Do I need to buy BS25999?

This article considers whether those just starting on their business continuity management journey need to buy BS25999 or whether cheaper options will suffice.

While there are numerous reasons for robust business continuity planning (other than ensuring your company can survive disruptions to business-as-usual) one reason cited by many SMEs is the need to demonstrate to clients, and sometimes suppliers, the robustness of their offering.

So, how will you demonstrate the robustness of your business continuity programme?

The first stop is usually to consider it against BS25999, the British Standard for Business Continuity (and the basis for the apparently-imminent ISO22301).

Organisations might get their business – or part of their business – certified against the standard.  However, it’s still usually perfectly acceptable to demonstrate to interested parties that you are “compliant with” or “aligned to” the British Standard.

However, we’re aware that those of you just starting on your business continuity journey, especially in very small companies, may wonder whether you really need to purchase the British Standard.



There isn’t, of course, a definitive answer.  We think that BS25999 is a very sensible purchase to make as early as possible.  There are very, very good books you can buy.  There are websites that claim to give you all the information you need.  There are courses you can take (both face-to-face and online).  But, let’s be honest, even though our own straightforward guide to business continuity is free, you’re not going to able to be sure you can be certified against, or comply with, or be aligned to BS25999 if you haven’t read the Standard yourself.

So, ideally, we really do think it’s worth paying for both parts of the Standard which together cost around £210.

But if you really can’t afford them, are there other authoritative publications?

Yes.  You can check out our business continuity books section, looking primarily at those that are endorsed by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). But you may prefer to get the “pocket-sized” BCI Good Practice Guidelines for free or, more usefully, download the complete, 120-page BCI Good Practice Guidelines for around £20.

None of the above options are as useful as BS25999 if you’re aiming to be compliant with the Standard. But if you can’t afford the Standard documents just yet, the BCI Good Practice Guidelines are a brilliant place to start.

(Note: prices are given in Pounds Sterling as they are UK companies.)



Did you have to consider whether it was worth buying BS25999?  What factors have you considered and what helped you make your decision? Join the discussion by commenting below.

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