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Case study: how CityPoint achieved the world’s first ‘tall building’ ISO 22301 certification

CityPoint, a 36 floor, 706,557sq ft. tall building, managed by CBRE, a real estate services company, and located in Ropemaker Street, London, believes it is the first tall building to achieve ISO 22301:2012 certification against its scope, successfully coordinating seven individual service providers: security, engineering, cleaning waste, IT, telecoms, lift and building management under one umbrella to deliver resilient building management services.

Stephen Massey, head of BCM (EMEA) for CBRE, interviewed Lee Murray, building manager for CityPoint, to get his insights and advice for those wishing to implement ISO 22301:

Stephen Massey: Why did you decide to attempt ISO 22301 certification?

Lee Murray: We wanted to set ourselves the challenge of achieving certification and to gain recognition for the established and effective emergency response programme already in place. Discussing the ISO 22301 requirements with the building’s owner, Beacon Capital Partners, it became apparent there was an opportunity to converge the emergency preparedness programme with business continuity, incorporating existing good practice into an internationally recognised standard and formalising our approach to risk management.

We also believe, by achieving certification, we will set the standard for business continuity across the property management sector and become a differentiator in establishing new business.

SM: Who were the implementation team?

LM: The core implementation team were myself; Steve Crossley, estate business continuity & security manager of Ultimate Security Services Ltd; and Graham Brown of Strategic Continuity Ltd. In addition we had support and mentoring from yourself (Stephen Massey, head of business continuity management (EMEA) for CBRE).

In addition to the core team, managers from our seven service providers: building management, security, lifts, engineering, cleaning / waste, IT and telephony made up our wider BCM forum and we were also supported by Beacon Capital Partners.

SM: What, if any, training did your team undertake prior to beginning this journey?

LM: Training is a cornerstone of our BCMS. We recognised from the start of our journey that, if we wanted staff to change culturally, accept more responsibility and incorporate business continuity into their job descriptions, they needed: training; investment in their development; and on-going support. Having read the ISO 22301 requirements we carried out a training gap analysis and selected staff undertook an introduction to business continuity course; other staff members attended a course in learning to implement a BCMS.

A number of in-house training sessions were delivered to explain to staff what we wanted to achieve and their role in the process. Graham Brown our appointed consultant and yourself provided wider organizational support and mentoring throughout. Training remains a key strand of our continual improvement programme.

SM: What were the top three challenges you faced and how did you overcome each challenge?


1. Business impact analysis: defining what was critical across each provider and within the overall context of the building. We also had to factor in specific lease clauses and how they impacted recovery timings. Initially everything appeared critical! To overcome this challenge, we hosted a number of workshops, challenge meetings and one to one interviews, each time refining our processes. We adopted a modular approach and through simulation exercises unplugged each provider; we were then able, through discussion, to see what fell down, what was dependent or interdependent. Our building owners were also able to provide learning from their experiences of hurricane Sandy.

2. Changing the culture: ensuring that business continuity becomes part of the building’s DNA and is adopted as business as usual. In order to achieve this cultural change we had to drive the change from the top down: the building manager was 100 percent committed to achieving certification and laid down a very aggressive timescale. A clear vision and strategy was set, business continuity became a key performance indicator, staff roles, responsibilities and job descriptions were rewritten. Additionally, an awareness programme was developed by the business continuity and security manager, consisting of tool box talks, an awareness guide, monthly ‘what-if’ exercises and one to one mentoring: this remains an on-going area of work.

3. The scope: coordinating seven individual service providers under one umbrella to deliver building management services within a multi-occupancy, tall building was a significant challenge. This was achieved through partnership working, building consensus and good old fashioned team work!

SM: How did going through the process benefit your team?

LM: The process was - and still is - an excellent way to promote team building. The whole team came together providing a common goal for everyone involved. Members of the team were provided with the opportunity to take on additional responsibility and develop new skills. Many relished the opportunity to be challenged and a number of good ideas were submitted by team members and incorporated by the forum.

CityPoint’s team can now demonstrate a clear link from strategic (building owners and investors) to operational delivery, with the benefits of reduced risk and increased asset protection. A number of the companies within our team (providing management services) are now incorporating the standard into their core business and using it successfully to pitch for new business: this will undoubtedly drive up standards across management services in the wider industry.

Having a robust BCMS demonstrates to the building owner, the investors, our occupiers and the wider commercial property market that CityPoint has considered its risks and put appropriate controls in place to ensure minimum disruption to its business in the event of an incident.

SM: What advice would you have for anyone else trying to achieve 22301:2012?

LM: Do it!

  • Establish a good team around you, delegate and break the standard clauses down into a delivery plan.
  • Develop and build a good relationship with your auditors. We benefitted enormously from their sage advice and guidance.
  • Undertake a gap analysis prior to the stage 1 assessment - it allows for independent oversight.
  • Continually ask questions and place communications top of the agenda: we talked to as many people as we could, both internally and externally, to raise awareness and to really understand the challenges faced by the building. In order to coordinate seven individual companies we constantly asked “What else do we need to consider? What have we missed?”
  • Make contact with others who are undergoing the process and build your network to exchange ideas and ways of working.
  • Finally, however much time you think you need to achieve certification, you will always need more!

The author

Stephen Massey is head of BCM (EMEA), CBRE. Contact him at stephen.massey@cbre.com

•Date: 31st October 2013 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: BC facilities and buildings

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