Compliance Scorecard: Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness

Business continuity planning can be a particular challenge for a corporate campus. Whereas any other individual site may have a single predominant function, such as manufacturing, distribution, or customer care, the executive headquarters generally houses multiple functions with disparate needs, and perhaps thousands of executives and personnel to perform those functions. Developing a plan for relocation on such a grand and varied scale can be a true challenge.

A federal program may provide strong guidelines to help companies ensure their corporate campuses are prepared for any crisis.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Point of view: The Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program, nearly 85 percent of the United States’ critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector. The national cost of weak emergency preparedness in private industry is clear. That’s why Title IX of the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 called for the creation of a voluntary program whereby private sector-organizations could achieve certification of their preparedness programs. DHS is currently working with the private sector to design the resulting Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Certification Program.

The government is not interested in mandating business resiliency standards. Instead, this program will offer private businesses a statement of confidence in their ability to continue operating through and beyond a major event — something that can tangibly increase stakeholder and shareholder confidence. Some believe that if the program is well-accepted, private industry groups may begin recommending or requesting that their members seek certification.

At its current stage of development, it seems likely that the program will offer three levels of certification and will enable companies to make the call on whether their certification status may be made public.

New York University’s International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP) is coordinating five working groups in the program development effort, and they recently announced a series of National Roundtables on Enabling Bottom-Line Impacts for Business Resilience through Certification. InterCEP’s Web site ( also hosts a document clearinghouse for information about the program as it develops.

Do your due diligence by keeping up with this program and assessing your business resiliency plans against its guidelines.

Marleah Blades is senior editor for the Security Executive Council (SEC). The Security Executive Council maintains a large and growing list of laws, regulations, standards and guidelines that impact security ( Help the Council fill out the list and receive a selected complimentary metric slide from the SEC store.