Steelhenge certified to ISO 22301 – in a run of successes, sun and hot rails


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In a remarkable run of British sporting successes from Andy Murray, the Lions, a Brit sporting the yellow jersey in the Tour and England winning the first test match in the Ashes series, we are delighted to announce that Steelhenge has been certified to ISO 22301, the International Standard for Business Continuity Management Systems – Requirements.

Our business continuity management system (BCMS) was recommended for certification after external audit in March and this was verified by LRQA, our certification body, in May.

Steelhenge is the first UK business continuity and crisis management consultancy to have been certified by LRQA to ISO 22301, having also been certified previously to the old standard, BS 25999-2. This means we are experienced not only in establishing a full Business Continuity Management System in line with ISO 22301 but also in understanding and effecting what is required to transition from BS 25999-2 (the British Standard in Business Continuity Management) to the International Standard that superseded it.

We are delighted to have achieved certification, particularly without any non-conformities. As business continuity consultants, we would expect to be on target and achieve a high standard but it is invaluable to have external validation of our approach to implementing the new Standard as there are some significant changes (more of which can be found at http://www.steelhenge.co.uk/thought-leadership).

This is also the first ISO to be published according to the new Managements Systems structure codified in Annex SL and we talk more of the issues around transition to the ISO in Top Tips for ISO 22301 transitioners.

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Proving one’s own continuity as a supplier is as important for a business continuity consultancy as it is for any other organisation and we believe very strongly in the value of business continuity planning both in supporting our own business and being a reliable partner and supplier for others.

It was therefore with a wry smile that I stood on the platform of our local station last Monday evening waiting for a delayed train to London Waterloo because of the heat and thought of the 2013 CMI Business Continuity Report entitled, ‘Weathering the Storm’.  This year’s league table on the causes of business disruption was headed by extreme weather but so gloomy has been our weather in the UK, this referred to floods and snow.

Not since 2003 have we experienced regular delays from speed restrictions on our rail networks imposed because of rails buckling in the heat.  Although the butt of mockery on Twitter from exasperated and over-heated commuters, I did ponder whether rails could be prevented from buckling by investment in improved materials or better maintenance.  Is this an example where the cost of a risk treatment option for a prioritised service can’t be justified because of the infrequency with which we get temperatures high enough to buckle the tracks even though, reputationally, the media and public have a field day when a problem does arise?

When the train turned up and we eventually managed to sit down, having been squashed like sardines until Basingstoke, I did a quick bit of research into rail engineering.  I  found some interesting literature but investment decisions on the rail network are very complex and so far out of our control, I concluded that whilst it is an interesting example of the sort of cost-benefit analysis companies may have to grapple with for their own prioritised services or activities, the main thing we can do as a business in the face of such disruption is to ensure we maintain our own continuity plans so that whatever is thrown at us, we will be able to continue to operate and deliver our services to our clients.  We are delighted to have invested in transitioning to ISO 22301 and with our certification.

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