The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed the use of three existing emergency management and business continuity standards under the agency’s Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep), DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today.
The three standards are the ANSI/ASIS Organizational Resilience American National Standard, the National Fire Protection Association Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, and the British Standards Institute’s business continuity standard. The three were selected from 25 standards submitted to DHS for consideration.
“Preparedness is a shared responsibility and everyone—including businesses, universities and non-profit organizations—has a role to play,” Napolitano said. “Ensuring our private sector partners have the information and training they need to respond to disasters will strengthen our efforts to build a culture of preparedness nationwide.”
ASIS International President Michael R. Cummings, CPP, agreed. “The importance of resilience management cannot be overstated,” he said. “Organizations need to be able to adapt to an ever-changing environment. The ANSI/ASIS Organizational Resilience Standard provides organizations with a flexible tool they can use to tailor their preparedness needs to meet their business needs.”
PS-Prep, mandated by Congress in 2007 under the 9-11 Commission Act, directed DHS to designate one or more standards for assessing private sector preparedness.
The standards have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment. DHS is requesting comments by Nov. 15, but is keeping the docket open to for comments after that date. DHS plans to craft elements of the standards to suit specific stakeholders, such as small businesses.
To read or comment on the standards, individuals can visit www.regulations.gov and search docket ID: FEMA-2008-0017.
Once the PS-Prep standards are finalized, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board “will develop and oversee the certification process, manage the accreditation and accredit qualified third parties to carry out the certification in accordance with the accepted procedures of the program,” according to the DHS Web site.