KEBS Approves BCMS Standards to Improve Business Resilience and Continuity

Kenya Bureau of Standards has approved two new management practices standards to help businesses adapt to the Covid-19 protocols.

The Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) standards; KS ISO 22301:2019 and KS ISO 22392:2020 will help improve a business’ ability to recognize and respond to disruptive changes in the environment.

These standards come in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a negative economic effect on the economy and businesses with the Kenya Bureau of Statistics reporting that 1.7 million people have lost their jobs.

“These standards will help organizations recognize the opportunities and threats that arise from both sudden or gradual internal as well as external changes and react to them as has been the case with Covid-19 pandemic.” Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director.

Njiraini noted that business continuity has become more critical this year as businesses look for ways to ensure a swift return to operation in the event of a major disruption such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism, trade, transport, real estate and financial services are among the sectors of the Kenyan Economy that have been affected by the crisis.

“These standards outline requirements in that an organization is able to implement, maintain and improve the Business Continuity Management Systems to reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of disruptions, how to prepare for, respond to and recover from them when they arise.” Njiraini.

The World Bank’s study on the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19 on Kenyan Firms shows that, nearly 65% of businesses are experiencing a drop in demand, cash-flow, and accessible finance.

As the pandemic continues, businesses expect a continued decline in sales in the coming months. However, Njiraini notes that with these standards, businesses will be in a better position to survive and overcome unexpected disruptions, and adapt to change.