Independent and objective evaluation through third-party certification offers validation of that fact. Certification endorses an association with a reputable brand, facilitates organizational recognition by stakeholder, and makes regular audits of preparedness a priority. This process develops disaster awareness within and outside an organization, thereby fostering a heightened sense of security and distinguishing one from competitors. Here are some considerations before pursuing certification:
- Initial Review
- Define the scope of voluntary certification.
- Determine which preparedness standard is most appropriate for your organization.
- Forecast the allocation of internal resources required.
- Seek executive sponsorship.
- Organize an internal working team of experts.
- Internal Analysis
- Cross-reference your chosen preparedness standard with internal programs, policies, best practices and existing regulations that will be relevant to certification. Gather supporting documentation.
- Complete a self-assessment with your internal working team of experts.
- Brief the executive sponsor on the results of the self-assessment.
- Develop a project plan and timeline to close any gaps discovered through self-assessment, bringing your entity closer to compliance with the chosen standard.
- Research, interview and select accredited third-party certifiers.
- Review your scope, selection of preparedness standard and process of self-assessment with the certifier.
Once your organization is certified, there will be a periodic reassessment to maintain emergency preparedness and continuity systems. ANAB manages PS-Prep™ certification and administers the process through independent auditors.
ANAB maintains a list of organizations accredited to offer certification for PS-Prep™ standards.
These certification bodies have indicated their intent to become accredited by ANAB to offer certification for PS-Prep™ standards (accessed September 27th 2011):
- Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc.
- National Quality Assurance, USA
- Orion Registrar, Inc. (in application)
- SRI Quality System Registrar
- British Standards Institution