ISO/TC 223

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ISO/TC 223 Societal security was a technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization formed in 2001 to develop standards in the area of societal security: i.e. protection of society from and response to incidents, emergencies, and disasters caused by intentional and unintentional human acts, natural hazards, and technical failures.

The sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk to the bottom of the Barents Sea in 2000 can be cited as a major impetus for the formation of ISO/TC 223. The international salvage operation that followed the accident provided painful evidence that the international community lacked the tools necessary to cooperate effectively in emergency situations, resulting in an initiative from the Russian standards organization, GOST, to establish ISO/TC 223. Originally titled Civil defence, the committee was created to standardize international emergency procedures.

The initiative lay dormant for some time. However, terrorist actions, including the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, as well as a surge in natural disasters in recent years, led ISO to conduct a large-scale assessment of the role of standardization in the security field. One important decision was to put ISO/TC 223 into action. In 2005 the chairmanship of the committee was taken over by SIS, the Swedish Standards Institute. To better reflect its ambition to take a broader approach toward disruptive incidents that threaten the civil society, the committee was renamed Societal security.

ISO/TC 223 was actively developing a series of international standards for more than 8 years. In 2014, the Technical Management Board of ISO decided to merge ISO/TC 223 with other committees in the area of security for better coordination. The new committee started on the 1st of January 2015 and is called ISO/TC 292 Security


ISO/TC 223 worked under the following scope:

ISO/TC 223 develops International standards that aim to increase societal security, i.e. protection of society from and response to incidents, emergencies, and disasters caused by intentional and unintentional human acts, natural hazards, and technical failures. An all-hazards perspective is used covering adaptive, proactive and reactive strategies in all phases before, during and after a disruptive incident. The area of societal security is multi-disciplinary and involves actors from both the public and private sectors, including not-for-profit organizations.

Leadership and organisation[edit]

2006-2012 Mr Krister Kumlin
2013-2014 Mrs Åsa Kyrk Gere

2006 Mr Per Forsgren
2006-2013 Dr Stefan Tangen
2013 Mrs Sanna Edlund
2014 Mr Bengt Rydstedt

ISO/TC 223 established the following Working Groups: WG 1, WG 2, WG 3, WG 4, WG 5 and WG 6.

ISO/TC 223 became one of the larger committees in ISO with around 70 member countries.

Introduction to Societal Security[edit]

The term Societal security was introduced as a political science concept developed by Nicholas Cringall in 1984. The definition of Societal Security for ISO/TC 223 is broader than just TO DEAL what might challenge the group's identity.

In recent years there have been many highly consequential natural disasters, terrorist attacks and severe crises, which have propelled the issue of crisis management to the top of the national agenda in many countries. As functions in society are shared there is a need to engage individuals, organizations, the private sector and the government in an inclusive discussion on how to better prepare, respond to and recover from crises.

Now and in the future, survival of nations and citizens concerns the security of critical functions of society, rather than only the classical focus on the security of the territory. This shift entails the ability of the government and civil society to function, critical infrastructures to be maintained, the democratic ability to govern, and to manifest certain basic values. Such abilities are put under pressure during severe crises. In societal security several elements that traditionally have been kept apart are becoming fused: procedures for peace and war merge, internal and external security are interlocked, and the ambitions of enhancing state security and providing citizen safety become blurred.

These are new and more complex challenges. These challenges have implications for what (concepts and) tools we need to enhance security, citizens safety and crisis management capacity in an increasingly interdependent and borderless world. Such trans-boundary challenges are not covered by the traditional concept of national civil defence.

Thus, the proposed “umbrella”-concept of societal security is aimed at countering the threats and vulnerabilities in society that require comprehensive crisis management and business continuity systems which are multi-sector, multi-national and multi-continental.

Increased societal security requires a capacity for holistic crisis management emphasizing interoperability and including all key phases of crises. This capacity should have an overall flexibility in order to be able to manage crises that include un-predicted and un-expected elements and events. The purpose is to build a greater overall resilience in the face of a broad range of societal vulnerabilities and disruptive challenges.

The ISO 22300 series[edit]

The following international standards and other publications have been developed by ISO/TC 223

ISO standards
ISO 22300:2012 Societal security – Terminology,
ISO 22301:2012 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements,
ISO 22311:2012 Societal security – Video-surveillance – Export interoperability,
ISO 22313:2012 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Guidance,
ISO 22315:2014 Societal security – Mass evacuation – Guidelines for planning,
ISO 22317:2015 Societal security -- Business continuity management systems -- Guidelines for business impact analysis (BIA)
ISO 22320:2011 Societal security – Emergency management – Requirements for incident response,
ISO 22322:2015 Societal security – Emergency management – Guidelines for public warning,
ISO 22324:2015 Societal security – Emergency management – Guidelines for colour-coded alert,
ISO 22397:2014 Societal security – Guidelines for establishing partnering arrangements,
ISO 22398:2013 Societal security – Guidelines for exercises,

Others forms of publications
ISO/TR 22312:2011 Societal security – Technological capabilities,
ISO/TR 22351:2015 Societal security – Emergency management – Message structure for interoperability,
ISO/PAS 22399:2007 Societal security – Guideline for incident preparedness and operational continuity management,
ISO/TS 17021-6:2014 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 6: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of business continuity management systems (Joint project with ISO/CASCO),

See also[edit]


External links[edit]