You can stop holding your breath. Societal security as in the standard ISO 22301:2012 is remarkably similar to business continuity management. Before this standard, there was another one called BS 25999-2 that was clearly positioned as the reference for BC management. The ISO standard replaces BS 25999-2. The ISO 22301: 2012 standard however makes provision for an organisation to be certified by an accredited body. That means the organisation can show proof of compliance to its different stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, investors and senior management.

So why the ‘rebranding’, as marketing people would say? Societal security was proposed as an idea by the Copenhagen School of security studies. The aim was to give a concise name to the ‘ability of a society to persist in its essential character under changing conditions and possible or actual threats’. This notion of resilience extends beyond previous notions of business continuity, which were often restricted to enterprises or public sector organisations. In using the ‘societal security’ name, ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation) broadens the application of business continuity principles to a much wider spectrum.

Training in the ISO 22301: 2012 standard is therefore of value to both existing and new business continuity practitioners. Those who already know and practice BC (and who may know the BS 25999-2 standard well) will see how an organisation can prepare itself for certification to the newer ISO standard. Others who are just beginning their careers in business continuity will get the advantage of professionally created training based on the latest standard in this domain, as well as information about moving to certification. Whichever sector you currently work in and whatever your experience, contact DRI-ANZ for information about scheduled training courses covering ISO 22301: 2012 and the availability of places.