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The Business Continuity Institute has introduced the stand alone credential as an alternative to full membership for anyone who wants to prove they have a good working knowledge and understanding of the basics of business continuity management.
The credential is mainly aimed at new entrants to the business continuity arena who have a knowledge and understanding of the topic, but lack the experience required for full BCI membership.
Lorraine Darke, membership services director at the BCI, said, "The credential will be useful to UK and global business because it will provide a wider base of accredited business continuity professionals to draw upon."
She said any organisation employing a business continuity practitioner should make sure the candidate was someone who knew what they were doing, and the achievement of a recognised certification was a good way of ensuring that.
The BCI Certificate, which was introduced in October 2007 for all grades of professional membership to replace a scored assessment process, is based on a set of internationally accepted standards known as the Certification Standards for Business Continuity professionals.
It also covers all the stages of the business continuity management (BCM) lifecycle, which is present in the British standard for business continuity, BS 25999.
The official launch of the credential is scheduled to take place in London on 1 April, and Darke will use this week's Business Continuity Expo to detail the organisation's accreditation process, focusing on the new credential as a first step in a career in BCM.
She will also demonstrate how the BCI is developing training and learning support and how that fits in with BS 25999. Darke said, "The standard is being recognised internationally and we feel our certification will go hand in hand with that."
While organisations will be tested using BS 25999, BCI will at the same time be providing training and certification for individuals to fill business continuity roles and meet the growing demand within companies, she said.
"In countries like the UK where BCM is mature, training provision has been excellent, but there is a lot of the globe where BCM is just developing as a concept and a discipline.The BCI aims to help mature BCM around the world by providing e-learning and training packages through licensed providers," said Darke.