Establish CM Team Roles and Responsibilities

The CM Planning  Team will divide up and assign responsibility for the development of different aspects of the CM plan.
Moh Heng Goh

IntroductionIC_CM_Establish CM Team Roles and Responsibilities

The CM Planning (CMP) Team will divide up and assign responsibility for the development of different aspects of the CM plan. Subsequently, the team decides who will be on point for management roles in the event of certain kinds of crises.

Different Roles for Different Crisis

It is important to understand that in a CM Team and a Command Centre Operations (CCO) Team, especially in large-scale operational response to a natural disaster or industrial accident, managers will likely take on different or expanded roles. This is especially true when one is involved in a crisis response involving multiple agencies or organizations. The CM Team, CCO Team, and Incident Management Team (IMT) often find themselves leading or working with people they do not often come in contact with, or they have never met.

Expectation and Suitability of Roles

During the start of the CM planning process, the CM Planning team needs to:

  • Establish this expectation of the newly appointed CM Team.
  • Define the key roles.
  • Identify who are suitable for the roles.

Training for second-nature response is the goal, so it makes good sense to the member of the crisis team responsible for communications to handle the communications planning team, the lawyer the legal team, and so on.

Public Relations/ Corporate Communications

  • Ensure accurate and timely public response is being made and develop press releases and interface with the media proficiently.
  • Coordinate media response with the site’s public relations member.
  • Incorporate legal advice in communications.
  • Prepare updates for executives and arrange executive travel to the incident scene
  • Advise the incident scene in media relations.

Communication Liaison

A communication liaison is responsible for talking with people affected by an emergency. For example, in a hostage situation, the liaison is family members' direct point of contact.

He or she will privately relay information to relatives about the situation. This person often does not communicate with the media. The communication liaison can be anyone in the organization which has good communication skills, can show empathy and is not easily frazzled by stressful or emotional situations.


An organization faced with a crisis, such as a massive recall, needs to protect itself legally. Legal experts on CM teams focus on the situation at hand instead of everyday legal concerns. The detailed roles are:

  • Provide legal counsel and advice to the CM team.
  • Coordinate with the legal coordinator at the incident scene and arranges for external legal support as needed.
  • Participate in communication preparation and provide advice on securing the incident scene for subsequent investigation.

For instance, in a product recall situation, the legal team researches laws and regulations to ensure that the organization is adhering to the proper rules. The legal team's efforts extend past the original crisis to include long-term monitoring of legal pitfalls, such as lawsuits against the organization. The legal team leader is usually supported by some lawyers reporting to the leader.

Emergency Services Liaison

The emergency services liaison works closely with police, fire, and medical responders during a crisis.

For example, during a hostage situation, the emergency services liaison will provide responders with maps of the building and security footage. The liaison is usually the head of security or a high-ranking guard in the organization.

Environmental, Health and Safety

  • Coordinate Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) response at the corporate level with the EH&S contact at the site.
  • Have a broad range of EH&S and product integrity experience or be able to contact appropriate experts.
  • Arrange for dispersion modelling, provides technical advice to medical, environmental and other responders, and provides data interpretation.
  • Provide guidance on proper protective equipment and provides disposal information, notifies government agencies and liaisons with governmental

Human Resources

  • Ensures human relations (HR) issues are being addressed and coordinates these with the site's human resources
  • Should have a broad range of HR expertise or be able to contact appropriate experts.
  • Provides for crisis counseling, access to employee database, support in contacting family members, assembly of necessary internal and external human resources.


  • Be the advisor to the site or incident scene team and liaison with the various agencies and security contractor(s).
  • Provide investigative support to determine if the incident is accidental or intentional.
  • Has a lead role in government interaction if the incident is a result of terrorism.

Corporate Services

  • Provide support for issues such as travel arrangements, secretarial help for the CM Team, or communications and audio-visual support.


  • Assess site damage
  • Assist with the planning and management of repair activities.
  • Develop options for temporary facilities


  • Provide financial-related information as needed and coordinate activities.

Information Technology

  • Assess system damage
  • Activate appropriate backup systems and IT disaster recovery plans.


  • Assist in assessing the human health consequences of an event.
  • Secure and interface with appropriate medical providers.

Supply Chain

  • Provide administrative, logistical, and other support regarding the provision of essential materials.


A Manager’s Guide to Implementing Your Crisis Management Plan

Goh, M. H. (2016). A Manager’s Guide to Implement Your Crisis Management Plan . Business Continuity Management Specialist Series (1st ed., p. 192). Singapore: GMH Pte Ltd.

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