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Qualifications in Business Continuity

It is a common belief that the business continuity market has historically had a shortage of industry recognised qualifications. However, as the subject matures and more people look to pursue a career in business continuity, training and education options are growing.

Like any other specialist business process there is a need for employers to distinguish between different levels of experience and different types of specialist skill and experience. Consequently, for those who are following a career path in business continuity, having a recognised professional qualification can help prove your professional knowledge.

It is not uncommon to hear that people have fallen in to a business continuity role without training or relevant qualifications but this is becoming a thing of the past. These days the up and coming business continuity professionals are often starting their career with a business continuity related degree. Whether you are looking for a career change, a recent graduate or an experienced business continuity professional, recognised business continuity qualifications and training can help move your career forward.


Business Continuity Institute

The BCI was Founded in 1994 and there mission is to promote Business Continuity Management worldwide.

The BCI promotes high standards of professional competence for Business Continuity Management (BCM). It provides an internationally recognised Certification scheme for BCM managers and practitioners and all BCI professional members have undergone a process to ensure that they are highly competent in their areas of expertise.

4000 members, working in 85+ countries. Business sectors include Finance, Government, Health, Retail Technology, Consultancy, and Communications, the armed Forces and Emergency Services and Manufacturing.

CBCI credential
Following the introduction of the BCI Certificate in 2007, a non-membership credential was launched in April 2008 – CBCI. Holders of the CBCI have achieved success in the BCI Certificate demonstrating a thorough knowledge and understanding of the BCI’s Good Practice Guidelines. Holders of the CBCI may proceed to professional membership of the BCI if they can also prove practical experience of BCM to supplement their knowledge and understanding.

All members of the BCI and holders of our credential are required to operate to the Institute’s Code of Practice and Ethics.

Membership Application process
Application into the non-professional Affiliate or Student Grade is by completing a general application form only.

Affiliate membership is often taken by those very new to the profession who do not yet have the experience to apply for professional membership.

Applicants should have an interest in business continuity management and support the aims of the BCI.

Student: Applicants for Student membership are accepted from those who are undertaking a course of study, either full or part time, on a programme of any related subject which leads to a qualification.

AMBCI* – Associate Members of the BCI are required to hold the BCI Certificate (CBCI) and demonstrate one years experience working within business continuity management – full details on how to register for the BCI Certificate and progress your application can be found at

SBCI – Specialist members of the BCI are required to hold the BCI Certificate (CBCI) at “Pass” or “Pass with Merit” and demonstrate two years full time experience either as a specialist business continuity practitioner or in a related discipline. They must also be able to prove professional membership of or certification by, a relevant professional body in an associated discipline – full details on how to register for the BCI Certificate and progress your application can be found at

MBCI – In addition to holding the BCI Certificate (CBCI) at the “Pass with Merit” level, applicants for the senior grade of Member (MBCI) need to demonstrate practical application of their knowledge by submitting a further professional application form which will be scored assessed by a panel of their peers appointed by the BCI’s Membership Council.

Entry criteria for MBCI are:

  • Hold the CBCI at “Pass with Merit”
  • Three years full time experience as business continuity practitioner
  • Completion and submission of evidence which supports and demonstrates this experience (this evidence will be scored assessed) - full details on how to register for the BCI Certificate and progress your application can be found at

FBCI - The minimum requirement for consideration of FBCI status will be:

  • Nominations for Fellow grade must have been a senior professional Member of the BCI (MBCI or SBCI) for a minimum of two years
  • They must also have been working full time in the BCM industry for a minimum of 6 years

Direct entry into Fellowship of the Business Continuity Institute is not possible. Existing MBCIs or SBCIs who wish to be considered for Fellowship should contact

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DRII - The Institute for Continuity Management

Certification Overview

DRI International provides five levels of professional certifications. DRII certification is well recognised world-wide.

DRII certifications are; ABCP, CBCV, CFCP, CBCP and MBCP. They also offer a retired category for the CFCP, CBCP and MBCP levels.

Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP)
The Associate Business Continuity Professional certification supports entry level proficiency in our Professional Practices with less than 2 years experience in the field.  This is the entry level certification. To progress to a higher offering, you must complete an Application for certification.  An additional exam is not needed.
Learn More about ABCP

Certified Business Continuity Vendor (CBCV)
The Certified Business Continuity Vendor is our “newest” offering. This level must demonstrated knowledge in our Professional Practices and have greater than 2 years experience as a vendor in the field.
Learn More about CBCV

Certified Functional Continuity Professional (CFCP)
The Certified Functional Continuity Professional is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and working experience of greater than 2 years. They must be able to demonstrate practical experience in 3 of the subject matter area’s of the Professional Practices.
Learn More about CFCP

Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)
The Certified Business Continuity Professional is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and working experience of greater than 2 years.  They must be able to demonstrate practical experience in 5 of the subject matter area’s of the Professional Practices
Learn More about CBCP

Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP)
The Master Business Continuity Professional is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and working experience of greater than 5 years. They must be able to demonstrate practical experience in 7 of the subject matter area’s of the Professional Practices.
Learn More about MBCP

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BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

ISEB Practitioner Certificate in Business Continuity Management

BCS offer a portfolio of ISEB qualifications all of which are good quality and well recognised. The Business Continuity Management ISEB is a good qualification for those who are seeking a good all-round understanding of business continuity to back up their practical experience.

BSI (British Standards Institute)

The BCI run a wide range of training/awareness courses that revolve around the business continuity British standard BS25999 many of which are for just one or two days


The Lead Auditor course which is a 5 day training programme has the best reputation for career advancing education

Lead Auditor: BS 25999

A course for professionals who have a responsibility for planning, conducting and leading effective audits against the requirements of BS 25999.

Read More

BS25999 Lead Auditor training

BS 25999 training would give you more in depth knowledge and focus of BCM (

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Degrees and Diplomas

There are now many Universities that offer post graduate diplomas, BSc and MSc courses in Disaster, Emergency management and business continuity including Coventry, Birmingham, Leicester, Portsmouth, Canfield, Hertfordshire, Leeds and others. Many of the courses will give the option of studying full-time, part-time or remotely. This level of education will in some cases give you the advantage and many employers will value your commitment to personal development.

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An MBA is a good tool for people aiming to go higher as it shows more rounded awareness of business and issues affecting businesses. Its tough to fit in an MBA study on to of a busy working week but those who do often develop there careers and increase their salaries quite rapidly. However, it may be fair to say that this as much to do with personal drive as it is with additional knowledge.

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Other useful qualifications

Project Management

Business continuity projects need to be done according to
scope, time and budget. You also need the right resources (money, people, communication, motivation, etc.)

Whatever stage you are at in your business continuity career a good understanding of project management is always useful and as your career progresses it often becomes essential. There are many recognised project management training options including PRINCE2, APM, ISEB or PMI (Project Management Institute).

Risk Management

The Institute of Risk Management cover business continuity management in their training material and if you have an interest in the wider subject of risk management you can become a member. They offer different levels of membership - FIRM (Fellow) MIRM (Member), CIRM (Certificate), and Affiliate. IRM were established in 1986 and they are considered to be “risk management's professional education body”.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and policies for managing information technology (IT) infrastructure, development and operations.

There are two versions of the ITIL Certification ITIL v2 and ITIL v3 (Information Technology Infrastructure Library version 3) both lead to the ITIL credentials: ITIL Foundation,
ITIL Practitioner or IT Services Manager. ITIL v2 is slowly being phased out in favor if ITIL v.3. Many organizations see no major benefit in moving from ITIL v2 to ITIL v3 therefore certification paths are still available.

ITIL Certifications are managed by the ICMB (ITIL Certification Management Board) which is comprised of the OGC, IT Service Management Forum (
itSMF) International and two examinations institutes.

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