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ISO 22325 - new standard for emergency management capability assessment

ISO has published a new standard that provides guidelines for an organization in assessing its emergency management capability. It includes 1) an assessment model with a hierarchy of four levels; 2) eight indicators; 3) an assessment process, explaining how to plan, collect, analyse and report. This International Standard isintended to be used by organizations responsible and accountable for emergency management. Each organization’s context can involve a mix of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities.

A capability assessment can be used to:

  • ensure regulatory compliance, reduce risk and meet the safety expectations of the population;
  • improve organizational processes;
  • enhance partnership, coordination and cooperation within an organization and with other agencies and sectors;
  • share best practices;
  • promote continual improvement.

A capability assessment can be performed by the organization itself or by an external organization.

Organizations can define their context to allow for an appropriate assessment of its emergency management capability. This context can be expressed through identifying appropriate activities in relation to prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. While most organizations deliver all emergency management functions, some organizations can be responsible for only a single function so not all the indicators will apply.

Dr. Rainer Koch, Convenor of Working Group 3 where the work has been conducted, states:

“ISO 22325 is an important adddition in our series of standards on Emergency Management. It will complement the already published ISO 22320, ISO 22322, ISO 22324 and ISO/TR 22351."

ISO 22325:2016, Security and resilience - Emergency management - Guidelines for capability assessment, is available from ISO national member institutes. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 58 Swiss francs respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.

Interview with Mr. Zhongqiang Li (China) who has worked together with the project leader to devolop this standard

Could you briefly describe the standard and what it can do to help an organisation?

It will assist organizations to identify strengths & weaknesses, and to enhance cooperation with other organizations.

Who should use this standard and what are the benefits of using it?

Public sector emergency teams; Rescue Teams; First Response Organizations After implementing the standard, an organization can better identify which capabilities are strong, and which are weaker, as well as communicate more effectively with other organizations.

What were the major challenges when developing the standard and how did you meet them?

This project required a lot of energy and collaboration within our project team in order to end up with a mature model.

Finalizing the Key Indicators required patience and collaborative discussions amongst many experts.

How do you personally think this area will evolve in the future and what more can ISO/TC 292 do to help?

Implementation data from different countries can be could be analyzed in order to improve this standard so it can be more applicable to organizations around the world.

Interview made by Linley Biblow