Lisa DuBrock, a contributing writer for ContinuityCompliance.org , presents her take on the recent announcement regarding ANSI’s approval of the ASIS/BSI BCM.01-2010 Business Continuity Management System Standard as an American National Standard.   

“On October 28, 2010, the ANSI Board of Standards Review approved ASIS/BSI BCM.01-2010 Business Continuity Management System – Requirements with Guidance for Use as an American National Standard.  Notice of the approval can be found in the November 5th issue of ANSI’s ’Standards Action’ a weekly ANSI publication providing news on the latest actions on all standards and developing standards.  Click here to read the Nov 5th ANSI Standards Action publication and the notice of the new standard on page 15 of that publication.

This is personally very exciting for me as I was a member of both the Working Group and the Technical Committee to develop the standard and the first time I have ever been involved in the development process of a national standard.  In fact, two members of the Continuity Compliance team sat on both committees, as I  was joined by Don Byrne, a frequent reporter for this site.  

Many thanks need to go out to the in-house team at ASIS as well as BSI in taking on the job of what must have seemed at times like such an impossible task – think herding cats.  I never knew just how much work went into achieving consensus among so many highly trained professionals all wanting to write the best standard possible, but yet still having different opinions on what their view was of what that standard should look like.  For this particular standard, and thanks to the collaboration between ASIS and BSI, we had an excellent foundation in that we were able to use BSI’s BS- 25999:2007 as a starting point in our process.

For those of our readers unfamiliar with the standards writing process, it is all about consensus building.  Once ANSI grants a standards development organization (SDO) the ability to move forward and create a standard, a committee to develop that standard is created.  In the case of this particular standard, this committee was made up of business continuity and standard’s experts from around the world.  This committee then spawned a sub-group or working group to actually write the standard.   Every step of the way required the standard to be reviewed and approved, before moving to the next step. 

After final approval was obtained, the standard then needed to go to ANSI to approve the standard for publication.  All in all this process took over 1 ½ years to complete.

As I reflect back on the process,  we journeyed a long way to get the standard to its present state, and now we  look forward to what will become of the standard and the many unanswered questions that still remain.

Some of those questions are as follows:  Who will use the standard?  Will it become part of the PS Prep program?  When?  Will it replace one of the existing standards?  Will the accreditation rule be similar to the other standards in the Ps Prep program?  What if a company got certified under the BS 25999 standard — can that company be “grandfathered” into this new standard? 

While I can go on and on with the questions, I would encourage our readers to please share their comments on this topic with us and help the process of making this new standard be the best it can be moving forward. 

In the meantime, check the ASIS or BSI websites to purchase your very own copy of the standard…starting later this month. “

If you found this information valuable, please pass it along to those business continuity, risk awareness or disaster preparedness team members in your organization.

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