There are two kinds of business continuity certification. The first is certification of a person, attesting to the adequacy of his education and the appropriateness of his experience. The second is certification that a company's business continuity management system is compliant with industry standards.
When people think of business continuity, they most commonly think of disaster recovery — continuing business services and operation with minimal disruption following a disabling event, whether it be major or minor. There is that, but business continuity also includes all of the daily processes and activities that are in place not only to aid in disaster recovery, but to run the daily business with consistent service and to prevent as many disasters as possible. This includes instant recovery or alternate procedures, for example, if a power outage occurs. If a computer system fails, business continuity will be smooth if there are proper system backups; if there are not proper backups, then the business could basically come to a stop for a period of time. In addition to system backups, daily activities in this realm include help desks, change control processes, and project management.
Business continuity certification for a person benefits both the person and the business for which the person works. Certification indicates the person knows how to do jobs relating to normal business operations and jobs relating to recovery from an unexpected disaster. This is based on business continuity training and experience. It signifies a level of professionalism that can potentially result in better career opportunities with higher salaries and obvious benefit to the person being certified. Business continuity certification also aids human resource officers in assessing whether a person has the necessary qualifications and abilities to fill a specific job.
Having certified change control employees also reassures management that internal disasters will be routinely under control. At the same time, external disasters will be adequately confronted. Employers also know certified employees have taken an oath to follow a code of ethics set forth by the certifying organization.
When employees have earned business continuity certification, management understands that the ability of the company to pass certification of compliance with industry standards is enhanced. The standards include having a planned continuity system, being able to implement the plan and regularly auditing the plan and its implementation. The standards also give guidelines as to what should be included in the continuity system. They give possible tactics for implementing the plan. They also assist in ways to make business continuity management a vital part — not just an add-on — of the administration of a business.
Individual certification is of value, however, only when job performance backs up the certification. These certifications must be kept up to date, just as certification of company compliance with standards must occur regularly. When business continuity certification is in place and up to date, it is a win-win situation for both the employee and the business.