Put the right plans in place to keep your organization moving forward.

Disasters are a permanent part of the new normal, but knowing how to properly prepare your organization will allow you to better control the situation. The Micro-certificate in Organizational Preparedness and Adaptability provides you with the necessary skills in risk management, emergency preparedness and business continuity planning so you can become more proactive during a crisis. Help stabilize your organization when it’s needed most, so it can continue on a steady path forward.

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Program description

Disruptions to an organization's operations can take the form of a pandemic, natural disaster, cyber-attack, supply-chain vulnerability or even geo-political instability. Organizations that invest in preparing for disruptions can respond to these events in a structured way and with a sense of control. Conversely, those that do not make this investment are less likely to respond effectively and, more importantly, less likely to recover.

The Organizational Preparedness and Adaptability micro-certificate is designed for non-specialists from private, public and non-profit sectors who are new to business continuity and emergency planning. The program is aimed at those who are looking to learn the fundamentals before considering laddering into a more in-depth program. See this chart to compare business continuity programs at Continuing Studies. No matter what crisis occurs, planning and preparation demand the same skills, and organizations are more resilient when staff across the organization have the skills to participate in continuity planning with confidence.

You will learn the following concepts:

  • Risk assessment and management – including the relationship between risk appetite, risk tolerance and organizational performance, as well as risk treatment and mitigation
  • Emergency preparedness and response – including integrating plans with business continuity efforts
  • Business continuity planning – the tried-and-tested methodology to prepare solutions to support the organization's priorities and strategic objectives
  • Leadership and organizational culture – including the challenges of leading through a crisis, and the ways organizational culture can affect the effectiveness of emergency response and recovery
  • Crisis communication – including how organizations communicate internally and externally during a crisis to strengthen an organization's ability to withstand disruption and preserve life and property, as well as intangible assets such as reputation, image and brand

This micro-credential program covers the principles of each stage and element of planning and introduces you to local and international standards and guidelines. You'll learn how to apply these standards to assess your own organization, and to generate solutions to any issues you identify, taking into account your organizational goals, culture and stakeholder views.

You will be guided by an expert instructor and learn through narrated slide presentations, readings and videos, or interactive discussions, and you'll prepare a summary presentation that integrates your learning and can be used in your workplace. Expect to spend four to six hours per week on your studies.

  Video - What is the difference between EMOC and OPA?

Help your organization withstand disruptions

Watch this video to learn how our EMOC and OPA programs combine emergency preparedness, resilience and continuity planning to give you the skills you need.

Program highlights

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This program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve your professional goals in just six weeks.

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Online Flexibility
This program is delivered online, allowing you to work independently within deadlines set by your instructor. With this format, you don't have to worry about travel or scheduling conflicts while you study. You can work at your own pace, on your own schedule and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

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This program will give you laddering opportunities into other micro-credentials or to non-credit programs.

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The University of Victoria is one of Canada's leading universities, recognized for preparing students for careers in a wide range of disciplines. Upon successful completion of this program you will be eligible to receive a micro-certificate.

Program outcomes

Upon completion, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the principles of risk management, emergency management, business continuity, leadership and culture, and crisis communication applicable to a specific organization and industry sector
  2. Examine frameworks to identify and assess risks and potential impacts on business activities from natural or environmental disruptions, cyber-attacks, data breaches, pandemics, conflict and security threats or other hazards
  3. Apply professional guidance and international standards to help identify and evaluate strategic solutions for responding to a range of threats affecting organizational resilience
  4. Develop the skills and awareness to begin to prepare business continuity and resilience plans for an organization

Who is this program for?

This program is designed for staff and middle-managers of organizations in all sectors, including:

  • private companies (large corporations as well as small and medium enterprises)
  • non-profits
  • public and government agencies and entities (such as health authorities, schools/universities, government service agencies, etc.)

Learners are typically:

  • early- to mid-career professionals, either striving to broaden their qualifications or already in positions where these skills will be applicable
  • not considered specialists in emergency planning, but they may play or recognize the importance of a non-specialist role
  • individuals with a personal interest in preparedness, such as members of a health and safety committee, those interested in taking first-aid courses, or those who may be sensitized by recent events (e.g., a pandemic, extreme weather, cyber-attacks, etc.) to the vulnerability of their organization’s continuity of operations
  Designed for non-specialists

Designed for non-specialists

Watch this video to learn how our EMOC and OPA programs can give you the skills to plan for crisis, no matter what industry you work in.

Career options

Some of our learners pursue careers in the following roles:
  • Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator
  • Administrative Officer
  • Facilities Manager
  • Public Relations and Communications Officer
  • Business and Operations Manager
  • Information Technology Manager
  • HR Consultant


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Application and fees

Admission requirements

  1. Although not required, current or prior experience in a work environment is recommended for success in this program. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure they can complete all assignments and contribute meaningfully to all discussions by drawing from their experience. If you have any questions about your suitability for this program, please contact us directly before the program start date.
  2. Regular access to a computer with a reliable internet connection.

How to apply

There is no application necessary for this program; simply register for the one course below. When registering, you will have the option to purchase the Micro-certificate in Organizational Preparedness and Adaptability fee at an additional cost of $20.

Once you have completed the course, your certificate will be automatically issued and sent to you. Certificates are sent approximately one month after the completion of the course.

Note: We are unable to retroactively issue a micro-certificate. Students must purchase the $20 program fee prior to the last day of the last course in the program.

Registration details

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