What is PS-Prep™?
In 2007, Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish and implement the voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program. The result of this directive, PS-Prep™, is designed to improve the preparedness of private sector and not-profit organizations through conformance to consensus-based preparedness standards and best practices. PS-Prep™ enables organizations to identify and implement the necessary steps for instituting and maintaining a comprehensive management system that addresses business continuity, organizational resilience, emergency and disaster management. In addition, DHS will provide recognition for those entities that certify to the adopted preparedness standards.
PS-Prep™ is a voluntary program, primarily serving as a resource for private and non-profit entities interested in instituting a comprehensive business continuity management system. Incorporating three industry standards, PS-Prep™ offers organizations the opportunity to develop and maintain certification to nationally recognized and respected approaches to resilience and preparedness.
In August 2007, Congress passed Public Law 110-53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act. This law amends the Homeland Security Act (2002) by adding Section 524, which calls for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish and implement a voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program. The DHS Secretary designated the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to lead the development of the private sector preparedness program, in coordination with the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection, the DHS Private Sector Office and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.
In June 2008, DHS signed an agreement with the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to establish and oversee the development and implementation of the accreditation and certification requirements for PS-Prep™.
In October 2009, DHS published a notice in the Federal Register announcing its intent to adopt three preparedness standards. Following a series of public meetings and the incorporation of public comments, the three standards, listed below, were approved in June 2010 based on scalability, balance of interest and relevance to PS-Prep™.
- ASIS International (PDF 1.2 MB)
- British Standards Institution (BSI)
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
These standards provided a comprehensive management systems approach to organizational resilience, preparedness and business continuity widely applicable for private and non-profit organizations. (Please Note: When clicking these links, you will be exiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site.)
PS-Prep program standards provide a comprehensive management systems approach to organizational resilience, and include requirements that equip decision makers with key processes to improve their organization's ability to maintain operations during and after an emergency or disaster. These standards must provide realistic requirements that support the growing importance of business continuity, crisis management, emergency management, and related activities for private sector preparedness.
As requirements for private sector preparedness and organizational resilience have evolved, the standards bodies that developed the PS-Prep adopted standards periodically have revised existing standards, developed new standards, and retired obsolete standards. PS-Prep must ensure its program incorporates the latest requirements from these standards. In May 2014, PS-Prep announced changes to the list of adopted standards that serve as the foundation of the program. In accordance with Department of Homeland Security Directive 078-01, “Adoption and Maintenance of the Department of Homeland Security National Standards,” certain standards which are no longer current and have either been retired or have been updated and superceded by more current versions have been replaced. The updated/retired standards are:
- ASIS International SPC.1-2009, Organizational Resilience: Security, Preparedness and Continuity Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for Use Standards
- ISO 22301:2012: Societal security -- Business continuity management systems
- NFPA 1600: Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, 2013 edition
Since the standards that address the private sector’s preparedness and organizational resilience requirements are expected to advance and grow, PS-Prep anticipates future changes the program foundation standards will reflect these needs. (Please Note: When clicking these links, you will be exiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site.)
Enacted in October 2007, Public Law 110-53 Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act serves to:
- Amend the Homeland Security Act (2002), directing DHS to develop guidance and identify best practices to assist action by the private sector in identifying hazards, assessing risks and impacts and developing mutual aid agreements, taking into consideration small business concerns.
- Direct the DHS Secretary, acting through a designated officer, to establish and implement a voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program. Requires that officer to: (1) support the development and updating of voluntary preparedness standards and (2) develop and promote a program to certify the preparedness of private sector entities that voluntarily choose to implement the program.
- Direct the designated officer and any selected entity to: (1) regularly monitor and inspect the operations of any third party conducting certifications; (2) revoke accreditations and certifications under specified circumstances and (3) maintain and make public a listing of private sector entities that are certified as being in compliance.
For a complete copy of the legislation, visit: Congress.Gov/bill/110th-congress