The NPC represents the ‘whole of society’ in microcosm, being made up of around 50 leading figures from public life, academia, business, and civil society (see the list of Commissioners).

The NPC oversees a programme of work that is both strategic and practical.  We recognise that what is needed to be better prepared for many shocks is the same whatever the initiating crisis or incident.  We are dedicated to promoting action and moving beyond merely ‘admiring the problem’.

Importantly, the objective of the NPC is not to criticise what has gone before or denigrate the extensive work that has been done and is being done by many different organisations. Rather, it is focused on what is needed systemically to improve societal preparedness and the consequent resilience of individual citizens, communities and organisations, drawing on lessons from a variety of events ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic to the Manchester Arena attack. The Commission is  forward-looking and considers preparations for the next challenge rather than – with the benefit of hindsight – obsessing over how previous challenges might have been addressed differently or better. Hindsight is useful only if lessons are learnt (and not merely identified).

The strategy of the Commission has been guided by four key questions:

  • What should we be preparing for?
  • Who should finance the investment in preparedness, and who benefits?
  • How much preparedness is enough?
  • How do the interactions between preparedness domains play out and who is responsible?

To be able to reach sensible, meaningful and practical answers to these questions, the Commission delivers:

  • A programme of research leading to the publication of major reports, exploring the key issues behind national preparedness. Some of these are produced in-house with others commissioned externally.
  • Frequent articles, commentaries and free-standing briefs that explore other issues in less depth – revealing the whole of the preparedness landscape, in order to gain clarity on what preparedness means in reality.
  • Guides on good practice, highlighting steps that can be taken which are practicable and of proven value.
  • Seminars, roundtables, conferences and events that help build recognition and awareness of and action to improve preparedness. Some of these are public events, whilst others are closed roundtables for members of the Commission, civil servants and subject matter experts, providing a ‘safe space’ for officials and policy makers to contemplate the unthinkable.
  • Specialist input into projects that have national impact and would benefit from NPC expertise.

The Commission takes a pragmatic and inclusive approach to its work – drawing on the expertise, knowledge, networks and skills of its Commissioners, and working collaboratively with partners, sponsors and other bodies with related aims and objectives.  Working with a small and agile core team, means we can draw in experts to collaborate on specific projects as needed.

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