When it comes to building a business continuity management program that best suits your organization’s unique needs, there are a variety of frameworks from which to choose.

Business continuity management frameworks form a foundation to set your business continuity goals and objectives, create a program, conduct business impact analyses, determine business critical functions, and develop, test, and implement plans for a resilient and successful organization.

Some organizations may choose to build their own frameworks, drawing on their own experiences and internal evaluations. Others may choose to pull core components from industry best practices, while yet others may prefer to select pieces from a number of existing programs and create their own.

Which is the Best Approach for Your Organization?

While these frameworks help build your program and customer trust in your abilities to remain operational when faced with disruptions or unexpected events, you can take your business continuity management program to the next level by adopting and implementing best practice procedures and control measures with an outside agency, for example, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO develops and publishes a range of international standards designed to promote innovation and solutions that address challenges organizations of all sizes face around the world. For example, ISO 22301, is a set of standards that outlines requirements for business continuity management systems.

According to the 2020 Horizon Scan Report, 71% of responding organizations say they’re certified to the ISO standard or use it as a framework for their business continuity management program.

While meeting all the requirements for a certification at first glance can be intimidating, in many cases, the benefits of a certification often far outweigh obstacles tackled along the way.

ISO 22301 certification, for example, can help you build a stronger and more scalable business continuity program, guided by industry best practices.

First, what exactly is ISO 22301?

ISO 22301 is designed to help your organization implement, maintain, and improve your business continuity program. With a stronger, well-designed program, you can quickly and effectively respond to and recover from a range of disruptions that could impact your operations.

ISO 22301 was created in 2012 and then revised in 2019. There are seven core clauses outlined by ISO 22301 for business continuity management systems:

  • Context of the organization: What the organization is and its context, organizational needs and expectations of interested parties, and the scope of the business continuity management system
  • Leadership: Commitment, policies, and roles and responsibilities
  • Planning: How to address risks and opportunities, objectives and plans, and how to plan changes to the system
  • Support (2 clauses): Covers a range of support from resources and awareness to communication, planning and control, business impact assessments, risk assessments, strategies, solutions, plans and procedures, exercises and evaluation
  • Performance evaluation: Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation, including audits and management reviews
  • Improvement: Continual improvement and corrective actions

Essentially, ISO 22301 is considered a global benchmark for business continuity. Organizations that successfully implement all of the best practices outlined in ISO 22301 can get certified.

Not sure if a certification is worth your time? Here are 8 reasons why you should become ISO 22301 certified.

  1. ISO certification can help you become a more resilient organization
    85% of Horizon Scan Report respondents said ISO certification increased their organizational resilience.
  2. ISO certification can help you save money
    Almost 28% of respondents said ISO certification reduced their insurance premiums.
  3. ISO certification helps organizations have fewer disruptive incidents
    In the Horizon Scan Report, 29% of organizations with ISO certification had 11 or more disruptive events in the past year, compared to almost 40% of those who are not certified.
  4. ISO certification helps organizations recover faster
    Almost 60% of organizations who are ISO certified said they can recover faster from disruptions than without it.
  5. ISO certification helps organizations have more consistent BCM programs
    Just shy of 74% of Horizon Scan respondents said having the ISO certification helps them better manage risks, including streamlining BCM analytics and evaluation strategies.
  6. ISO certification helps improve customer satisfaction
    After achieving ISO certification, more than 52% of respondents said they had improved customer satisfaction. ISO certification helps build customer trust and helps build stronger brands.
  7. ISO certification helps improve employee buy-in
    Because communication and awareness are part of ISO 22301 certification, almost 40% of organizations say it has increased employee engagement and facilitated more employee buy-in about the value and role of business continuity management programs for organizational success.
  8. ISO certification is key stakeholder support
    Overall, because ISO certification helps organizations build stronger programs, save money, and reduce the number of disruptive incidents, these metrics can be easily communicated to executive leadership and key stakeholders, such as board members, to facilitate additional executive support, which can ultimately lead to more time, resources, and financial backing to mature your program over time.

Implementing ISO 22301

Are you interested in taking a closer look at ISO 22301 and how it can help you build a strong business continuity management program? Check out the “Implementing ISO 22301” white paper to learn more.

In this white paper you can explore:

  • What ISO 22301 is including in its standards, scope and value
  • A breakdown of each clause and what they mean
  • Understanding key business management system concepts
  • Recommended approaches to align your existing program with ISO 22301 standards
  • Guidance on how you can implement ISO 22301 and what to consider before moving forward