Is there a ISO 22361 pdf free download?

So you want an ISO 22361 pdf free download? Did you realise that these documents have a copyright?

Regardless of the fact that most ISO standards are derived by a group of volunteers, the copyright is held by the International Standards Organisation, who develop and publish the standards. Certainly, there must be concerns about the sharing of these documents; the British Standards Institute now have the standards protected so that they can be opened on no more than 3 devices. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will be able to find an ISO 22361 pdf free download.

There is a wealth of information available about crisis management, including our short elearning courses. But, lets take a look at ISO 22361 itself….

My copy of ISO 22361

ISO 22361 origins

Some of our readers will remember PAS 200 Crisis Management – Guidance and Good Practice. This document was sponsored by the Cabinet Office, with the steering group having a blend experience from academia, small & large businesses, consultancies and professional institutes.

The PAS was clear that it was a practical document, was visually very helpful with clear diagrams, Information Boxes & readable text, and concluded with a list of recommendations. It also contains a rather useful bibliography.

Move on 13 years, and there was the launch of BS 11200:2014. The simpler diagrams were removed, and this document seemed to become significantly more wordy. As an example, a full page and 6 point table on the differences between an incident and a crisis! The document is complete with needless and wordy explanations of background, such as ‘Social media have accelerated exponentially the speed with which information is disseminated’, but seems to give little in the way of practical guidelines.

My personal perspective is that this document tries to describe crisis management in such a way that it will fit all organisations but is, at times, contradictory. Additionally, it’s just not that good a read!

It’s also worth noting that BS 11200 has a lack of clarity as to the authors and, unlike PAS 200, its bibliography refers only to other standards publications…just in case you want to expand your standards library!

ISO 22361 Today

Fast-forward to 2022, and the launch of ISO 22361.

We now have an even longer explanation of the difference between incidents and crises! Again, the document just seems overly prosaic, repetitive, wordy, and not particularly practical. As an example, ‘decisions should be intrinsically linked to the core values of the organisation’, having already stated that ‘crisis management strategies and actions should reflect the organization’s objectives and values. Failure to adhere to its core values can make the situation worse’.

I rather fear that the latest iteration of standardised crisis management guidance has simply tried to do too many things for too many people, and has possibly lost its way. It has also started to move into ‘ISO-speak’…’top management should define and document…’.


In summary, if you are looking for something which gives some of the theory and background as well as guidelines for effective crisis management, I would suggest that your £155 would possibly be better spent on something infinitely more readable (contact me and I can send you a list of recommendations). If you want to be able to use something ‘official’ to support your proposals, then go ahead and purchase the standard!

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