ISO 22301

What is the ISO 22301 standard?

ISO 22301 is an international standard for Business Continuity Management. It offers a step-by-step guide to establishing and maintaining an efficient business continuity management system. This helps to protect a company from a variety of possible threats and disturbances. According to studies, almost one out of every five companies experiences a significant disruption each year. 

ISO 22301 will assist any type of entity, large or small, for profit or non-profit, private or public. The framework is written in such a way that it can be used for any size or form of company.

What are the requirements for ISO 22301?

The ISO 22301 standard is divided into 11 sections. Sections 0 to 3 are introductory (and not required for implementation), while sections 4 to 10 are mandatory – meaning that an entity must comply with all of their provisions in order to be compliant with the standard.

The structure outlined in ISO 22301 is summarized below:

4. Context of the organization: Defines the scope of the BCMS, as well as the criteria for recognizing external and internal issues, stakeholders, and their needs.

5. Leadership: Defines the functions, duties, and authorities of top management, as well as the contents of the top-level business continuity strategy.

6. Planning: Defines the conditions for dealing with challenges and opportunities, establishing business continuity goals, and preparing improvements to the BCMS.

7. Support: Defines the specifications for resource availability, competence, knowledge, communication, and document and record control.

8. Operation: Describes how to incorporate business impact analysis, risk assessment and treatment, business continuity strategies, solutions, plans and procedures, exercise program, and evaluation of business continuity documents and resources to meet business continuity objectives.

9. Performance evaluation: Specifies tracking, assessment, interpretation, evaluation, internal auditing, and management review criteria.

10. Improvement: Describes nonconformities, corrections, corrective behavior, and continuous improvement criteria.

Why should you be ISO 22301 compliant?

With the implementation of this business continuity standard, an organization can achieve four important business benefits:

Comply with legal requirements. Increasingly, countries are enacting laws and regulations that require business continuity enforcement. Private companies (e.g., financial institutions) are now asking their suppliers and associates to incorporate business continuity solutions, in addition to government interests. The good news is that ISO 22301 offers a great structure and technique for ensuring compliance with these criteria – by reducing administrative and organizational effort, as well as the amount of fines to be paid.

Achieve marketing advantage. When it comes to consumers who are concerned about the continuity of their operations and the delivery of their goods and services, if your business is ISO 22301 accredited and your rivals are not, you will have an advantage over them. Furthermore, such qualification will aid in the acquisition of new consumers by making it easier to show that you are among the best in the industry, resulting in improved market share and profits.

Reduce dependence on individuals. Most of a company’s vital operations depend on a small number of individuals who are difficult to replace – a condition that is painfully illustrated when these people leave. Executives that are aware of this may use business continuity practices to become even less reliant on certain individuals (either by applied replacement solutions or through tracking similar tasks), saving time and money when they leave the company.

Prevent large-scale damage. Every minute of downtime costs money – a lot of money – in today’s world of real-time services and transactions. Even if your company isn’t particularly vulnerable to brief periods of downtime, disruptive events can cost you money. You can have a sort of insurance policy if you adopt ISO 22301-compliant business continuity activities. Your business can save money whether it is by avoiding damaging accidents or by being more capable of an efficient recovery. The best part is that your cost savings will far outweigh your investment in ISO 22301.

How to achieve compliance?

The ISO 22301 certificate verifies that a BCMS has been audited against and meets the ISO 22301 specifications.

ISO 22301 and The ISO business continuity standard demonstrates that an organization has adopted a BCMS that meets the standard’s specifications. The certification ensures that the organization will be able to cope in the event of a disturbance.
You can follow these 17 phases to introduce ISO 22301 in your company:

  • 1. Management support
  • 2. Identification of requirements
  • 3. Business continuity policy and objectives
  • 4. Support documents for management system
  • 5. Risk assessment and treatment
  • 6. Business impact analysis
  • 7. Business continuity strategy
  • 8. Business continuity plan
  • 9. Training and awareness
  • 10. Documentation maintenance
  • 11. Exercising & testing
  • 12. Post-incident reviews
  • 13. Communication with interested parties
  • 14. Measurement and evaluation
  • 15. Internal audit
  • 16. Corrective actions
  • 17. Management review

Following the completion of your implementation, you must conduct routine audits of your business continuity management system. Internal audits are also required for the BCMS to achieve independent certification. Internal audits and performance evaluations work together to ensure that the management processes are still running as planned.

The ISO auditor will also want to see a track record of the company’s progress over time. It’s important to have a system in place for dealing with nonconformities, disciplinary measures, and other improvements.

The Centraleyes platform includes an ISO 22301 questionnaire that assists you in compiling, evaluating, and identifying gaps. Once the holes have been identified, the platform’s AI risk engine can generate automated actionable remediation tasks, informing the team about what they need to do. The Centraleyes platform provides companies with complete visibility into their business continuity management and 22301 compliance, enabling them to save time and money while obtaining more accurate data.

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