Speaking at the Trade Association’s Annual Luncheon in central London, chairman Geoff Zeidler reflected on 12 months in which the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) “has made a significant contribution to the security sector” and, in turn, enhanced its own abilities to provide value for member companies.
The chairman’s speech focused on four key areas of work conducted by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA): strategy, finance, supporting the industry and supporting the membership.
“Last year,” said Zeidler, “I pledged to establish a clear long term strategy for the BSIA that would demonstrate the tangible benefits and commercial advantages membership of the Association offers to its active participants. I’m pleased to report that this process is progressing. We’re defining what the BSIA does on behalf of the industry, the six specific capabilities the BSIA offers in support of Section members and what the Sections themselves should be expected to do on behalf of the Association. This is creating specific objectives that are being targeted for delivery by given Sections.”
In what is still “a challenging economic environment”, Zeidler was pleased to report that BSIA membership continues to grow. Following an internal re-structure, the Association’s finances are not in deficit.
Zeidler added: “This has allowed us to invest in the first new IT infrastructure for almost two decades. This will improve our targeted communications while allowing bespoke updates and the production of personalised information.”
Geoff Zeidler: chairman of the British Security Industry Association
Partnership with Skills for Security
Financial stability for the BSIA has also been assisted by what Zeidler described as “the most significant step” of the last 12 months: the new partnership with Skills for Security.
“Consolidation at Kirkham House is already providing operational benefits for both organisations,” asserted Zeidler, “although this was not the main objective [of bringing the skills and training body back under the BSIA’s umbrella]. Consistent with the BSIA’s long term commitment to industry quality and professionalism, this partnership is all about enabling the Trade Association to help drive occupational standards and training support for the sector. Skills for Security has enjoyed many successes of late – not least assisting with the training of over 5,000 security staff for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – but has a surprisingly small number of BSIA member customers. I’m looking forward to seeing new working relationships develop over the coming year.”
In terms of supporting the industry, in tandem with numerous Parliamentary Round Tables the Association has continued to lead the Security Regulation Alliance.
“Since the industry rejected the proposed abolition of the Security Industry Authority back in October 2010,” explained Zeidler, “the alternative new regulatory regime has enjoyed strong endorsement in the recent Home Office consultation. This will bring in business licensing, in turn improving regulation at a lower cost. The BSIA is continuing to lobby the Home Office for the primary legislation that’s needed to make enforcement effective. We’re hoping to hear more on this very soon.” As, indeed, is the security sector at large.
The BSIA is lobbying on behalf of the industry to shape the new regulatory regime for private sector security
Trusted partner of the Home Office
Turning from security personnel towards system solutions, on the products side of the equation the BSIA has continued to work as one of a few trusted partners of the Home Office in relation to CCTV.
The Association submitted a detailed response to the consultation on the Government’s new CCTV Code of Practice and works with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Andrew Rennison – as well as the Home Office – on CCTV-related issues.
Zeidler commented: “The Association’s recently published research into the numbers and scope of surveillance cameras across the UK has provided valuable and impartial information for the many key stakeholders involved. I’m sure that this work will continue to flourish under the watchful eye of the BSIA’s new vice-chairman, Pauline Norstrom.”
Pauline Norstrom: vice-chairman of the Trade Association
When it comes to supporting its members, this is where Zeidler feels it’s important for the BSIA to crystallise exactly what the Association – and only the Association – can do for its supporters.
“Our recent member survey showed that the best results are realised by the most engaged members. For example, the Cash and Valuables in Transit Section continues to generate excellent results from its Safer Cash and Safer Gems Specialist services, both of which are closely aligned with the police service. We’re now working to develop our Affinity Services which should be of particular value to our smaller member companies. We also believe that the increased number and scope of our events has been successful. Development of these services must be directed by the BSIA’s Sections, and I look forward to an impressive list of new targeted services in 2014.”
Vocal supporter of professionalism, quality and value
Zeidler was keen to point out that the BSIA’s role as the sector’s key representative body has never been more important.
“We’re a vocal supporter of professionalism, quality and value,” he urged. “When looking back on the last 12 months, I firmly believe the Association has made a significant contribution to the industry while also enhancing our ability to provide value for our membership.”
The chairman outlined that the BSIA is fortunate to have members and staff who epitomise “commitment, dedication, technological innovation and high standards of service.”
It’s for the BSIA’s dedicated members of staff and all of the Association’s customers that Zeidler once again focused on key market messages.
“Looking towards the customers, I would urge them to design procurement procedures in such a way that allows us to provide risk management-based solutions. To the BSIA’s members, I would say make sure your customers understand sustainable profitability and allow you to save money by innovation rather than risking our industry’s reputation, and possibly losing the public’s trust, by reducing quality.”