University’s critical functions, but need to be resumed in a timely manner (1 week) to prevent a long term impact to operations; these may include classroom instruction; student counselling; and general, less time-sensitive research.


 The objectives of a Business Continuity Plan are as follows:

  • Maintain order and direction throughout the duration of an extraordinary operational interruption;
  • Ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the University;
  • Assure conservation and effective use of the University’s infrastructure and resources;
  • Maintain critical functions and/or resume services as determined by the unit after an extraordinary operational interruption.