Following a parliamentary review, the SIA has recommended a systematic and transformational approach to its regulations – a result supported by the Small Business Network (SBN), which is a security industry body made up of leading private security firms.
After long advocating for industry-wide, mandatory SIA licensing as well as an overhaul of the current Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), the SBN is delighted to see progress on both fronts. They vehemently believe buyers of security services have a need to check the quality of their suppliers and see it as part of their role to help make this possible for all. This is particularly true because failure to do so could result in situations that invalidate their insurance cover.
“It is important to us that our industry is presented in the best light.” comments Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security Services and press officer for the SBN. “I believe we have been very vocal about challenges we’ve faced as an industry as well as possible solutions. It is a real coup to finally see some of our greatest concerns being both recognised and legitimised in this review.” “We want to congratulate the SIA on their decision to listen to the needs of the industry and respond accordingly. It makes us all proud to know that our association is standing up for our industry needs as they focus on protecting us as providers and our clients.
Details about specific licensing recommendations included – all businesses offering security services whether operating under contract or operating in-house, where there is a risk to public protection, safeguarding and national security, should be subject to mandatory business licensing. Business licences should only be issued to companies who meet the voluntary revised Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) standards.
On the whole the review, in which the SBN was actively involved, recognised that the SIA performed to satisfactory standards as a regulator and should be retained as it plays a large role in the performance of the Private Security Industry (PSI). Other key recommendations included an increased focus on risk, introducing new shared standards, clearer market signalling and transparency as well as working towards a broader, more intimate industry partnership.
It was also recognised that the ACS should be industry owned and administered in addition to being refreshed and strengthened. The SIA would be responsible for setting its standards and rigorously overseeing compliance.
Abbey continues, “We have said, as our SBN history has proved, that working more closely with the SIA would be a relationship that benefits all parties, so it is satisfying to see a move towards this. We are not about to rest on our laurels though. We will continue to work towards creating a fairer, more reputable industry for all – inside and out.”
Reviews like this are undergone by Arms-Length Bodies (ALB’s) every five years or so and consider a combination of views from the Private Security Industry (PSI) and other stakeholders. This review was undertaken in 2016 with the final results being published on June 7th 2018.
Individuals and organisations wishing to know more about the SBN should contact Abbey Petkar at Magenta Services via 0845 500 0786. Or James Henderson on 07944 216 889 for SBN Membership enquiries.