Business Continuity is defined as "the capability of the organisation to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident." (Source: ISO 22301:2012)
Less formally, the means to continue your business in challenging circumstances, thereby preserving operation, income and reputation. Such circumstances can encompass 'disasters' e.g. fire, flood, civil activism, or other less catastrophic but equally attritional events such as IT failure, utility loss, severe weather or supply chain disruption.
No organisation can afford to be without a Business Continuity Management System to address such threats.
See below for ACBC's business continuity management services
Click here for an interview with Andy Cuerel on Riskademy, where he explains the nuances and benefits of continuity planning.
Business Continuity bench-marking
Unless your BCM programme is a blank canvas, it will be highly beneficial to undertake a bench-marking exercise, in order to identify gaps and actions for improvement.
ACBC provides bench-marking services, both against strict ISO22301 requirements, or a less formal assessment for clients who aspire to a lighter pragmatic programme.
Implementing a Business Continuity Management System benefits an organisation far more than merely 'having a plan'.
A BCMS is an evolving system comprising:
Policy, scope and objectives
Key programme elements e.g. business impact analysis, risk assessment, recovery plans, training and rehearsal
A mechanism for continuous improvement
ACBC strongly recommends that your BCMS is aligned to ISO22301
Business Continuity planning
Whilst ACBC recommends implementing a full BCMS, we recognise that resources and internal drivers may not support an immediate end-to-end solution. Alternatively, you may be comfortable implementing your own BCMS, but need support in specific areas - these may include:
Policy & framework development
Business Impact Analysis tools and templates
Risk Assessment Workshops
Continuity plan design
Incident management protocols
Training & rehearsal
Training & Rehearsal
A vital component of robust continuity planning, is validating and embedding arrangements with those charged to undertake them in challenging circumstances. ACBC delivers a wide range of training and exercising services including:
Crisis/Incident team scenario exercises - ranging from simple 'walkthroughs' through 'desktops' to sophisticated real-time simulation exercises
Business Continuity practitioner training - bespoke coaching for those with specific BCM responsibilities e.g. new BC Managers, BC 'Champions', Risk, FM, Security and IT professionals
Business Continuity awareness training - designed to familiarise staff with arrangements and their role within them
Component testing e.g. to examine the effectiveness of an out-of-hours all-staff broadcast via an emergency notification system
Supplier Continuity bench-marking
The vast majority of organisations have reliance on external goods and service suppliers, in order to maintain their own activities. Ensuring continuity within those supply chains is as important as achieving internal resilience.
ACBC can conduct bench-marking on your suppliers' continuity arrangements against agreed standards and provide recommendations as necessary to increase their preparedness.