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7 top business continuity certifications to consider in 2024

Organizations can bolster and validate the expertise of their IT teams with a variety of certifications. There are several options aimed at business continuity professionals.

Business continuity certifications can help organizations get the right people in place to design and execute plans in case of a disaster.

Business continuity is important for organizations of all sizes. It provides a set of practices and processes to help businesses continue operations in the face of an unexpected event or natural disaster. It is often paired with the closely related practice of disaster recovery. Business continuity ensures that an organization has the right processes in place during an interruption to maintain operations and recover quickly after the event has passed.

Certifications validate an IT professional's knowledge and expertise, and demonstrates that they can execute best practices an organization needs to survive a disruptive event.

Below are some of the top business continuity certifications to consider in 2024.

1. Certificate of the Business Continuity Institute (CBCI)

Certification details: The Certificate of the Business Continuity Institute is a course of study and certification offered by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). The CBCI 7.0 course is designed to help provide a solid understanding of the best practices for business continuity management. The 7.0 version of the certification is aligned with the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) 7.0 from the BCI, which were released in October 2023. The GPG is based on information from real-world business continuity practitioner experience. The CBCI Exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions applicants must complete within 90 minutes.

Prerequisites: There are no required prerequisites to take the course.

Training costs and fees:
The training course takes three to five days for in-person study and is also available online in a six-week course of study. Training costs depend on location and delivery method. In the U.S., the four-day course is offered at some locations for $2,500. The six-week course is offered in the U.S for $2,750. The training costs include the exam certification fee.

Number of exams:

Cost per exam:
Exam cost is included in training fee.


2. Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)

Certification details: The Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) designation is offered by Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) International. It is an experience-driven certification for professionals who have already worked in the field of business continuity.

Prerequisites: Two or more years of experience in the disaster recovery or business continuity space. To validate experience, the DRI requires that applicants provide at least two references to confirm experience. The CBCP also requires that applicants have specific expertise across at least five subject areas outlined by DRI International in its listing of Professional Practices for Business Continuity Management.

The DRI lists 10 practices for business continuity management, including continuity program initiation and management; risk assessment; business impact analysis, business continuity strategies, incident response; plan development and implementation; awareness and training programs, business continuity plan assessment and maintenance; crisis communications; and coordination with external agencies.

Training costs and fees:
Training through the DRI costs $2,850. There is an annual renewal fee of $200 to maintain the CBCP.

Number of exams:

Cost per exam:
There is an exam application fee of $400.


3. ISO 22301 Certified Business Continuity Manager (CBCM)

Certification details: The ISO 22301 Certified Business Continuity Manager (CBCM) is a designation offered by Certified Information Security (CIS) organization. The CBCM is based on the ISO 22301:2019 standard, which defines a framework for planning and operating a business continuity management system.

Prerequisites: Applicants need a minimum of five years of business continuity experience. There are also three prerequisite training courses, including CIS Policy Workshop: ISO 31000 Enterprise Risk Management; CIS Policy Workshop: ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management; and Best Practices to Deploy, Exercise, and Certify BCM.

Training costs and fees: The above prerequisite courses have fees of $399.95, $299.95 and $299.95, respectively.

Number of exams: Three. Candidates must pass CIS exams in risk management -- RM101 -- business continuity management strategy -- BCMS101 -- and the actual CBCM exam -- BCMS102.

Cost per exam: $100.


4. EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional (EDRP)

Certification details: The EDRP certification is delivered by EC-Council -- an organization known for its Certified Ethical Hacker designation. The EDRP includes a course of study to help train individuals in the concepts and practices of business continuity and recovery, including
business impact analysis.

Prerequisites: Minimum two years of experience with business continuity.

Training costs and fees: Live training is $2,999, while on-demand training is $2,199. Both training approaches include courseware and the certification exam.

Number of exams: One.

Cost per exam: Exam is available only as part of a certification course.


5. Certified Disaster Recovery Engineer (CDRE)

Certification details: The Certified Disaster Recovery Engineer is offered by cybersecurity certification vendor Mile2. The certification is particularly useful for those in government settings, as it meets the CNSSI-4016 directive on National Information Assurance Training Standard for Risk Analysts and Risk Management from the National Security Agency.

Prerequisites: A minimum of one year of information systems or IT management experience.

Training costs and fees: Live instructor-led class training starts at $3,000.

Number of exams: One.

Cost per exam: $550.


6. Business Continuity and Resiliency Professional (BCRP)

Certification details: The Business Continuity and Resiliency Professional certification is offered by the National Institute for Business Continuity Management.

Prerequisites: Two years of related work experience or the completion of the BCM-901 Diploma in Business Continuity and Resiliency Management course.

Training costs and fees:
Training for the BCM-901 costs $1,995.

Number of exams:

Cost per exam:


7. Certified Business Resilience Manager

Certification details: The Certified Business Resilience Manager (CBRM) is offered by the Business Resilience Certification Consortium International (BRCCI). The CBRM can be taken with or without training that is providing by BRCCI.

Prerequisites: None listed.

Training costs and fees:
Online instructor-led training costs $1,495. Three-day in-class training costs $2,495. Self-paced training costs $695.

Number of exams: One.

Cost per exam:
$495 without training, included as part of BRCCI provided training courses.


How to prepare for certifications

Preparing for a business resilience certification can involve many different activities.

As listed above, there are often prerequisites for certifications. Those prerequisites can include a certain number of years of working experience in the field of business resilience and disaster recovery. Some certifications also require that applicants complete certain courses. Be sure to check with the certifying authority to confirm the latest requirements.

Many of the certificate authorities also provide their own training programs to help applicants with a guided course of study that covers the topics that will be addressed in a certification exam. The training programs can be offered in person and online. Some certifying organizations also provide the option of self-study guides to help applicants.

It's certainly not always necessary for an applicant to take the certifying firm's training programs. For individuals who are confident they have the necessary disaster recovery skills and understand the nuances of the profession in detail, for some certifications, it is possible to sit for an exam without taking additional training.

Editor's note: This unranked list was updated to reflect certifications that are currently available. It is based on the author's research and professional experience. The certifications selected provide an overview of the options available in the field of business continuity, taking into account their relevance, recognition and potential impact on career advancement. All pricing is subject to change and accurate as of publication.

Sean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He has pulled Token Ring, configured NetWare and has been known to compile his own Linux kernel. He consults with industry and media organizations on technology issues.

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