Chief executive Alex Carmichael is keen to reiterate that SSAIB is fully operational and continues to provide certification for over 1,800 registered firms and new firms looking to join during the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Due to the restrictions imposed by the UK government – relating to travel and social distancing – the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries has embraced new technology to provide remote audits for certification, surveillance and re-certification, due to the pragmatic and positive approach to the pandemic adopted by the NPCC, BAFE, SIA and UKAS – as they apply to SSAIB’s certification schemes. Overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 An amendment to the ICT infrastructure, as required to support the new remote functions, has also allowed the SSAIB’s head office functions – including phone lines – to remain operational, but measures such as home working have been introduced to safeguard the health of all SSAIB staff. SSAIB is fully operational and continues to provide certification for over 1,800 registered firms The SSAIB CEO has overseen a widespread transformation to the organisation’s working practices in the last month or so, but is confident that these changes will allow SSAIB-registered firms and any potential new firms to enjoy the benefits of third-party certification during these unprecedented times. Alex stated: “As soon as it was first mentioned that this crisis could end up with a nationwide lockdown, we made sure to put procedures in place that would allow us to continue to support our registered firms, and the wider security and fire industries, at a time when we knew they’d need our support more than ever. “By continuing our operations, we are primarily seeking to support our existing clients while – at the same time – providing an opportunity to gain certification, for organisations seeking certification for the first time. “Certification auditing arrangements for each scheme differ and details of these arrangements will be provided to applicants as part of the application process. Arrangements for surveillance and re-certification audits also differ for each scheme and registered organisations will be made aware of these in advance of surveillance or re-certification audits becoming due. “The feedback we’ve had so far from those firms that have had remote audits has been excellent and has more than justified our decision to introduce them.” SSAIB set to stay proactive While it seems to have been a seamless transition for SSAIB to introduce home working for staff and fully remote audits, Alex conceded that he couldn’t rule out further changes but revealed that any change in circumstances would be managed in a “phased and managed manner". Alex continued: “These arrangements will remain in place for as long as financial constraints allow. It may be necessary to amend our services, particularly if the lockdown remains in place for a long time. “In the event of it becoming necessary to reduce the services we can offer, we will do so in a phased and managed manner to minimise the impact on the services we provide. However, should circumstances change, we will inform our registered firms of any new developments.”
With the Government directives brought into action earlier this week, Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has had to change certain aspects of their working practices, while also ensuring that it doesn’t impact negatively on the registered firms and the level of service that the company provides to customers. UKAS accreditation SSAIB is fully aware of the uncertainty and worry that our firms will be facing at this difficult time" Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alex Carmichael said, “SSAIB is fully aware of the uncertainty and worry that our firms will be facing at this difficult time, but we would like to remind each and every one of you that we are here to support you and we want to work together with you all - as we’re all in this together until a resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found.” He adds, “Therefore, I just want to provide you with an update as to what we are doing to keep our firms and our staff safe, while still being able to provide SSAIB certification and comply with our own requirements for United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation.” Ensuring safety of office staff The company has taken the decision to close the SSAIB office to ensure the safety of the office staff. All members of staff have been issued with everything they need in order to work from home, so the ‘office’ will still be fully manned remotely - until such time as these latest Government restrictions are relaxed – and the company will be doing all that it can to ensure that there is no interruption in service, during what is a big transition period. Carmichael further said, “As you will all be aware, our auditors are out in the field day in, day out visiting you all for your initial or annual inspections. However, again, to try and avoid – or limit – the spread of this virus, we have started rolling out remote audits and the hope is to have them fully up and running by Monday March 30.” Supporting registered firms He adds, “This will allow us to carry on with our certification requirements, while ensuring that the health and wellbeing of our registered firms and our auditors is not compromised in any way. Our auditors are still here to help you and, if you are worried about your audit or are unsure as to what you need to have in place in order to be able to be audited remotely, please give us a call on 0191 296 3242 and we can pass a message on for them to get in touch with you to discuss your issues.” SSAIB understands that this is a situation that is unprecedented in its scale and no one has ever found themselves in before, so the company will do their best to answer all queries that people might have with regards to this pandemic. COVID-19 FAQs accessible via official online portal SSAIB has put up a list of COVID-19 FAQs accessible via the Registered Firms’ portal of the SSAIB’s website The company has put up a list of COVID-19 FAQs accessible via the Registered Firms’ portal of the SSAIB’s website and these will continue to be updated as and when new information is released. Therefore, should anyone have an issue or question that is not covered already, please get in touch and not only will they be resolved, but also added to the list so that it can – potentially – help anyone else looking for the same answer(s) as well. SSAIB is fully aware of the impact of COVID-19 on people’s jobs and livelihoods. Should anyone find that they are struggling to make a payment, through no fault of their own, please contact the company’s helpline as soon as possible – as it gives SSAIB the best chance of providing immediate support to the people concerned. Working Together Carmichael concluded, “We really are doing our best to manage a very difficult situation, so we thank you for your patience, understanding and support at this time. As we do everything in our power to carry out providing third-party certification to you all, your positive comments to our staff really do make all the difference.”
Tavcom Training - a world renowned provider of accredited security systems training courses and part of the Linx International Group – has announced a partnership with the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB). Tavcom will provide registered firms of the professional certification body with access to technical security training, as part of a long-term initiative to raise standards throughout the UK security industry. The first joint activity is a BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Mains Compliance. SSAIB Chief Executive, Alex Carmichael, states: “Training is essential to the security industry - as it helps to ensure that high standards are met and exceeded. However, as a professional certification body the SSAIB does not deliver training. By linking up with Tavcom we are able to provide our 1800 registered firms with the opportunity to access the industry training that they may need.” Recognised mark of excellence The CTSP Register is an excellent initiative that has had the full endorsement of the SSAIB from day one" The SSAIB and Tavcom previously joined forces in support of the Certified Technical Security Professionals (CTSP) Register, which recognises competency of individuals fulfilling technical roles in the electronic security and fire sectors (the Register is operated by Tavcom). Carmichael adds: “The CTSP Register is an excellent initiative that has had the full endorsement of the SSAIB from day one. Our certification provides a recognised mark of excellence for organisations, whilst CTSP maintains a register of individuals that meet a high level of proficiency. Together we are helping to maintain standards and professionalise this vitally important industry.” Accredited training and rigorous certification Group Sales Manager at Tavcom, Andrew Saywell, comments: “The Main Compliance course is the first initiative in what we expect to be a long and successful partnership, between two leading organisations in the security industry that are united in the ambition to maintain the very highest standards of practice, through accredited training and rigorous certification.” The next one-day Mains Compliance course takes place on 30th March 2020 in Whitley Bay. It is suited to all who work on or near a live electrical supply and need to ensure that they are a ‘competent person’ under the terms of the ‘electricity at work’ regulation.
Professional security installers are the essential lifeblood of IFSEC and FIREX International, so they are delighted to announce their long-standing partners SSAIB as the official Installer Partner for the 2020 shows, taking place once again at London’s ExCeL from May 19-21. As the certification body for security and fire alarm installation professionals, manned guarding services and monitoring, SSAIB-approved companies are exclusively invited to IFSEC International and FIREX International 2020 to meet with trained SSAIB personnel and engage with over 500 leading manufacturers and suppliers of security and fire safety technologies and services. IFSEC and FIREX are the perfect learning environments for SSAIB companies where they can spend three days totally immersed in state-of-the-art technologies, solutions and discussions all focused around the driving issues in security and fire. Life safety risk assessment SSAIB’s presence at FIREX will contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety It’s where the entire security and fire communities always come together to collaborate, ask the big questions and find the practical answers to their current challenges. SSAIB will also use its time at IFSEC and FIREX to host the regional South East meeting at the show, which makes it convenient for approved companies to make full use of their time at IFSEC; mixing SSAIB business with their own fact-finding and discovery. The 2020 events also mark the return of SSAIB to FIREX International, where they’ll be on hand to discuss various BAFE-approved certification opportunities in fire system design and installation, life safety risk assessment and the correct use and maintenance of portable extinguisher equipment. With the national agenda now firmly fixed on promoting certified life safety schemes and awareness, SSAIB’s presence at FIREX International will rigorously contribute to the show’s stated aims of promoting expertise and guidance in life safety. Fire and security industries In line with the new decade, SSAIB will once again host the official Installer Bar in IFSEC that will have a dedicated ‘Roaring 20s’ theme to herald 2020. Look out for the Prohibition ‘speakeasy’ themes although, rest assured, none of the refreshments will be bootlegged! SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “We are delighted to be named as the official installer partner for IFSEC and FIREX International 2020 – as they are the premier events for both the fire and security industries and we would very much encourage our registered firms to visit us there next May." “We’ve also incorporated our South East regional meeting into IFSEC 2020, because it gives the many firms that attend our events the opportunity to immerse themselves in all the latest developments and technologies on show at IFSEC and FIREX.” Ever-strengthening partnership “Not only can they do this and hear all the latest updates we’ll be sharing, but they’ll also be invited to join us at our Installer Bar for an informal catch-up and refreshments too. SSAIB has enjoyed a lot of success lending our name to an IFSEC bar over the last two years, so we’ve decided to try and build on that further by making a welcome return to FIREX as well." I am excited to announce SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC and FIREX International in 2020" "Due to the sheer size of the two shows, it’s not always possible to take in everything in one visit and – this way – you’ll get two chances of asking any questions you might have about the many schemes that SSAIB provide certification for. IFSEC and FIREX warmly welcome our ever-strengthening partnership with SSAIB and look forward to welcoming their approved companies to next year’s shows." Security and fire challenges With such comprehensive coverage across the whole of the UK, IFSEC International and FIREX International look forward to meeting SSAIB’s professional installers at IFSEC and FIREX and helping them overcome the everyday security and fire challenges they encounter. Rachel Eaton, Event Manager, IFSEC International & FIREX International commented: “I am very excited to announce the SSAIB as the official Installer Partner of IFSEC International and FIREX International in 2020." "The SSAIB has been a champion of IFSEC for over two decades, so I’m delighted to see the SSAIB return to support FIREX as well. Due to the strong relationship we have with the SSAIB, we have managed to bring Scottish installers back to both events, hugely improving the diversity of visitors and exhibitors we have on site.” Cyber and converged security IFSEC International and FIREX International take place 19th-21st May at ExCeL, London. Co-located with Counter Terror Expo, Intelligent Building Show, Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Workplace Wellbeing Show, the three-day free-to-attend exhibitions and conferences bring together the latest physical, cyber and converged security and fire safety technology, solutions and insights from hundreds of suppliers.
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
SSAIB, the UK and Ireland’s security, fire, and telecare certification body, has certified its registered firm, MRP Alarms, to the latest ISO 9001 quality management systems standard. Importantly, while Harrogate-based MRP Alarms was already audited to the previous (2008) version of ISO 9001 for the installation of wired and wireless intruder alarm systems, it sought benchmark certification to this updated ISO 9001: 2015 standard as part of the company’s commitment to the highest level of quality assurance for its residential and commercial customers. UKAS ISO 9001:2015 accreditation MRP Alarms’ achievement follows SSAIB’s own recent UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to ISO 9001:2015, enabling SSAIB to audit companies to the revised standard. ISO 9001 helps organisations demonstrate to their customers that they can offer products and services of consistently good quality. It also acts as a tool to streamline their processes and make them more efficient at what they do. The 2015 edition’s introduction followed more than three years’ revision work by experts from nearly 95 participating and observing countries to bring the standard up to date with modern needs. This includes compatibility with other management systems such as ISO 14001 (for which SSAIB is also UKAS-accredited). MRP Alarms Established some 30 years ago, MRP Alarms installs and maintains its clients’ intruder alarm systems in compliance with all relevant British and European standards, while the firm’s engineers are fully NVQ/City & Guilds qualified. Company owner Mark Peretti comments that its fresh accreditation to ISO 9001:2015 demonstrates “our commitment to the highest standards of quality assurance, which underpins everything we do and helps to ensure we maximise our customer service levels. This management system standard also offers benefits though our increased efficiency and improved business performance”. SSAIB Chief Executive Alex Carmichael adds that SSAIB’s UKAS accreditation to certificate organisations against the latest ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems standard will enable existing SSAIB registered firms to update their own existing ISO 9001:2008 accreditation to this latest standard by the deadline of September 2018. The latest edition is less prescriptive than its predecessor, focusing instead on performance, and the 2015 version is designed to be easily integrated with other management systems.
SSAIB can now provide an assessment service for organisations seeking certification against the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice SSAIB, the UK and Ireland-based certification body with some 1700 registered firms, will be exhibiting on stand G500 at IFSEC. SSAIB’s appearance at the three-day show follows its full programme of regional forum events held in the first half of 2016, including locations in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere around the UK. Surveillance camera code of practice Returning to IFSEC again at the London ExCeL venue, SSAIB’s staff will be led by its Chief Executive, Alex Carmichael, supported by Chairman Geoff Tate. They’ll be on-hand to discuss a variety of issues, including how SSAIB is now authorised by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner to provide an assessment service for organisations seeking certification against the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Organisations which have already achieved this include Community Safety Glasgow’s public space CCTV operation and Enfield Council’s Public Safety Centre. Enfield has also recently gained SSAIB certification for the provision of lone worker devices and its Centre provides safety monitoring for around 400 lone workers, such as social services employees, security officers and housing staff carrying out vital work in the community at sites including libraries, schools and hospitals. Engineers of Tomorrow At IFSEC, SSAIB will again be supporting the Engineers of Tomorrow challenge, the UK security skills competition for young engineers and apprentices, offering them an industry-wide opportunity to publicly demonstrate their achievements, as Alex Carmichael explains: “Engineers of Tomorrow offers a number of tangible benefits to both competitors and their employers and is another example of how SSAIB supports industry standards in the security, fire and other sectors. We’ll be providing assessors to act as judges, as well as one of the cash prizes, this year.” “The entire SSAIB team are looking forward to meeting with existing registered firms at IFSEC,” Alex adds, “as well as talking to companies and other organisations considering the many benefits available from the fire, manned guarding, electronic security and telecare certification services that SSAIB offers.”
SSAIB to support the Engineers of Tomorrow challenge, the UK security skills competition for young engineers and apprentices SSAIB, the UK and Ireland’s leading certification body – now boasting some 1700 registered firms – will be returning to IFSEC at the London ExCeL venue on stand F1375, the same location as its stand last year. For 2015 SSAIB’s staff will be led by new Chief Executive Alex Carmichael, who took over the reins from Geoff Tate in March. SSAIB-registered companies at IFSEC SSAIB-registered companies include businesses providing electronic security, intruder alarms, manned protection, fire detection systems, as well as services such as telecare monitoring systems for the social alarms sector. Throughout IFSEC, Alex and his team will be available to answer queries and discuss specific issues that concern registered firms. They’ll also be on-hand to explain the benefits of SSAIB’s accreditation services. These include its latest UKAS accreditation against British Standard 102000 for Investigative Services, gained recently following SSAIB’s work on pilot assessments with a number of companies working in this field. Supports the Engineers of Tomorrow challenge Meanwhile, during IFSEC 2015, SSAIB will also be supporting the Engineers of Tomorrow challenge, the UK security skills competition for young engineers and apprentices, offering them an industry-wide opportunity to publicly demonstrate their achievements. “Engineers of Tomorrow is one of the practical ways in which SSAIB provides steadfast support for industry standards in the security, fire and other sectors,” says Alex Carmichael. “We’ll be providing assessors to mark candidates, as well as one of the cash prizes, for the competition’s 15th year. “I’m looking forward to meeting with existing registered firms during the three-day show, as well as talking to businesses considering the many benefits available from the certification services that SSAIB offers,” he adds. “We aim to offer guidance and encouragement to certificated firms, as well as those considering certification, and our presence at IFSEC 2015 is one example of that.”
Dave has been at the BSIA since 2006 and has responsibility for delivering technical requirements of the electronic sections of the BSIA The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is pleased to announce the appointment of David Wilkinson to the position of Director of Technical Services. Promoted from the position of Technical Manager after eight years with the Association, Dave will assume his new role on 13th February 2015. The announcement follows the resignation of Alex Carmichael, who leaves the BSIA in February to join the SSAIB security inspectorate. James Kelly, Chief Executive, comments: “I am very pleased to announce that Dave Wilkinson has been offered the position of Director of Technical Services, and will succeed Alex Carmichael in the post from the 13th February. “I wish Alex well in this next step in his career and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for the significant contributions that he has made to the BSIA’s success over the past 16 years. “I am always keen to promote from within wherever possible, and we are fortunate in having some excellent people in key areas of the Association. The Association’s Technical department will remain at its current strength, to meet the extensive and complex workload on behalf of members.” Dave’s experience in the security industry spans more than 25 years and includes in-house security management positions as well as various roles with market leading security organisations, including Kings’ Security Systems, Reliance and the former Group 4 Securitas. Dave has been at the BSIA since 2006 and has responsibility for delivering technical requirements of the electronic sections of the BSIA, including Security Equipment Manufacturers, Security Systems and CCTV. Dave has also played an instrumental role in coordinating BSIA working groups to develop Codes of Practice and Guidelines, representing the BSIA on European and British Standards committees and ensuring a good technical liaison with member companies and other industry organisations. Commenting on his promotion, Dave added: "Having been at the BSIA for eight years, holding the positions of Technical Officer then Technical Manager, it is with great delight that I am now in a position to take on the role of Director of Technical Services. I look forward to the challenges of the role especially in such a rapidly changing industry environment."
Alex Carmichael will be taking over from Geoff Tate who will be stepping down as CEO after 16 years in the role SSAIB, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary as the UK and Ireland’s leading fire, security and telecare certification body, has appointed its new Chief Executive. Alex Carmichael will be taking over from Geoff Tate, who announced earlier this year that he will be stepping down as CEO after 16 years in the role. Alex Carmichael is joining SSAIB from his current post as Director of Technical Services and Exports at security industry trade body the BSIA, where he is responsible for coordinating all technical and quality matters. Alex’s existing duties on various UK and European committees, along with his strong technical background and close working relationship with a variety of industry organisations, provides him with ideal credentials to steer SSAIB in its next phase of growth. His background also includes over 20 years’ army experience in various technical/engineering support roles with REME, as well as a short spell as an electro-medical engineer with the NHS. “I’m delighted that someone with Alex’s skillset will be heading up SSAIB,” comments Geoff Tate. “I’ll be handing over the reins to someone with over 15 years’ involvement in the security sector, where he’s widely known and respected. “Besides working with him during a transitional handover, I’ll remain in close contact with Alex as SSAIB’s Chairman. It’s a significant boost for SSAIB to appoint a new Chief Executive of such calibre and provides the foundation for our future. SSAIB certificated organisations in the security, fire and telecare industries can rest assured that they’ll be in good hands with our staff under Alex’s capable guidance.”