Crisis Management Standard Launched for UK Businesses

The recent urban riots showed employers need assistance in preparing for unexpected emergencies, so the Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution developed one after consulting with businesses.

The Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution have published a new crisis management standard to help businesses cope with unexpected emergencies, such as civil unrest, employee deaths, corporate espionage, and natural disaster. The standard, known technically as PAS 200, explains the capabilities needed to detect, prepare, and respond to a crisis, and it was developed in response to the recent urban riots that shocked Britons and resulted in extensive damage and hundreds of arrests.

The Cabinet Office sponsored the standard's development. It was developed in consultation with leading UK businesses and public organizations, including the Bank of England, Blake Emergency, the UK Emergency Planning Group, and Thomas Cook. BSI said the standard also can help organizations prepare for potential challenges during the 2012 London Olympics next summer.

"The key to surviving and thriving in a crisis is to develop plans, protocols, and procedures in preparation for the unexpected," said Anne Hayes, head of Market Development at BSI. "PAS 200 is evidence of BSI's ongoing commitment to providing businesses with good practice guidance on how to preempt the various risks their business may face and processes to effectively manage the crisis, should the need arise. This new standard addresses a specific requirement for crisis management whilst complementing other standards, such as BS 25999, Business Continuity Management, and ISO 27001, Information Security Management."

"Crises are, by their very nature, unexpected and extremely challenging," said Dr. Robert MacFarlane, assistant director of Research and Doctrine at the Cabinet Office. "Therefore, the Cabinet Office today strongly encourages every organization to think about implementing some simple, practical steps to improve their resilience. We welcome the launch of PAS 200, which provides an ideal framework to mitigate risks and manage crises and so avoid potentially very damaging consequences that could harm the reputation, if not the very existence, of organizations."

For more information about PAS 200:2011, Crisis management – Guidance and good practice, or to purchase a copy of the standard, visit http://shop.bsigroup.com/crisismanagement.

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