The Department of the Homeland Security yesterday adopted ASIS International's Organizational Resilience Standard as part of a program designed to voluntarily bolster the resilience of private organizations during man-made and natural disasters and emergencies.
The Department of the Homeland Security (DHS) yesterday adopted ASIS International's Organizational Resilience Standard as part of a program designed to voluntarily bolster the resilience of private organizations during man-made and natural disasters and emergencies.
As part of DHS's Private Sector Preparedness (PS-Prep) program , the ASIS resilience standard helps private organizations tailor a cost-effective, holistic resilience plan to ready themselves for a disruptive event.
"In light of the recent events in the Gulf, the importance of resilience cannot be understated," ASIS International President Joseph R. Granger, CPP, said. "Preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a disruption is not enough. Organizations need to be able to assess the potential for a disruption and minimize the likelihood."
The 66-page standard impresses upon an organization's management the need for preparedness.
"Regardless of the organization, its leadership has a duty to stakeholders to plan for its survival," the standard states. "The body of this document provides generic auditable criteria to establish, check, maintain, and improve a management system to enhance prevention, preparedness (readiness), mitigation, response, continuity, and recovery from disruptive incidents."
Aside from the ASIS International standard, DHS also chose standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the British Standards Institution (BSI). In October, the agency said it chose the three standards out of the 25 submitted in 2008 because each of each standard's "scalability, balance of interest, and relevance to PS-Prep."
The ASIS standard, however, differs from the two other important standards in one way.
"It is the only American National Standard in the PS-Prep program that is 100 percent compatible with existing ISO management system standards, enabling a cost-saving integrated application with other internationally recognized ISO management system standards," an ASIS International press release stated .
DHS's adoption of the PS-Prep standards fulfills a 9-11 Commission recommendation that required the department to establish a common set of criteria for private-sector preparedness in disaster management, emergency management, and business continuity.
"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," Napolitano said in a statement . "These new standards will provide our private sector partners with the tools they need to enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation."
DHS will continue to accept comments on the PS-Prep program as well as proposals to adopt another similar standard to promote private sector resilience during a disaster.
NOTE: If your organization is interested in building a resiliency program or complying with the PS-Prep criteria, ASIS is offering a two-and-a-half-day class on Organizational Resilience: Implementing and Auditing the ANSI/ASIS American National Standard . Attendees will learn to implement the ANSI/ASIS standard, identify necessary steps to establish and maintain an organizational resilience management system, understand the conduct of risk assessments and impact analysis to support decision making for resilience, and establish an effective internal auditing program to evaluate and improve performance.
♦ Screenshot of ASIS Organizational Resilience Standard