Tag Archives: Approved Contractor Scheme

Incentive FM moves into Top 3% of Approved Contractor Scheme-registered security companies

Incentive FM, the specialist facilities management company, has recently completed the latest Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) audit process and has achieved an excellent score.

Following the rigorous audit procedure, Incentive FM achieved a score of 129 points out of a possible 145 which now moves the business into the Top 3% of around 650 companies who hold ACS registration with the regulator.

Andrew Robbins, associate director of security and risk at Incentive FM, told Security Matters: “This achievement has been gained through the delivery of our clear strategy over the past three years, as well as the sheer hard work and dedication of our senior management and site-based teams who’ve demonstrated a clear commitment to delivering a premium security service to our clients through focus and continuous improvement.”

Robbins added: “We’re extremely proud of all our staff members who’ve helped the business to achieve ACS status for the fourteenth year in succession. The last 12 months has realised many challenges due to the new scoring mechanism adopted by the SIA’s auditors and, of course, the global pandemic, but we’ve persevered and passed with flying colours.”

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First Response Group listed in Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’

Yorkshire-based security and facilities service provider the First Response Group is featured in the latest Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’ listed. The business has been recognised as one of the companies set to grow rapidly and shows the potential to secure its place in the ‘Fast Track 100’ in the future.

Businesses are identified based on factors such as past sales, growth forecasts, international expansion and external investment. This summer, the Leeds-based company competed a £6 million refinancing agreement, allowing it to continue the strong growth it has experienced over the last few years.

A series of targeted acquisitions – coupled with recent high-profile tender wins in the insurance, corporate and construction sectors which accelerated the company’s growth – triggered the need to increase available working capital for business continuity and future investment.

Founded back in 2007 by directors Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, First Response Group provides security, fire and facilities management services for customers including Aldi and the NHS. Sales this year have risen by 51% to hot a total of £18.6 million.

Simon Alderson, CEO at the First Response Group, said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of The Sunday Times’ ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’. The extraordinary growth we’ve seen over the past few years has firmly established the First Response Group as a rising star in the security industry, and this achievement recognises the dedication and hard work shown by our entire team.”

Alderson added: “This summer’s funding, coupled with our mission to provide the best service and innovation possible by cultivating a culture of employee inclusion and happiness, will continue to position First Response Group as a leader in the security and FM solutions markets.” First Response Group holds the coveted National Security Inspectorate Guarding Gold accreditation and, as an Approved Contractor Scheme Pacesetter, is ranked in the Top 15% of firms registered on the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme.

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Jodie Stevens joins Venture Security in compliance manager’s role

Hampshire-based security solutions provider Venture Security has bolstered its senior team with the appointment of Jodie Stevens as compliance manager. In her new role, Stevens will be responsible for overseeing all regulatory, privacy and compliance matters within the organisation and ensuring that the necessary British Standards are applied.

That process and procedure includes managing Venture Security’s many accreditations, such as its National Security Inspectorate Gold status, CHAS and ACS Pacesetters memberships and the business’ continued registration on the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme.

Prior to joining Venture Security, Stevens spent 11 years working at Heathrow Airport within airfield operations, safety and transformation. As such, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the airfield, maintaining safety processes and dealing with any accidents and incidents as required, more recently being focused on improving the efficiency of ground operations. This followed on from an 18-month spell in a similar role at Southampton Airport.

Commenting on her new appointment, Stevens said: “I’ve known the team at Venture Security for many years now. I actually hold an SIA licence myself and, in my spare time, have supported the team with guarding operations at Stonehenge, Salisbury Racecourse and for other regional events so I already have a lot of knowledge about the company and how it operates.”

Stevens continued: “Being furloughed due to COVID-19 and a recent restructure led me to reflect on my role at Heathrow Airport and it just seemed the perfect time to make the move to join Venture Security. It’s a great fit for my skills and experience and I look forward to the opportunity of making a tangible difference at what is an ambitious and growing company.”

Jodie Stevens

Upholding standards

Paul Howe, managing director at Venture Security, responded: “Jodie is exceptional at what she does and will be a valuable member of the team. As a company, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of service possible and that comes down to employing the best people, organising the best training and investing in industry-leading systems and processes. We’re currently undergoing significant growth as a business and upholding standards throughout will be central to our success.”

Based in Andover, Venture Security is ranked within the top 1% of security providers in the UK. The award-winning company was founded in 2006 and works with both corporate and residential clients, providing services including security guarding, mobile patrols, locking and unlocking for premises, key holding and alarm response.

As well as working with businesses, the team manages security for a number of high-profile regional venues and events, also working with councils and BIDs to tackle anti-social behaviour in public spaces.

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Security guarding specialist SSGC appoints Haines Watts to manage “rapid growth trajectory”

One of Britain’s fastest-growing specialist security businesses has appointed a leading national accountancy firm as part of its planned expansion strategy that has so far seen a substantial turnover increase to over £60 million per annum.

Robust systems and bespoke technology has enabled SSGC, a niche provider of fully-vetted security officers, to deploy hundreds of individuals to secure and marshal the COVID-19 testing programme at centres right across the UK, building on the significant growth already achieved by the company throughout 2019.

Further, the business has now appointed Haines Watts, the accountancy firm with more than 50 offices nationwide, to manage its financial affairs as it draws up its long-term expansion plan after securing contracts which have underpinned the aforementioned robust and rapid growth in turnover.

Swindon-based SSGC has demonstrated its ability to rapidly provide hundreds of guarding personnel within very tight time windows, many of them former military personnel returning to front line duties as part of the national Coronavirus effort.

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Mike Lloyd, a partner at Haines Watts (left), with Guy Dungworth (a shareholder in SSGC) and David Stubbs (managing director at SSGC)

Reinforcing the front line

“Reinforcing our front line in the fight against COVID-19 has meant making some sound decisions as we rise through the ranks of security firms to be part of the top flight of specialist businesses,” said David Stubbs, managing director of SSGC, in conversation with Security Matters. “Appointing an equally top flight accountancy firm was always part of our long-term planning.”

Stubbs continued: “Growth has always been a major part of our strategy, but our ability to demonstrate a robust response to the Government’s needs during the COVID-19 lockdown suddenly accelerated those plans. We had already established a good relationship with Haines Watts, so a complete move to take advantage of a strategic finance partner that complements our own direction of travel will definitely help us when it comes to shaping our future direction.”

Mike Lloyd, partner with Haines Watts, responded: “We provide services to thousands of businesses, many of which, like SSGC, are going through a phase of significant growth in a short time. Expansion presents new and exciting challenges and secures a spot for SSGC as a major corporate player. This is a target the business was already heading towards before current events arose.”

Lloyd continued: “Accountancy services fall broadly into two distinct areas, namely compliance and planning. From the compliance side, we can make sure that SSGC meets all of the necessary legal and tax requirements. With planning, we can help optimise areas such as tax management, financial modelling and scenario forecasting in order to maximise the financial fluidity of the company under growth. We are already working with the directors on both fronts at this key time in the company’s evolution.”

Armed Forces Covenant signatory

A signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, SSGC is an ethical business committed to supporting the military community through remobilisation projects and is also being supported by other key partners in Skipton Business Finance and Squire Patton Boggs Solicitors in delivering on the Government’s call to action.

SSGC is a Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor Scheme registered business that was formed by MBO back in 2014

David Stubbs, himself a former military policeman, concluded: “This is a very exciting time for the business as we transition into the next phase of our development. Working with Haines Watts provides seamless access to the financial services and expertise we will be leaning on this year as we execute the next phase of our growth.”

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Spring Bank Holiday security patrol team in Southend save man’s life

The Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 25 May witnessed a security patrol team from Approved Contractor Scheme-registered Stambridge Security Services save a middle-aged man who was suffering from a potentially life-threatening heart attack at Southend-on-Sea Pleasure Beach.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed door supervisors Jamie Spiers and Patrick Bourke were on patrol at the Pleasure Beach when they received a call from a colleague at around 2.00 pm stating that there was a male in distress.

It was a busy and hot day. Spiers and Bourke found the unconscious man lying on the beach fully dressed and breathing erratically. He was having a cardiac arrest. Both officers are qualified First Aid trainers and immediately called the Emergency Services who advised that they should start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ie CPR).

Spiers started chest compressions while Bourke alerted Southend-based Stambridge Security Services’ Control Room staff to ensure that CCTV was capturing everything. The two door supervisors also took it in turns to administer rescue breaths.

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Air Ambulance on scene

Spiers said: “Thankfully we were in the right place at the right time. We took turns in helping the man to breathe because it was so tiring. It took about 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. We were relentless, consistent and we did not stop. When the Emergency Services arrived they took over and used a defibrillator. The Air Ambulance also came to the scene.”

Once Spiers and Bourke had handed the man over to the Emergency Services, they cordoned off the busy Pleasure Beach. As it was a Bank Holiday, the traffic was very heavy so they directed cars away from the scene to enable the Emergency Services to transport their patient to Southend Hospital.

Three days later, a security operative at Southend Hospital called Spiers such that he could chat to the man whom he and Bourke had saved. He was very thankful.

On that note, Spiers stated: “I’ve been a door supervisor for 12 years and I was born and bred in Southend. Patrick and I have worked together in crowd control and always focus on making sure we can create a safe environment. I’m just glad we could help. Who would have thought that Patrick and I would save a man’s life?”

Critical and key workers

There are upwards of 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK and, like Spiers and Bourke, many continue to work as critical and key workers in safeguarding and protecting hospitals and sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets and transacting other essential operations.

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, said: “It’s important to remember that many individuals in the security industry are working as critical and key workers during this emergency period. The scenario in which Jamie and Patrick were involved is testament to the fact that, despite the challenges, many operatives and businesses are going the extra mile to serve their communities.”  

The SIA is actively promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. The Regulator is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

*Read all of the #SIAHeroes stories online here

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New Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications postponed to April 2021

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has decided to postpone the introduction of new licence-linked qualifications until April 2021.

The SIA has spoken to industry, awarding organisations and training providers who have outlined the difficulties they face during the current pandemic.

In view of these challenges, the September 2020 launch date for the new qualifications is deemed to be unachievable.

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The SIA has therefore set a revised target date of April 2021 for the introduction of the new licence-linked qualifications.

The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

*For further information about the SIA or to sign up for e-mail updates visit: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority), LinkedIn and Twitter (@SIAuk)

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SSAIB appoints Dougie Callander as new manned services scheme manager

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has named Dougie Callander as the organisation’s new scheme manager for manned services after predecessor David Taylor made the decision to step down from the role over the summer.

With over 19 years of experience in the security industrym having entered the security world straight from school, 37-year-old Callander has spent the last decade working as a regional investigator for the Security Industry Authority (SIA), where he also completed a seven-month stint acting as regional investigations manager for the Regulator’s compliance and investigation department during 2012-2013.

While working for the SIA, the new Scotland-based scheme manager also played an integral part in a multi-agency team co-ordinating the regulation and quality assurance at high-profile events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, the G8 Summits in Northern Ireland (2013) and Cardiff (2014), the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Ryder Cup tournament.

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Dougie Callander: new role at the SSAIB

After building up a wealth of experience in his previous employment at the SIA, Callander is now looking to use what he has learnt so far to “bring a new dynamic to the SSAIB.” He told Risk Xtra: “While working for the SIA and within the security industry over the last ten years, I’ve been aware of the excellent reputation that the SSAIB enjoys within the industry and the work the organisation has done to help raise the performance standards within the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). Most importantly, I also know of the part the SSAIB has played in safeguarding the integrity of the ACS by ensuring that all assessments are fair, proportionate and transparent. For me, it’s essential that the SSAIB continues to perform to the high standards already set.”

Callander added: “I like to think I’m a champion of change. I always promote Best Practice. Therefore, I believe that my unique and diverse background, as well as my knowledge of the SIA and the ACS, will bring a new dynamic to the SSAIB. I’ll be able to offer fresh ideas on ensuring that we continue performing to a consistently high standard.”

Departing manned services scheme manager Taylor – who joined the SSAIB back in June 2014 – will continue as a part-time manned services assessor for the time being. The organisation would like to thank him for all of his hard work during his time as manned services scheme manager.

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Axis Security picks up record five nominations for 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards

Axis Security, a leading provider of bespoke security services, has been shortlisted in five categories at the 2018 Security and Fire Excellence Awards, including the prestigious Security Guarding Company of the Year, an award that the business has been nominated for across seven consecutive years and has won on three occasions.

Five nominations in the Security and Fire Excellence Awards, which are organised and hosted by UBM, marks a record achievement for the company, with the remaining nominations being for Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector, Security Training Initiative of the Year (with ‘Security Masterclass’), the Inspiration in HR Award and the ACS Champion of the Year (an award the company won last year).

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, stated: “The company’s employees are its most important asset, while its key focus is in customer service. By prioritising training and employee welfare initiatives, our officers in turn prioritise excellent service for our customers’ customers. These nominations are testament to this focus.”

7084 Security & Fire Excellence Awards logo 2018

Axis Security’s nomination for the Contribution to Standards in the Security Sector Award recognises the company’s proactive use of training and site audits, internal employee awards and its development of a contract management and performance measurement software platform. Specifically this year, the nomination is a result of Axis’ critical role in one of its customers achieving the ISO 22301 business continuity standard for its flagship building. The award was achieved one month ahead of schedule and is the client’s first property to achieve the accreditation.

The Inspiration in HR Award acknowledges those companies demonstrating that HR is a fundamental part of their business and invest in their people. It’s bestowed by SSR Personnel and adjudicated by a prestigious panel of industry experts.

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“To have picked up this number of nominations is evidence of the hard work of all employees from HR, training and operational personnel through to our security officers,” explained Levine. “I’m extremely proud and grateful for all the hard work that has been integral to our successes this year.”

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Cougar Monitoring and BT Redcare to run joint Roadshow for fire and security installers in Midlands region

Led by Cougar Monitoring, the Roadshow will be hosted on Friday 6 October at one of BT’s key buildings in Birmingham city centre near to Birmingham New Street Station. In addition to presentations from representatives of Cougar and BT Redcare, there will also be representatives from the technical departments of both companies available for advice, guidance and training.

Eric Roberts, CEO of Cougar Monitoring, said: “BT Redcare has been in the alarm signalling market for over 30 years. The company is tried and tested and the majority of its products are third party certified. Having met with the new BT Redcare management team recently, it’s abundantly clear that they have a renewed focus and intention to work closer with both ourselves and installers. We’re delighted to join them to reinforce that message to our installers.”

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BT Redcare sits at the heart of home and business security, bridging the gap between customers, installers and Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs). Backed by BT’s trusted technology and the largest R&D budget in the UK, the business has been leading the way in reliable alarm signalling. Having recently undertaken a refresh of its brand and approach to the market, the company has now pledged to work closer with ARCs and installers to help grow their businesses.

Cougar Monitoring was established in 1996 and holds a number of nationally-recognised accreditations. The business is registered by the Security Industry Authority as an Approved Contractor for key holding, security guarding and Public Space (CCTV) Surveillance and has also received the National Security Inspectorate’s Gold standard EMS and Health and Safety accreditations.

Cougar Monitoring is part of the Prime Interaction Group that also includes Securenett and Kings Security, making it one of the largest independent security groups in the UK. The company invests heavily in cutting-edge technology to provide clients with an “innovative and inclusive” security service. Its high specification alarm receiving and monitoring set-up enables the company to keep response times enviably sharp and to provide reliable and professional assistance.

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Going forward, Securenett will be recommending BT Redcare alarm signalling products to its customers.

Commenting on the Cougar initiative, John Ware (general manager of BT Redcare) said: “I met personally with the senior leaders of Cougar Monitoring recently and it’s clear that they, like us, are looking to the future and wish to expand their operation. We’re perfectly placed to help them do this. The combination of our expertise in the market and Cougar’s reach to installers means attendees at the Roadshow will receive the best advice, value and support from both companies.”

*Details of the Roadshow will be issued soon. In the meantime, installers wishing to register an interest in attending can do so online at www.formwize.com/cougarroadshow

 

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Top level security without a performance delivered by Trigion

Trigion Security Services is working with managers at a number of prestigious theatres across London to provide electronic security solutions designed to keep staff, patrons and property alike safe in an unobtrusive manner that doesn’t deflect from the enjoyment of the performance.

With large crowds and high profile buildings to protect, the theatre owners were looking for a security company that could offer top level support. Trigion Security Services fitted the bill.

Neil Ricketts, technical services director at Trigion, informed Risk UK: “Theatres offer a number of rare security and safety challenges with large groups of people arriving and leaving at the same time, numerous staircases and corridors present as well as main auditoriums to protect. There are also a number of bars and concession stands, so we need to be able to keep an eye on the cash being handled.”

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Ricketts continued: “Using a variety of electronic security equipment operated remotely from our Security Operations Centre, we can ensure there’s always a high level of security in place, even when the curtain has come down and everyone’s gone home.”

Trigion operates to the very highest standards in the industry and has gained Security Industry Authority Approved Contractor status in addition to ISO 9001. All Trigion Security officers are vetted and trained to BS 7858 and verified as such by the National Security Inspectorate.

Trigion is the UK security division of the Facilicom Group. Facilicom UK is the UK company of the Dutch facility services organisations Facilicom Services Group. Facilicom employs over 28,000 people and operates in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.

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