ISO 22301 – The Standard for Business Continuity

81 per cent of managers whose organisations activated their business continuity arrangements in the last 12 months say that it was effective in reducing disruption. In summary: business continuity works.

Natural disaster, IT outage or industrial action are the disruptions that make headline news. But disruption also includes staff illness or events that affect your supply chain. Keeping your organisation running, even when the unexpected threatens to disrupt operations and services, is where business continuity management (BCM) comes into its own. BCM provides a framework that allows you to identify potential threats to your organisation and build capability to deal with these. This means you can respond to threats and safeguard the interests of key stakeholders, reputation and your brand. If disruption is not an option for your business, adopting the international business continuity standard, ISO 22301 is the first step towards a best practice approach.

So, what is ISO 22301?

Essentially, it’s a formal business continuity framework. It will help you to develop a business continuity plan that will keep your business running during following a disruption. Follow it and you will minimise the impact so you can resume normal service quickly, ensuring key services and products are still delivered. It was created in response to strong international interest in the original British Standard BS 25999 and other regional standards. Published in 2012, ISO 22301 identifies the fundamentals of a business continuity management system, establishing the process, principles and terminology of business continuity management. Use it to assure key stakeholders that your business is fully prepared and you can meet internal, regulatory and customer requirements. The standard provides organisations with a framework to ensure that they can continue operating during the most challenging and unexpected circumstances – protecting their staff, preserving their reputation and providing the ability to continue to operate and trade.

A business continuity management system (BCMS) aligned to ISO 22301 is suitable for organisations of all sizes, across all industries, public or private, manufacturing or service. And it provides a common language for global organisations, especially those with long and complex supply chains. The standard is particularly relevant for organisations operating in high risk environments where the ability to continue operating is paramount for business, customers and stakeholders – this includes utilities, finance, telecommunications, transport and the public sector.

Key business benefits of certification to ISO 22301 include:

Maximise quality and efficiency ISO 22301 provides a framework based on international best practice based around the ‘Plan, Do’ Check, ‘Act’ concept.

Resilience Whether it’s an international disaster or localised disruption, your organisation will be robust enough to be able to get up and running again quickly, or minimize disruption until normal service is resumed.

Reputation Keep your reputation secure.

Competitive advantage Opens new markets and helps you win new business. Gain client confidence through the universal acceptance of ISO standards that open up global opportunities.

Win more contracts more cost effectively Provides you with a marketing edge and, coupled with certification, can help reduce the cost of tendering.

Business improvement Certification requires a clear understanding of your entire organization which can identify opportunities for improvement.

Continuous improvement The certification process involves regular audits that ensure your management system is up to date.

Compliance Demonstrate that you meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations.

Cost savings You’ll have the opportunity to reduce the burden of internal and external BCM audits, improve financial performance and reduce business disruption insurance premiums.

Delivery Your BCMS framework supports rehearsed management processes that allow you to supply an agreed level of critical services and products within a specified timeframe after disruption.

Management A BCMS provides proven management capability during times of disruption.

Contact me to discuss this in more detail if you are interested in learning more about the standard or certification.


Have you suffered from business disruption? Did you have a BCMS in place? Do you have plans to implement a BCMS?

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