(The lack of) Business Continuity Schooling in Belgium
For students who are wondering whether you can follow a business continuity (BC) education in Belgium, I have some bad news. You can’t. In Belgium, there are no universities which offer a business continuity education whatsoever. This is very different with the English-speaking part of the world where you can find different schools which even offer full-time BC master programs. Still universities in Belgium don’t seem to be willing to fill this educational gap. Why, you ask?
In the few months that I worked for RESCO Belgium I learned that many firms have never heard of BC. Many decision makers still believe that nothing bad will happen to their company and don’t believe that it is interesting to implement a BC culture in their company. This could change if clients would demand that their suppliers have a plan ready for when things go wrong, but in many sectors this isn’t the case. This is very different in countries with a BC culture like the UK, USA, Australia,… In those countries, BC is a part of the corperate culture. This isn’t the case in Belgium, most of the people never heard about BC and thus there is no demand for BC professionals.
I believe this is changing though. More and more companies are realizing how important BC management can be in their company and are starting to take measures. The more companies start to understand how important BC management can be, the higher the demand for BC professionals will be and the higher the need for a good BC education. You don’t build a culture in one day however so until then, students looking for a BC education will have to look abroad.
For professionals things are different. There are some agencies and firms which have their own business continuity training program. All varying in price and probably also in quality. I’m sure that with some of these programs you can learn a lot about BC but it’s not quite the same as a full time BC program. Also the Business Continuity Institute provides some programs to get a BC certificate, which you can follow from home I believe. But again, these aren’t full time programs.
Since there is such a lack of BC education in Belgium, I’d like to encourage all the management schools in Belgium to think about the benefits of launching a BC program. Certainly HUB/Ehsal Management School, I’m following a postgraduate at this school and earned my master degree at the HUB (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel) and I’m convinced that this school has the right means and knowledge to start a BC program or at least implement it in their current master programs like Commercial Engeneer or Commercial Sciences. Many students taking part in those programs will at least be interested in what BC is about.
So it’s a school with the right knowledge, skills, means and public. What are they still waiting for?