Continuity Shop – The Inside Story

  • 04 Feb 2020

BCI Corporate Partner Continuity Shop has been at the forefront of Continuity and Resilience Training for over 15 years. Their trophy cabinet speaks volumes – the first organisation in the BCI’s Hall of Fame, BCI European Service Provider twice over, BCI Global Service Provider, and awards for their directors – a BCI Merit award for Sam Howard for services to training, an award for Geoff Howard for work in China, BCI Personality of the Year for Dave Window and Newcomer of the Year for Helen Sweet. They are also a Founding Partner of the BCI’s Corporate Partnership. Here is their story.

Continuity Shop – The Inside Story

In the early years of the Millennium, Business Continuity Training was a free-for-all. Anyone could, and did, set up a training company and claim to have the correct methodology. There were as many ways of doing BCM as there were trainers and much of it dubious and unconnected to the BCI.

In 2004, father and son, Sam and Geoff Howard founded Continuity Shop and set a high bar. Their course developers and trainers would have to have been an MBCI or higher for a minimum of five years. Quality control of courses was overseen by Continuity Shop Director, Ian Charters, FBCI, then a BCI board member and later author of the definitive work on BIA and an appointee to the International Committee for ISO 22301. New courses were subject to peer scrutiny – a panel of other M and FBCIs vetted each course as it came on stream. Delegate feedback was acted upon swiftly and trainers dropped if they didn’t come up to the mark. Continuity Shop went on to have courses endorsed by The British Standards Institution, The Emergency Planning Society and the British Computer Society.

In late 2005, the BCI introduced an endorsement programme for third party training courses. The process was rigorous and costly, with a BCI assessor scrutinising the training materials and then sitting in not only on a delivery of the course, but every time that a new trainer delivered it. Continuity Shop soon had 22 endorsed courses, more than twice as many as all the other training providers globally put together. 

When the BCI dropped its training endorsement scheme in favour of developing its own courses, Continuity Shop was the first European training provider to get a BCI licence to deliver them. Some of Continuity Shop’s original courses were incorporated into the BCI’s portfolio.

To date, Continuity Shop has delivered courses a staggering 1,200 times, on four continents, with delegates from five continents. The pass rates of their trainees on the BCI’s CBCI Certification Course is an unparalleled 97.5 %, with 76 percent passing with merit. 

When Chief Executive, Sam Howard, was asked for the secret of their success, he said, “Our clients pay good money to come on our courses. We owe it to them to make sure that if we can’t deliver excellence, we don’t do it.”

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