Business continuity plans (BCP) are essential to have in place if you don’t want your organisation to be negatively impacted should the worst happen. As well as establishing vital protocols and creating recovery plans, a BCP allows companies to operate more freely during all operations as strategy is created with resilience in mind.

ISO 22301 is a globally recognised compliance measure that gives organisations the tools to implement a resilient framework for recovery processes. As with all ISO certifications, its success is founded on the attention to detail required to pass the continual audit process. If you have ever wanted to know how to get the ISO 22301 certification, you must know how to create a robust BCP using the provided controls.

In this blog, we will look at how to write a BCP for ISO 22301 and explore how the included requirements improve all areas of business operations.

What Is A Business Continuity Plan for ISO 22301?

Firstly, let’s explore what ISO 22301 is. This compliance award is an international ISO standard covering Business Continuity Management (BCM). By implementing a framework that can monitor issues and keep operations running smoothly at all times, this standard helps organisations to prevent, prepare for and respond to any unexpected incidents.

ISO compliance implementation for 22301 requires a tested BCP to be produced. Included within clause 8 of the standard, it is stated that compliant organisations must establish documented procedures for responding to a disruptive incident. Without this document, companies will not be able to pass the award as it would be seen as not being compliant with the requirements.

As with all of the other ISO standards, 22301 breaks down the controls and requirements in a way that assigns stakeholder duties to various individuals. Within the format of a BCP, this means knowing who is responsible for actioning various resolution methods should a disaster occur. To learn more, click this link to read our blog, ‘What is a business continuity management plan for ISO 22301’.

Does ISO 22301 Offer A Framework For Creating A Business Continuity Plan?

As with all other ISO certifications, ISO 22301 has a framework structure to ensure all control measures are included within the certified processes. This is because it involves applying various processes and requirements to a company to achieve a robust business continuity plan.

The overall framework required by ISO 22301 offers a structured approach that helps organisations shape the measures they choose to implement. This creates a BCP as it encourages all components to be carefully considered and outlined in a way conducive to protecting a company should a planned or unplanned scenario arise.

What Elements Should Be Included Within An ISO 22301 Business Continuity Plan?

What Elements Should Be Included Within An ISO 22301 Business Continuity Plan?

Clause 8 of ISO 22301 provides businesses with a clear set of objectives that should be met to protect their operations with a strong BCP. The key elements that this clause promotes are as follows:

  • Unambiguous assignment of the roles to various stakeholders who must acknowledge their duties. This includes all communication details, training logs and secondary individuals should the first response team not be available. Highly effective in improving operations, this transparent approach ensures all stakeholders are aligned on responsibilities associated with executing a continuity strategy.
  • Also included should be the risk management and disaster recovery processes, which are often supported by internal audits. All must be documented via official paperwork and allow a way for reporting on issues to take place so that any risks can be added to future iterations. All processes must be clearly defined, and any changes must be officially documented.
  • The ISO 22301 BCP requires effective and mindful planning to be demonstrated. Therefore, this must show the considerations that have been accounted for and plans that are versatile for any non-planned scenarios. If created successfully, these must have the power to protect people, assets and operations.
  • A huge part of continuity planning also considers the required communications. Any ISO compliance measure must include anything from media responses to employee contact, as transparency is a core value.

What Considerations Are Essential For An ISO 22301 Continuity Plan?

When writing your ISO 22301 BCP, a few criteria should be considered. As the purpose of a BCP is to strengthen overall business resilience, careful thought must be applied to the scope of the task.

Firstly, this means understanding the BCP’s main objectives and why it is being developed. While some points will remain the same for different companies, there will also be a wide range of company-specific factors. The scope must also include coverage of all business departments and who the content is for.

To make this clear for companies to understand, ISO 22301 clause 8 defines the following requirements for all produced BCPs:

  • The purpose, scope and objectives – In detail according to the specific company’s background and goals.
  • A clear understanding of the activation criteria and associated processes – This is so that all stakeholders know the signs to look for when and if the plan needs to be utilised.
  • All implementation procedures – These must be documented and shown to be actively tested on an ongoing basis to ensure their effectiveness.
  • The roles, responsibilities, and authorities – This includes all stakeholders, lines of command and who is responsible for key communications if a disaster recovery plan needs to be executed. Also included within this control measure are the communication requirements and procedures.
  • All internal and external interdependencies – This point considers how departments and personnel are linked to allow an acknowledgement of how the entire business would be impacted should an issue occur.
  • The resource requirements – These are what and who is needed for the ongoing BCP maintenance as well as the
  • Lastly is the information flow and documentation process. As with all ISO standards, these factors are included in the ongoing auditing work and require the company to keep up-to-date documentation.

Benefits Of An ISO 22301 Business Continuity Plan

Benefits Of An ISO 22301 Business Continuity Plan

The benefits of an ISO 22301 BCP are available to any company who chooses the compliance certification as a method of managing risk. These are as follows:

Proven Methods of Recovery

Thanks to the depiction, testing and documentation process that is required, all BCPs created in line with ISO 22301 offer proven methods of weather storms. This is due to the wide set of controls that we have outlined above, and the constant auditing process which ensures all risk strategies are tested.

Transparent Operations

The need to keep things transparent and visible to all members of staff benefits the wider company in many ways. From improving employee experience with nothing being hidden to helping departments align on projects, the benefits stretch far beyond the BCP itself.

Continual Updates

ISO requires internal audits and process assessments on a regular basis. This only improves the effectiveness of BCP plans, but also means new risks can be added into the same framework.Keeping up to date with risks is the best way to maintain operations when tough times strike.

Choose Creative Networks For ISO 22301 Support

Hopefully, after reading this blog, you now understand what needs to be included within an ISO 22301 BCP and how to produce one. The process can be simple as long as you have the right knowhow and export support.

Do you need support with creating a business continuity plan, and ISO 22301 is your chosen way to produce it? If so, you can stop hunting for an IT agency, as Creative Networks is the perfect team.

Alongside our expertise in disaster and continuity planning, we also support the wider IT infrastructure, which means we can cover all associated risks to a business. To learn more about our work and see if we are the best fit for your business, check out our leadership team and read more about who we are.

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