Friday, 18 July 2014

The professional footpath for business continuity practitioners

As Business Continuity continues its growth as a profession, the idea of certification and the membership of professional bodies are more frequently discussed at all levels of the organization – from those starting out their career in the industry, right up to the Board Room.

As an individual you will be looking at the long term development of your career while those at Board level need to consider the long term growth of the organization. Of course the two of these are not mutually exclusive and many managers will tell you that the best way to grow an organization is to invest in its people.

The first step on the professional ladder is certification. Certification gives you an outward facing verification of your knowledge in that discipline. Attaining this level of qualification will set you apart from those who are not certified, who would only have knowledge of BC in their current environment.

Once you have become certified and embarked on your career in business continuity you need to think about what your next steps will be.

Like with any good BC Plan, you wouldn’t just write it and place it on a shelf to gather dust. It is a continual process of planning, learning, assessing and adapting to ensure that the plan is effective and can be relied upon. The professional development of anyone working in the BC industry is no different. You don’t take your newly earned certificate and hang it on a wall only to forget all that you have learned. You would, or at least you should, continue to develop yourself as a professional by testing your skills and adapting your skillset to suit the needs of the job.

Mentoring allows those who are new to the profession to be guided along the early stages of their career and offer great scope for improving their knowledge, understanding and the practical application of good practice.

For those at any stage of their career, Continuous Professional Development provides an opportunity to reflect on their academic and professional experiences to see how they can apply what they have learned to their own work. Where certification tests your base knowledge of a set subject matter, CPD requires a detailed demonstration of this knowledge and evidence of its implementation.

Increasingly employers are asking for evidence of professional development when employing people to work on their BC programme, so to find out how you can take advantage of the opportunities available, develop your skills and progress your career, visit the BCI website. With Education Month coming up in September, it is the perfect opportunity to do so.

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