Many of the changes proposed at the Strategy & Standards Group review of the ACS have been welcomed by the Small Business Network (SBN). The meeting, which took place on the 24th April 18 was attended by SBN representatives and other key players from across the security industry including IPSA., BSIA, The Security Institute and G4S alongside the CEO and senior management from the SIA.
The key suggestions for improving the scheme for the future were noted by the SIA as endorsed by the industry after wide consultation and the day’s thorough debate.
The reactions to the new ACS requirements were considered a ‘eureka’ moment for many in attendance as the SIA were deemed to have “listened and understood”.
The new proposals are expected to be implemented in 2019 following a proposal document due to be published in July 2018. Most importantly, in recognition of the changing nature of the private security industry, the SIA committed to an Annual review of the ACS. It was also agreed that further liaison with insurance industry leaders at the highest level, would take place.
SBN spokesperson, Abbey Petkar comments that: “Over the last few years the SIA has come under criticism for a host of decisions. However, it is clear that when it comes to the ACS they have listened to the industry, taken on board our opinions and are looking to add far greater value for all those involved. Their suggested changes will, if implemented, enhance the industry as a whole in the eyes of both our clients and the wider industry. We are delighted that the SBN’s list of needed changes have been addressed. However, we will still be looking closely at the detailed drafting of the new regulations to ensure the final proposals are in alignment with our desires.”
Proposed changes include:
- Ensuring directors are fit for purpose – this focus on business leaders within the industry will ensure staff and clients are protected from unscrupulous business owners with a history of poor trading practices.
- Requiring all staff to be on PAYE (unless specifically agreed with the HMRC) – this move will create better working conditions for staff, ensure they are provided with applicable benefits such as pensions and holidays, whilst being paid respectable wages.
- Investment in marketing – moving forward the SIA will more effectively market the ACS to end clients and third parties, creating greater understanding of the benefits and allowing them to appreciate why they should prioritise security firms who are part of the scheme.
- Limit government and local authority contracts to ACS members – in a true demonstration of the support the SIA are putting behind the ACS, one suggestion is to limit government contracts to members of the scheme.
Abbey concludes: “The SBN is delighted by the effort the SIA has put into these changes considering that the SBN has spent many years recommending a number of them not only to the SIA but also to government and it’s membership. We recognise that they are currently just proposals but look forward to seeing how they develop moving forward and their eventual outcomes.”
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