Is it time to consider ISO22301 and business continuity planning?

Picture the scene. You arrive at work in one of the largest blood manufacturing centres in the world. Prolonged rainfall has flooded the centre and it has to be closed. Your service supplies patients throughout the NHS and this closure has potentially life threatening implications. What do you do?

A). Hit the panic button.

B). Calmly refer to your well-rehearsed business continuity plan.

If your answer is A, perhaps it is time to consider if business continuity planning in your organisation is robust enough.

The above scenario actually happened at the NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) in 2012. Luckily, they had an effective business continuity plan in-place, a well-rehearsed command structure and a detailed logistics plan. This enabled staff at all levels to launch a recovery operation which resulted in business resuming within a week. Impressively, there was virtually no disruption to patients.

In recognition of this effective response, NHSBT picked up the Most Effective Recovery of the Year award at last month’s Business Continuity Institute’s European Awards. At the same awards ceremony the Business Continuity Manager of the Year award went to David Clarke, MBCI of Telefónica UK Limited, who has led O2 UK to become the only UK communications company to secure ISO 22301 certification across all of its operations.

What do NHSBT and O2 UK have in common?

They have both placed a high priority on developing robust business continuity plans, based on or working towards compliance with ISO22301, the international standard for business continuity. For the NHS, the need for effective planning is very obvious – lives may depend on it. But O2 UK’s ISO22301 certification highlights how commercial organisations are increasingly keen to demonstrate to their customers that, should the worst happen, they are well prepared to continue business as usual.

If you think your organisation could also benefit from ISO22301 certification

The ISO22301 Learning Pathway will help you decide if ISO22301 is right for you and provides the knowledge and skills required to lead your organisation through to ISO22301 certification.

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