Monthly Archives: February 2013

BSIA issues end user guide to security regulation

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has produced a guide for end users and security buyers to help them understand the proposed changes to the licensing and regulatory regime of the UK’s private security industry. These changes are set to impact all companies that use private security personnel.

From 2013 onwards, there will be a gradual change in the way in which private security companies and individual officers operating in the UK are licensed and regulated, a function presently undertaken by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). These changes will be implemented over time and will alter the requirements and responsibilities of both security companies and their customers under the law.

Following the Public Bodies Review in 2010 – often better known as the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’ – which aimed to increase the transparency and accountability of all public services and ensure that the Government operates in a more efficient and business-like way, it was announced that the SIA was to be abolished.

The BSIA – among others – acted quickly in response to this announcement and, following the draft of a letter to the Home Secretary, the Government’s message was softened to one of reform rather than abolition.

The new solution – preferred by Government and industry – is a phased transition to a business licensing regime. Under this regime, the focus of regulatory control would move from the licensing of individual security operatives to the licensing of private security businesses. Those same businesses would be responsible for ensuring that required checks on individuals are carried out, although the Regulator would continue to undertake individual criminality checks.

Trevor Elliott, director of manpower and membership sServices at the BSIA, comments: “Over the next couple of years the regulatory landscape of the private security industry will change dramatically, and the legal responsibilities of both security companies and their customers will be affected.

“Although it may take a while for these changes to become apparent to the end user, early preparation is essential to ensure that companies procuring security personnel understand what’s changing and what they need to do to ensure that they continue to operate within the law.”

To help customers of the industry who may be affected by this change, the BSIA has produced a handy online guide which answers end -users’ frequently asked questions. It also provides essential background information on why this change is taking place.

Importantly, the guide details key dates in the transition process and advises on how businesses can begin to prepare themselves for this change.

Elliott continues: “The BSIA is encouraging all of its licensable member companies to discuss the potential impact of regulatory change with their customers at an early opportunity. While many of them are already doing so, this guide will provide a useful reference point for end users wishing to make sure they’re fully prepared.”

Download a copy of ‘Regulatory Change in the Security Industry: How It Affects You’ from the BSIA’s website.

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Skills for Security to become wholly-owned subsidiary of the BSIA

There has been a major announcement in the last half an hour regarding Skills for Security.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has issued details of a new partnership with Skills for Security in a landmark move that brings the sector skills body firmly back within the remit of the industry.

The move, which has been approved by Board members of both organisations, will see Skills for Security become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BSIA, reversing the Association’s divergence from its former training body, the Security Industry Training Organisation (SITO), which facilitated the formation of Skills for Security in 2006.

Skills for Security will retain its own legal identity and, as such, remains a separate company limited by guarantee.

James Kelly, the BSIA’s CEO, has cited commercial factors as the rationale behind this agreement.

“Skills for Security has had some notable successes in recent years – such as training 5,300 security people in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – and the organisation’s directors have been considering how best to develop the business going forward,” he commments. “They view a partnership with the industry trade body as essential in building closer alignment to the industry.”

Kelly continues: “There are several synergies between the two organisations, including a shared history and a number of directors in common. As such, the BSIA is considered a natural partner for Skills for Security as it looks to develop its business over the coming years.”

Rather than allow it to be integrated into a wider business sphere, the BSIA has agreed to assume sole ownership of Skills for Security, which will return the sector skills body for the security industry firmly within the auspices of the industry’s Trade Association, as it was almost seven years ago.

Importantly, this will also ensure that the industry retains control over its own training standards, particularly National Occupational Standards.

The BSIA’s strong links with industry representatives is the key to both organisations’ future success, with the Association intending to leverage its existing relationships to raise the profile of Skills for Security and ensure that it retains its position as a leading training body for BSIA members as well as the wider security sector.

In a changing industry affected by developments to regulation and legislation, it has been recognised that, in recent years, Skills for Security has not been as close to industry suppliers as it could have been.

As such, this latest development will improve the organisation’s ability to serve the current changing market dynamics.

Lord Stevens, the chairman of Skills for Security, comments: “We hope that one of the many positive results of this merger will be a significant increase in the number of BSIA members who use Skills’ resources. We see a huge potential in bringing the two organisations together and, in keeping with the Government’s desire for improved employer engagement in skills development, believe that an independent Skills for Security and the BSIA can together make the new joint business work very well. I look forward to the exciting opportunities that this new chapter will bring for Skills for Security, our industry and its people.”

James Kelly concludes: “Broader engagement with the wider security sector is a key element of the BSIA’s business plan, and reflects one of our key strategic objectives for 2013 and beyond. Bringing Skills for Security on board is an exciting opportunity which will give the Association a fresh angle from which to do business and, subsequently, enable us to expand our reach within the security industry.”

Visit the websites of the BSIA or Skills for Security for more information about these key organisations.

Skills for Security was previously owned, as members, by the BSIA, The Security Institute, the Security Industry Authority and the GMB Trade Union. The three bodies have agreed to transfer their part ownership by effectively collapsing their membership, in turn leaving the BSIA to assume full control as the sole remaining member.

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ASIS UK appointed second licensee for the Register of Chartered Security Professionals

The UK Chapter of ASIS – the worldwide security organisation – has become the second licensee for the Register of Chartered Security Professionals in the UK

With effect from 1 February 2013 those who want to demonstrate they have achieved the highest possible standards in security professionalism can now apply to be admitted to the Register via ASIS UK. Until now the only application route was via The Security Institute, but this development will see applications to become Chartered Security Professionals and listed on the Register – using CSyP as a designation – being welcomed by ASIS UK.

The existing Registrar, David Gill CSyP, will continue to be responsible for admitting new applicants on behalf of both organisations, thus maintaining standards – a vital element and core to the success of the Register.

The decision to appoint ASIS UK was ratified by the Registration Authority of Chartered Security Professionals in November 2012. The Registration Authority is led by Lord Alex Carlile CBE QC and includes Don Randall MBE and Peter French MBE (representing The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals) among its cohort.

Commenting on the news, Lord Carlile said: “This is a significant milestone in the development of professionalism in the UK and should not be underestimated. Not only is there now a second organisation promoting and attracting applications from suitably experienced security managers, but the link that has been developed between The Security Institute and ASIS UK’s Chapter 208 working together for the benefit of the profession is significant.”

Welcoming the appointment of ASIS UK, Mike Bluestone CSyP (chairman of The Security Institute) stated: “I’m delighted to welcome ASIS UK as the second Licensee for the Register of Chartered Security Professionals. This is absolutely the right thing for the UK security profession, and I look forward to seeing the impact of further CSyPs being recognised as well as a wider understanding of this gold standard in professionalism. We share many members with ASIS UK, and the more we can work together for the benefit of them, and the sector generally, the better it is for everyone.”

Mike Alexander BEM, chairman of ASIS UK and the first applicant under the new licensee arrangement, added: “The UK Chapter and its membership are energised by this decision and we thank The Worshipful Company and The Security Institute for their agreement to allow us to become a second licensee. ASIS has always supported and encouraged the raising of standards and professionalisation of the security industry, and we welcome the opportunity to offer our members a structured pathway towards becoming a Chartered Security Professional.”

The presentation of certificates to new ASIS UK Registrants will take place at a celebratory dinner to be hosted by Lord Carlile at the House of Lords on Friday 22 March. It’s hoped this event, which is being sponsored by Kings Security Systems and PD Ports, will attract interest from outside the security sector, in turn helping to raise awareness of the benefits of appointing Chartered Security Professionals.

Further information on the Register

The Register of Chartered Security Professionals was launched on 7 June 2011. Established under Royal Charter by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the Register itself endorses the main aim of the Company which is “to promote, support and encourage standards of excellence, integrity and honourable practice in conducting the profession of security practitioners and to aid societies and other organisations connected to such a profession.”

Backed by its 1,200 members, The Security Institute provides a unique validation process for membership applicants which is much valued by the profession. This experience led to the Institute’s appointment by The Worshipful Company as developer and manager of the Register of Chartered Security Professionals.

The Institute is responsible for setting standards and quality control as well as the appointment and management of licensees. Since the launch of the Register in 2011, The Security Institute has dealt with over 50 applicants. Currently, there are 34 Chartered Security Professionals.

The UK Chapter of ASIS International has 750 members and is part of the largest organisation for security professionals worldwide. It runs seminars and training days, publishes a quarterly Newsletter and works with like-minded organisations within the security profession, representing members’ views at the highest levels.

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