First three companies meet proposed SIA business licensing requirements

Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley are the first three companies to achieve product certification to British security standards from BSI to help them meet proposed Security lndustry Authority (SIA) business licensing requirements.

The SIA currently requires that all security staff are licensed. From 6 April 2015, in addition to individuals, proposed new regulation will require that all private security businesses also hold an SIA business licence in order to demonstrate their competence to deliver security services.

To meet this proposed new legal requirement, Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley have taken advantage of a new pathway for security companies to gain an SIA business licence via third party product certification to relevant British security standards with the BSI.

Renown Protection Limited knows it will need to gain a business licence in order to continue to operate on a legal basis when the new business licensing regime comes into force. However, as a small firm the company has had to consider all possible options (including potentially closing down the business).

“As a small company, we wondered if it was worth getting a licence, but when we looked into it more closely we saw we were already doing a lot of the things we’d need to do,” said Jay Hollick, managing director at Renown. “The biggest challenge lies in ‘winning hearts and minds’. However, once we got buy-in from everyone they understood why we needed to complete paperwork, for example, and they could see the benefit of regular training and in-house refreshers as well as keeping a record of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).”

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

This new route to compliance particularly benefits those businesses looking to provide clients with independent proof of their commitment to offering a quality service. “Product certification and licensing shows clients and prospects that this is how we do business. It proves it without us having to convince them,” added Hollick.

By placing more emphasis on staff training and development, the company has also seen improved staff performance and morale. “We have always taken pride in giving staff a thorough induction and training,” asserted Hollick, “but whereas it has been largely verbal in the past, it’s now much better documented and methodical. Staff are more motivated which means that our clients receive a better service.”

Building on performance and reputation

Stopfordian and West Valley see the product certification route as an opportunity to not only meet the proposed new statutory licensing requirements but also build on their existing good performance and reputation.

Earlier this year, Stopfordian formed a strategic partnership with West Valley. The two firms now work together to protect their collective clients at work, home and in-between. A key benefit of the product certification process has been in helping them both maintain their quality ethos, and building upon it to make day-to-day running of the businesses as efficient as possible.

The process has also enabled the companies to look deeper into what they do and how they do it, leading them to devise and implement improved structures and processes.

“The thorough approach to even seemingly small parts of the job meant that all aspects of the company were looked into, considered and improved,” explained Laura White, Stopfordian’s office manager. “For example, stringent key holding procedures ensure the safety of clients’ venues. While time-consuming, screening and vetting procedures are necessary and hugely beneficial as we’re able to verify that our staff are of the highest quality.”

White went on to state: “Product certification has ensured that the two companies mirror each other in terms of procedures and service. As a result, they are not only able to serve existing clients, but also to promote the new merged entity in a way that’s quality assured. We are now able to increase business while running the companies in the most efficient way, in turn saving money and driving profits.”

Suzanne Fribbins, risk management specialist at BSI, commented: “Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley should all be very proud of their achievement in being the first to receive third party product certification to meet the Government’s proposed new requirements for security companies. They can now demonstrate they have independently verified Best Practice processes in place which will provide their clients with peace of mind that any operative entering their venue has been stringently assessed. Compliance with the security industry’s proposed business licensing regime will also enhance their ability to win and retain contracts, and shows a clear commitment to continual improvement.”

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