Following the successful launch of its business continuity management (BCM) training initiatives last year, ContinuitySA has expanded its education capabilities to offer improved services to businesses in southern Africa.
Moving beyond the South African borders, ContinuitySA’s training facilitator, Chantal Coetzer, says the company has attained accreditation from the Botswana Training Authority (BoTA) for both its two-day and five-day training courses.
“As in South Africa, a skills levy can be reclaimed against tax when companies send their staff on an accredited course,” Coetzer says.
She adds there is a growing awareness of BCM across corporate Botswana, and company leaders seem to value the benefits gained when sending their employees on business continuity training.
Training in South Africa is also advancing, along with the understanding of BCM. Many companies have designed and implemented their BCM plans, and want to ensure all staff members understand the importance of their roles in the process. ContinuitySA has therefore developed a new set of BCM Awareness Sessions.
“These sessions are designed to meet the requirements of various levels of employees and last from 45 minutes to four hours, depending on the company’s requirements,” Coetzer explains.
“The 45-minute sessions are aimed at executives who need an overview of BCM and its benefits to the company. Middle managers generally attend a two-hour session that imparts more information and business insights, while operational staff attend the comprehensive four-hour session."
One of the most important aspects of a successful business continuity implementation is the understanding and cooperation of all employees. These sessions prepare staff members to understand BCM and their responsibilities in the roll out and maintenance of their company’s plans.
“We have also found that companies are less inclined to want their employees trained in the general theories of business continuity,” Coetzer says.
“More customers are asking ContinuitySA to customise our training to their particular BCM programmes, to ensure their employees are educated in the continuity specifics of that company.”
As the leading business continuity service provider on the continent, ContinuitySA is able to take BCM material and develop company-specific programmes. Of course, the Awareness Sessions are not suitable for those involved in the design, implementation and maintenance of business continuity.
For those employees, the two- and five-day intensive programmes are a better choice, as they delve into the details operational staff need.
To assist their trainees in obtaining an international certification, ContinuitySA will also assist people on its five-day course in registering for the CBCI (certified by the Business Continuity Institute) examination, although ContinuitySA does not conduct the examination itself.
“Companies can’t rely on external assistance to assist in their BCM programmes all the time,” says Coetzer. “When an emergency occurs, you need to know your staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities, and are able to act as planned. This can only happen if they receive the training appropriate to their employer.”