US Business Continuity Standard work commences

American Standard Body to produce US Standard for Business Continuity

ASIS  based in Virginia has now started the work to develop its American National Standards Institute (ANSI) project to produce a Business Continuity Management (BCM) standard, for approval by ANSI.

Close links have been developed over the past 6 months between the BSI, the BCM/1 committee and ASIS in order to share experience and help to build consistency between the key elements of BS25999 and the proposed ANSI standard.

Participation included key business continuity programme managers, service providers and other interested parties, and included representatives from Disaster Recovery Institute International, Association of Contingency Planners, the Business Continuity Institute and its U.S. Chapter BCI-USA and the Continuity Forum.

ASIS then followed initial conversations with further discussions and engagement in December with the first committee and working group meetings to be held in Virginia on 15/16th January.

The Continuity Forum is represented on the Committee by Russell Price, the vice chairman of the group is Kevin Brear (a constant figure in the development of the British Standard) and its chaired by Marc Seigel.

Currently the scope of the ASIS-proposed Business Continuity Management American National Standard would include auditable criteria for preparedness, crisis management, business and operational continuity and disaster management, which covers more than BS25999 and crosses over into IT service Continuity (BS25777) and the working group that is addressing the developing issue of standards for Crisis Management.

The working group has shown commendable openness in establishing a diverse group with wide ranging experience. ASIS has also stated its goal was not to infringe on the credibility of current BCM practitioners or turn BCM into a subset of security management, but to utilize its position as an ANSI-accredited Standards Development Organization to lead the effort of the business continuity community towards a much needed standard.

The compelling need for a new standard that could be both auditable and scalable had previously been unanimously identified with most commentators stating that that while other standards, such as NFPA 1600, already existed and provided value to the business continuity community, the needs of the community were not being met since they were not auditable.

In addition, there was a degree of separation in planning or were partial to certain industry segment distortion which did not promote a holistic view of BCM, addressing the wide range of disciplines today’s BCM programs have to consider.

Interested parties may contact ASIS directly at or the Continuity Forum directly..

Continuity Forum Comment

ASIS have seized an opportunity to try an establish international consistency for BCM by aligning with the excellent work of the BSI BCM/1 group which developed BS25999.

The spread of specific and international experience contributing to the process of developing the standard is excellent. Importantly, through close cooperation and support the BSI and ASIS are helping broaden and enhance the international nature of BCM planning and sharing good practice effectively. This could well mean much greater efficiency and cost effective planning for all international operations.

In addition, better communication between ‘policy makers’ on both sides of the Atlantic will become a valuable driver in the growth and quality of Business Continuity Planning and Management.

The current scope is very ambitious pulling together a wider mix of BCM topics than currently included in BS25999 and this we feel may need to be carefully managed to avoid too much complexity, but it is certainly worth the effort if we can establish a holistic usable standard.

About ASIS International

ASIS International is the preeminent organization for security professionals, with more than 36,000 members worldwide. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security interests, such as the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits, as well as specific security topics. ASIS also advocates the role and value of the security management profession to business, the media, government entities and the public. By providing members and the security community with access to a full range of programs and services, and by publishing the industry’s No. 1 magazine—Security Management—ASIS leads the way for advanced and improved security performance.

If you would like to know more about how your organisation can get involved and benefit from working with the Continuity Forum, please email us HERE! or call on + 44 (0) 208 993 1599.