The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has announced that Sir Francis Richards KCMG CVO will be retiring in November following six years as chairman of the Board.
Sir Francis Richards joined the NSI in May 2007 after a distinguished senior level public service career which included appointments at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar and as director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham.
Jeff Little OBE, the NSI’s CEO, commented: “It has been a real honour to work for Sir Francis. He has steered the NSI ship with a very firm hand on the tiller. We have moved forward significantly under his direction over the past six years and, as a result, we now have a clear route ahead and a solid platform upon which to grow thanks to his guidance and wisdom.”
On his forthcoming retirement, Sir Francis stated: “It has been an immense privilege to be with the NSI at a time of huge change in the security and fire sectors. The accelerating pace of technological development has driven a real revolution in security affairs over the past six years, and is transforming the whole shape of the industry. Third party certification is more essential than ever and Standards are becoming ever more numerous, complex and diverse. The NSI has had to become nimbler and more agile without compromising its traditional professional excellence.”
Sir Francis continued: “I have seen the NSI become a more modern and customer-focused organisation, and I’m confident that it will continue to add value and reduce risk for those who make it their partner along the approval route.”
Sir Francis believes that “the industry is in impressive shape” and that “the results speak for themselves”, with crime figures down in most areas and the incidence of fire falling across the country. He added: “New challenges – not least in the cyber area – will keep the industry on its toes.”
In conclusion, Sir Francis commented: “I wish my successor, as well as Jeff and his outstanding team every success in maintaining the NSI’s position as the certification body of choice for the foreseeable future.”
Sir Francis will chair the October Board Meeting of the NSI and formally hand over the reins in early November this year.
An announcement regarding his successor will be forthcoming.