Launch of BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management

bs11200In May this year, the Cabinet Office and BSI published BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management – Guidance and Good Practice.  Its official launch will be on 18th September in London.

Many would say the new Standard is long overdue; others that crisis management is already covered by ISO 22301, the International Standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.  However, whatever your view, no one can demur from the fact that BS 11200 covers the subject in far more depth and detail than any other Standard hitherto.

The Standard covers the core areas of:

•    Crisis management: core concepts and principles

•    Developing and building a capability

•    Crisis leadership and decision making

•    Crisis communications

•    Training, exercising and learning from crises

The Standard is an excellent summation of the core areas of crisis management and has been created as a Guidance document rather than in the style of a more detailed Specification, such as ISO 22301.  This was a good decision.  It allows the document to set out in themes the key areas that organisations should consider when developing their crisis management capability, rather than specifying exactly what “must” or “should” be done as the basis for audit.

BS 11200 will give executives and managers a succinct overview of what scope of capabilities is desirable to be a crisis-ready organisation whether they are new to the area, or looking for assurance that they have covered the main bases.

Quite rightly, it is made very clear throughout the Standard that crisis management is a strategic issue that must be owned and driven from the top.  However, it is also accepted that in most companies, day-to-day maintenance of the building blocks will occur at the management level rather than the executive level, and therefore, the Standard has been written to speak to both audiences.

For Senior Executives, there are interesting sections on the crucial skills of crisis leadership, strategic decision making in crisis and crisis communications.  It is good to see both crisis management and crisis communications addressed in the same document, albeit that the communications section is necessarily brief.  This does pose the question whether the same approach should be taken in codifying best practice for Crisis Communications, in another Standard possibly?  Maybe one for the CIPR to consider?

Overall BS 11200 is highly recommended and will be formally launched at the Crisis Management Conference 2014 on 18th September in London by the UK Cabinet Office, who will deliver the keynote address offering practical advice on the implementation of the Standard and demonstrate how key such Standardised baselines are in the on-going development of this critical capability in the armoury of our businesses today.

This will be followed by speakers from UBS, BBC, the John Lewis Partnership, Network Rail, the University of Liverpool and O2 who will discuss how their organisations are protecting their people, performance and reputation by implementing a coherent crisis management capability. The agenda will offer insight into:

  • Managing Crises in real life; what works and what doesn’t
  • The challenges of implementing internal Crisis Preparedness within an organisation
  • Creating a coherent Crisis Management Capability
  • The relationship between Crisis Management and Crisis Communications in Crisis response
  • Managing the speed and flow of information in a 24/7 environment
  • Learning from Crisis

For more information and to register for CMC 2015 please click here. 

Bs 11200 is available to purchase from the BSI.

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