by Donald Byrne, CBCP, CDCP, CBRO-M, Lead Auditor, Adjunct Professor, Boston University

The announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of their final selection of the PS Prep standards will accelerate other crucial aspects of this program. For example, expect to see the accreditation rules which govern the way in which ANAB will deal with Certification Bodies following in short order. The guidelines for auditor training and credentialing will also be released. 

The marketplace will likely begin to take the PS-Prep program more seriously and those responsible for compliance, security, and business continuity are likely to see an increase in questions about this subject. It will be interesting to see how much energy the government puts into training and promotion of this initiative since the vast majority of U.S. businesses are unaware of this program. 

Still not definitively dealt with in this announcement is the plan for Small Businesses. Discussions on this topic are taking place but the issue remains unresolved. 

The ContinuityCompliance team is closely tracking the PS Prep program and is committed to providing you with the best available information as quickly as possible. 

Please read the information below and follow the links back to the appropriate FEMA websites for additional information……..

 Press Office U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Press Release 

June 15, 2010 

Contact: DHS Press Office, 

(202) 282-8010 

 

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO ANNOUNCES NEW STANDARDS FOR

PRIVATE SECTOR PREPAREDNESS

WASHINGTON—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the adoption of the final standards for the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep)—a major milestone in DHS’ implementation of a program recommended by the 9/11 Commission to improve private sector preparedness for disasters and emergencies.  

“Private organizations across the country—from businesses to universities to non-profit organizations—have a vital role to play in bolstering our disaster preparedness and response capabilities,” said Secretary Napolitano. “These new standards will provide our private sector partners with the tools they need to enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation.” 

PS-Prep is a partnership between DHS and the private sector that enables private entities to receive emergency preparedness certification from a DHS accreditation system created in coordination with the private sector. 

The standards—developed by the National Fire Protection Association, the British Standards Institution and ASIS International—were published for public comment in the Federal Register in Oct. 2009.  The adoption of the final standards was published in a Federal Register notice today following a series of regional public meetings and the incorporation of public comments. 

DHS will continue to accept comments on PS-Prep, the three adopted standards, and/or proposals to adopt any other similar standard that satisfies the target criteria of the December 2008 Federal Register notice which announced the program. 

Comments may be submitted to

http://www.regulations.gov or

FEMA-POLICY@dhs.gov, in Docket ID FEMA-2008-0017). 

For more information, visit  

http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness/.

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