A surge in the importance of professional qualifications for business continuity managers

  • 11 Sep 2023

The BCI Continuity and Resilience Report 2023 has highlighted the increasing importance of professional qualifications for business continuity managers. This year, the report found that having ‘a high level of professional qualification’ rose to third place on a list of the most important attributes for a business continuity manager in 2023, with 90.5% of respondents placing it in their top five attributes. 

Last year, having a high level of professional qualification was placed much lower down in 18th, showing a change in what organizations will be looking for when hiring new candidates. The report finds that possible reasons for this may include a reaction, after the severe long-term impacts seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, to recruit new staff with the “necessary professional skills to make a difference from the beginning [of incidents].”[1]  However, the report also alludes to the benefits for the professional as well, with a high level of professional qualification usually resulting in a higher level of pay.

The importance of academic qualifications was also demonstrated by this attribute moving up into the top half of the table for the most important elements in a resilience manager. Indeed, 71.3% of respondents placed this attribute in their top five. 

The rising priority of education within organizations

The resurgence of organizations looking for the above attributes in business continuity and resilience professionals shows the continued and, indeed, rising importance of education within this sector. 

Beyond the business continuity and resilience professional, education also serves an additional purpose by assisting organizations to embed business continuity and resilience within operations. For example, the BCI Continuity and Resilience Report 2023 also found that one of the most popular methods that organizations use to raise awareness or increase engagement with BC by the board is by using business continuity champions across the business. Business continuity champions, or facilitators, are key figures in the embedding process as they can power continuity efforts within specific departments through collaboration with the BC professional or team. However, as business continuity and resilience continue to move higher up the agenda, organizations will likely be looking to invest in training for these champions to assist them in their role, such as through professional qualifications and business continuity courses. Providing training for these roles improves the expertise of the personnel, but also encourages additional participation and engagement with this critical responsibility. 

Elsewhere, we have seen how the landscape of business continuity and resilience is continually changing, whether in terms of new regulations, emerging technology, or threats. Therefore, professionals within organizations will also be using educational resources to upskill themselves in areas such as operational resilience and supply chain resilience. Professional qualifications in these areas often provide the depth of knowledge that the business continuity or resilience professional requires.

Regional analysis

The BCI Continuity and Resilience Report 2023 also explores regional variations in how the importance of business continuity and resilience professionals gaining educational qualifications is viewed.

For example, in Australasia, several attributes were ranked as important by 100% of respondents from the region — amongst these were professional and academic qualifications.

Those in North America also greatly valued professional qualifications, with 92.9% placing this in their top five attributes, slightly above the overall result as seen above. 

When asked the same question, respondents in Africa placed the importance of professional and academic qualifications at 88.5% and 88.2%, respectively. 
The full report can be accessed here: https://www.thebci.org/news/management-sees-business-continuity-as-vital-for-organizational-resilience.html


[1] https://www.thebci.org/news/management-sees-business-continuity-as-vital-for-organizational-resilience.html

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