Since its formal launch in November 2020 the NPC has firmly established its reputation as the leading body working towards better national preparedness. Its mission encompasses a number of key goals, all of which are necessary to move the UK onto the preparedness footing needed to survive and flourish both on the international stage and in the face of an increasingly complex risk environment.

The Commission is working towards:

  1. A ‘whole of society’ model of preparedness that includes communication channels, knowledge and asset sharing across and between sectors and the general public.
  2. Recognition by Government that national preparedness (of which resilience is a subset) is of paramount importance, reflected in appropriate structures, mechanisms and scrutiny, and responsibilities that are meaningful, practical and well-understood.
  3. A risk identification, assessment and monitoring system that reflects the scale, pace and entanglement of threats that we face today.
  4. An accounting methodology that can be applied to the cost benefits of effective preparedness, in order to inform investment decisions.
  5. Demonstrable actions to mitigate risk and build national preparedness – from public, voluntary and private sectors.
  6. Embedded preparedness, evidenced in longer-term capacity-building and culture change, as well as short-term risk mitigation.
  7. A realignment of structural frameworks such as measurement, accounting, regulation and value assessments towards preparedness outcomes. This is likely to require cross-party political alignment and may entail legislative change.

The Commission’s primary focus is the UK but there is considerable international interest in both the multi-sectoral model of the Commission and the work that it is doing, much of which has a global salience. Equally, there is much to be learnt from international experience and practice.

In promoting a ‘threat agnostic’ approach to preparedness, the NPC is seeking to understand what constitutes effective anticipation and response, through both an exploratory analysis of the concepts and a deliberative analysis of threats, risk and vulnerabilities.

Making every level of government, organisation, community, household and individual better prepared will help to ensure that the whole of UK society is better able to avoid, absorb and respond to future global crises, whether predictable – a new pandemic, a massive cyber-attack, climate change – or something genuinely unforeseen.

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