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Case For Standards

by msecadm4921

Standards offer value. However, in an economic downturn, do the benefits that standards bring still apply? The answer is an emphatic yes, says BSI (British Standards).

In difficult economic times, standards can provide extra cost saving, new customers, product innovation, market differentiation and lower risks, says BSI. It writes:

Scottish Borders Council takes its responsibilities seriously. In the last two years it has identified threats, critical services and the associated timelines, then developed plans around incidents. The council is responsible for a large geographical area, as much as 20 per cent of the whole of Scotland, despite only having around 120,000 customers.

The region has encountered fire, floods, even planes falling out of the sky, which had all helped to create an extensive knowledge base in terms of business continuity management, albeit on an informal basis.

Now the council is intent on putting things on a more structured footing. Scottish Borders Council has plans in place for 300 locations, including schools and libraries, and has already completed stage one of BS 25999 certification.

“We’re now much more systematic,” says Hugh Kinsella, senior risk management adviser for Scottish Borders Council. He uses an incident at a school in Coldstream by way of example. “A gas incident meant that we had to evacuate the children and staff. An automatic text system notified parents, and we had plans to accommodate children whose parents would not be able to
come. The problem was repaired on day one, and on day two the school was back up and running. In all likelihood, before we had our plans, the staff and children would have been sent home, and on day two we would have had a management meeting, saying ‘What are we going to do?’”

Throughout the public sector, there are examples of organisations benefiting from the structured business continuity planning BS 25999 brings, and increasingly it is becoming a matter of not “why?” but how?”. For those looking to convince any last doubters, it might be worth considering a slightly more hard-edged approach.

For more, a free download on how standards can help tackle the recession, visit the BSI website –

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