ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

New International Workshop Agreement Guides International Emergency Preparedness


New York, Nov 15, 2006

A new International Workshop Agreement (IWA) published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides recommendations for emergency preparedness efforts and the common elements for a “family” of international standards that will address this global need. Developed outside of customary ISO technical committee structures, an IWA allows for a more immediate response to urgent market requirements.

IWA 5:2006, Emergency Preparedness, was created via discussions at a workshop organized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and New York University’s International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP) in response to a call within the standards community for an immediate deliverable in this area. [See related article: ISO Workshop Meeting Explores Standardization for International Emergency Preparedness].

Intended to serve as an interim solution until formal ISO standards have been developed, the IWA sets down a set of recommendations for ISO technical committee (TC) 223, Societal security, to consider in formulating such work. The scope of TC 223 was expanded earlier this year to include crisis management, following recommendations by ISO’s Strategic Group on Security. ANSI-accredited standards developer the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) serves as the administrative organization for the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to TC 223.

The IWA establishes a list of “essential elements” of emergency and business continuity management that TC 223 should use as the basis of an international family of standards. These include such factors as hazard identification, mitigation and prevention; incident management systems; crisis communications and resource management (among others). The IWA also recommends that TC 223 incorporate into future standards the appropriate aspects of five prominent consensus-based national standards and guidance documents from the United States (NFPA 1600, Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs); Japan; Israel; the United Kingdom; and Australia. Finally, the IWA advises TC 223 to call for other member nations to submit detailed tactical or implementation level documents that could provide additional direction, specifically in the area of emergency management.

Emergency management and business continuity professionals from seventeen countries contributed to shaping the IWA’s key recommendations. ANSI served as the lead ISO national body for the initiative.

Company Member Online Discussion Board