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[CM] 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
Crisis Management Certified Planner-Specialist-Expert

Crisis Management Team IC_CM_Establish CM Team Roles and Responsibilities

The CM Planning Team will divide and assign responsibility for developing 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 essential to understand that managers will likely take on different or expanded roles in a CM Team and a Command Centre Operations (CCO) Team, especially in large-scale operational response to a natural disaster or industrial accident.

BCMPedia Crisis Management Command Centre Operations TeamThis is especially true when one is involved in a crisis response involving multiple agencies or organisations.

The CMT, CCO, and Incident Management Team (IMT) often lead or work with people they do not usually interact with or 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 is suitable for the roles.

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


Roles and Responsibilities of Crisis Management Team

Crisis Management Team Leader
  • Provide overall leadership and direction to the CMT.
    Activates the crisis management plan in response to an incident.
  • Make critical decisions during a crisis, often in collaboration with the steering committee.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for the organization during a crisis (may delegate this task).
  • Oversee the overall crisis response and recovery efforts.
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.
  • Develop and disseminate clear and consistent communication messages to stakeholders (internal and external) throughout the crisis.
  • Manage media relations, coordinating press briefings and statements.
    Monitors social media and addresses public concerns online.
  • Wors with the team leader to determine the appropriate spokesperson for communication.
Communication Liaison

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

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


An organisation facing a crisis, such as a massive recall, must protect itself legally. Legal experts on CM teams focus on the situation 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 arrange external legal support as needed.
  • Participate in communication preparation and provide advice on securing the incident scene for subsequent investigation.
  • Provides legal advice and guidance to the CMT throughout the crisis response.
  • Ensures all actions taken by the CMT comply with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Manages legal issues arising from the crisis, such as potential lawsuits or regulatory investigations.
  • Reviews and approves all official communication regarding the crisis from a legal standpoint.

For instance, the legal team researches laws and regulations in a product recall situation to ensure the organisation adheres to the 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 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, usually the head of security or a high-ranking guard in the organization, will provide responders with maps of the building and security footage.

Environmental, Health and Safety
  • Coordinate environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) responses at the corporate level with the EH&S contact at the site.
  • Have a broad range of experience in EH&S and product integrity, and can contact appropriate experts.
  • Arrange for dispersion modelling, provide technical advice to medical, environmental and other responders, and provide data interpretation.
  • Guide proper protective equipment and disposal information, notify government agencies and liaison with the government.
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 crisis counselling, access to employee database, support in contacting family members, and assembly of necessary internal and external human resources.
  • Provides support and resources to employees impacted by the crisis (e.g., counselling, leave of absence).
  • Ensures compliance with relevant labour laws and regulations during a crisis.
  • Manages internal communications with employees and keeps them informed of developments.
  • Assists with employee relocation or evacuation efforts if necessary.
  • 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 results from terrorism.
  • Develop and implement security measures to protect personnel, property, and critical infrastructure during a crisis.
  • Coordinate with emergency responders (police, fire department, etc.).
  • Conduct security assessments and ensure the safety of the crisis management team.
  • Manage access to crisis information and restrict it to authorised personnel.
Corporate Services
  • Support 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.
  • Ensures the availability and security of critical IT systems during the crisis.
  • Manages data backup and recovery procedures in case of cyberattacks or other disruptions.
  • Provides technical support to the CMT and other personnel involved in the crisis response.
  • Assists with communication efforts by managing the organization's website and social media platforms.
  • 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 essential materials.

Sample Crisis Management Team Structure

This is a sample of a crisis management team.

Composition of CM Team



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.

Extracted from Establish CM Team Roles and Responsibilities



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