Monday, July 12, 2010

ERM-BC-COOP: Airbus facility certified


I read this morning (July 12, 2010) that "Airbus has become the first aerospace manufacturing company with certification to BS 25999, the Business Continuity Management System standard. BSI Group, the London-based standards developer, performed the audit. The Airbus unit achieving certification is a wing manufacturing site in Broughton, England."

A couple of thoughts.

While I am glad to see at least one unit of Airbus Industries (the wing manufacturing site in Broughton, England) achieving certification, and while wings are important, what about the rest of the aircraft. Minor things such as the fuselage, the tail assembly, the engines, the electronics and electrical system. Sometimes bragging about something opens a Pandora's box of questions. In any even, the certification is for the facility, not necessarily the parts made there.

The other thing - and actually the thing that first caught my attention - was the brash statement that "BS 25999 (is) the Business Continuity Management System standard."

I think that needs a qualifier - it may be the British Business Continuity Management System standard, but the Business Continuity Management System standard may be a bit of wishful BS thinking.

I know the British Standards Institute (BSI) is pushing very hard to make BS 25999 an international standard, but even when it gains an ISO ID, as it surely will, there still will be a question will be about the "international" part of the name.

The US has NFPA 1600 which, in my opinion, is more of a true, all-inclusive risk management document than what I have seen of BS 25999-1 and -2. The Canadians adapted 1600 to their unique requirements (what are county-unique requirements, anyway - risks are risks and avoidance and mitigation measures are just that, regardless of country; likewise response efforts are based on the function to be restored, not the country in which the function is located). ANZ has its own standard as does Japan - neither of which is BS25999-1/-2.

I have nothing against a common standard and maybe, deep down, I'm a little chauvinistic, but even though I am a member of the BCI - often misconstrued as the "British" (vs. "Business") Continuity Institute, I have a problem with BS 25999.

When I reviewed BS 25999 I found it sorely lacking; the word "mitigation" failed to appear even one time in the draft documents. The set seemed to me more than a little "padded" to reach a desired page count and the language, typical for Europe and the island, was passive - in contrast to the typically active voice in the US and Canada; I can't speak for ANZ and Japan.

For all that, it's good to know that the British-made wing assemblies for Airbus aircraft are from a BS-certified facility.

John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk management practitioner
Hollywood - Fort Lauderdale Florida

No comments: