ISO 22301 Compliance Explained

By implementing ISO 22301, organizations can enhance their resilience, minimize downtime, and ensure continuity of critical operations during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or other emergencies.

What is ISO 22301?

ISO 22301 is an internationally recognized standard for business continuity management systems (BCMS). It provides a framework that enables organizations to identify potential threats, assess their impact and develop strategies to effectively respond to; also to recover from disruptive incidents. By implementing ISO 22301, organizations can enhance their resilience, minimize downtime and ensure continuity of critical operations during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or other emergencies.

Who is ISO 22301 certification suitable for?

The BCMS standard ISO 22301 applies worldwide to those who wish to verify that their business continuity plans are well managed. It provides companies of all sizes and industries with a framework for planning, implementing, and monitoring their business continuity within a business. The requirements are applicable and apply to private and public companies as well as non-profit organizations. It however, mostly benefits larger companies or those seeking tender opportunities with larger companies.

How do I build an ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System?

Leadership Commitment

Secure commitment from top management to prioritize business continuity and allocate necessary resources for the BCMS implementation.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

Conduct a comprehensive BIA to identify critical business functions, dependencies, and the potential impact of disruptions.

Risk Assessment

Perform a risk assessment to identify and evaluate threats and vulnerabilities that could affect business continuity.


Business Continuity Strategy

Develop business continuity strategies and plans to ensure the organization can continue critical activities during and after a disruptive incident.


Prepare necessary documentation, including business continuity policies, procedures, and plans.


Training and Awareness

Ensure all employees are aware of the business continuity plans and their roles during a crisis.

Testing and Exercises

Regularly conduct tests and exercises to validate the effectiveness of the business continuity plans and identify areas for improvement.

Review and Update

Continuously review and update the BCMS based on lessons learned from exercises, incidents, and changes in the organization’s operations.

How do I get certified for ISO 22301?


Ensure your BCMS is fully implemented and operational. Conduct an internal audit to identify any gaps or non-conformities.

Certification Body Selection

Choose an accredited certification body with expertise in business continuity management to perform the certification audit.



Submit an application to the selected certification body, providing the required documentation and information about your BCMS.

Stage 1 Audit

The certification body will conduct a Stage 1 audit to review your documentation and readiness for the certification audit.

Stage 2 Audit

The certification body will conduct a more comprehensive Stage 2 audit to assess the implementation and effectiveness of your BCMS.

Certification Decision

After successful completion of the Stage 2 audit, the certification body will review the findings and make a certification decision.

Certificate Issuance

If your organization meets all the requirements, the certification body will issue an ISO 22301 certificate, demonstrating your compliance with the standard.

What happens after ISO 22301 certification?

After achieving ISO 22301 certification, the following activities take place:

Surveillance Audits

The certification body will conduct regular surveillance audits to ensure ongoing compliance with ISO 22301.

Continuous Improvement

Use the findings from surveillance audits and reviews to drive continuous improvement in your business continuity plans and strategies.

Stakeholder Confidence

ISO 22301 certification enhances stakeholder confidence in your organization’s ability to effectively respond to disruptions.

Business Resilience

Having an ISO 22301-certified BCMS enhances your organization’s resilience and ability to withstand and recover from disruptive incidents.

Maintaining Certification

To maintain your certification, continue to adhere to the ISO 22301 requirements and address any identified non-conformities during surveillance audits.

What makes the ISO 22301 standard useful for my company?

The introduction of an ISMS according to ISO/IEC 27001 is a strategic decision for your company. The fulfilment of the standards deliberately and general requirements must reflect the specific situation of the company. Implementation in the company depends on the needs and goals, the security requirements and the organizational processes, as well as the size and structure of the company.

Particularly valuable for practice is the implementation of the measures in Annex A of the standard. In addition to the management system-oriented requirements section (chapters 4 to 10), the ISO standard contains an extensive list of 35 measure targets (controls) with 114 concrete measures for a wide variety of safety aspects across 14 chapters in Annex A. The measures must be implemented within the framework of the management system. These measures must be implemented as part of the management system, insofar as they are relevant to your company.

The consistent alignment of company processes with ISO 27001 has been proven to lead to a number of benefits:

Continuous improvement of the security level

Reduction of existing risks

Adherence to compliance requirements

Greater awareness among employees

Increased customer satisfaction

Internal audits and management reviews with the participation of top management are the internal levers for achieving this.

Other positive aspects are that interested parties such as supervisory authorities, insurance companies, banks, partner companies build up a higher level of trust in your company. This is because a certified management system signals that your organization deals with risks in a structured manner and subscribes to continuous improvement (CIP), making it more resistant to unwanted influences.

The international standard ISO/IEC 27001 can also be implemented, operated and certified independently of other management systems such as ISO 9001 (quality management) or ISO 14001 (environmental management).


Compliance may be complex, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. 

ISO 22301