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Monday 18th March saw the official launch of the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) 2013, the independent body of knowledge for good Business Continuity (BC) practice worldwide.
The launch of GPG 2013 signifies a memorable event for BC professionals all around the world and marks a key milestone for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). Its release has met with great enthusiasm and has been applauded around the globe as a key tool in achieving organizational resilience.
GPG 2013 is central to the work of the BCI as it underpins BCI Certification and the BCI Statutory membership application process as well as the validation of BCI Training.
Furthermore, it provides the BCI with a solid industry benchmark against which the technical and professional competence of its members can be effectively measured and examined. So it is key to the Institute and plays an important role in the daily lives of BC professionals.
The Good Practice Guidelines 2013 are not a standard or a mandate; nor are they designed to serve the same purpose as a standard. They don’t just prescribe what you have to do, but offer more scope and insight by explaining the how, why and when of good BC practice.
Building on the technical, practical as well as academic experiences of BC professionals from across the BCI’s global Statutory membership, they really do reflect current thinking on BC. What makes them even more significant and formidable is the fact that they can be applied to every type and size of organization working in any sector in any part of the world. So whether you are working in the Middle East, the UK or are up a mountain in the beautiful Swiss Alps, the GPG 2013 is relevant to you.
One of the principal strengths of the Good Practice Guidelines 2013 is that they have not been written in isolation. They have been carefully aligned to various standards and recognised industry practices across a wide range of BC related disciplines, including Risk and Crisis Management, to ensure that they are as comprehensive and current as possible. They are not the only resource that can be used to develop a Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme, but they certainly represent one of the key reference sources and remain a top resource for BC professionals when setting up a BCM programme.
The Good Practice Guidelines 2013 have been subject to a stringent quality assurance process to ensure they continue to drive the highest standards in BC. In fact, they have been through multiple audits and reviews by a wealth of BC experts to ensure they are relevant, coherent and above all easy-to-read and easy-to-follow as all good guidelines should be.
So what has changed? What makes this GPG different to the others?
Well the key word here is simplification. The core principles remain the same, but the tone, quality and consistency of the GPG have been improved and the language has been notably simplified making it far more inclusive.
The GPG has retained its six Professional Practices (PP1 right through to PP6); the only difference is that they have “simply” been renamed and are now referred to as: Policy and Programme Management; Analysis; Design; Implementation; Validation and Embedding Business Continuity. Together these six Professional Practices make up the BCM Lifecycle, which is central to good BC practice and ensures the success of any BCM Programme and its continued value to the organization.
The GPG 2013 now uses terminology from the international standard for business continuity, ISO 22301:2012, thus improving its international appeal and relevance.
Logic, simplicity and a clear structure now characterise the very essence of the GPG, running through its pages from start to finish. In particular, the BCM Lifecycle has been subject to an especially positive and eye-catching make-over, which now better reflects the purpose of the Lifecycle, which is to embed BC in an organization by working through the other 5 Professional Practices that make up the Lifecycle, each one taking you closer and closer to your target. For those of you familiar with the previous Lifecycle, the BCI has simply turned in inside out!
The GPG 2013 also makes a key differentiation between Business Continuity as a discipline that leads to organizational resilience and Business Continuity Management as a process, which is the sum of the activities that make up good BC practice, which is in itself quite revolutionary and will play a key role in taking this discipline forward and ensuring its cross-disciplinary adoption by Crisis, Risk Managers and the like and not just by BC practitioners.
To mark the occasion of the official launch, Lyndon Bird FBCI and Deborah Higgins MBCI, the editor-in-chief and assistant editor respectively, delivered an insightful webinar that highlighted the key changes to the GPG 2013 and talked attendees through the BCM Lifecycle. If you missed the presentation, fear not, you can catch up here
During the presentation they ran a couple of polls and the results were interesting with 50% of the attendees confirming that the GPG is one of the sources they use when putting together a BCM Programme and 74% confirming that the GPG adds value to their work. Pretty healthy statistics!
At the moment, the Good Practice Guidelines are only available in English (UK), but there are plans for other editions in line with the requirements of the global membership of the BCI.
By the end of June, copies will be available in English (USA), French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. Additionally, BCI members are working on the further languages of German, Italian, Portuguese and Korean which will be made available as soon as they are ready.
BCI Members are entitled to a free download via the BCI Members’ Area; non BCI Members can buy a pdf version here A hard copy of the GPG 2013 will be available to buy in May and BCI Member rates will apply.
If you are not yet a member of the BCI, why not think about joining? Find out more here
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