The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) proudly sponsored the Apprentice of the Year Award at the British Security Awards 2020 which took place on 1st July. The annual event, recognising individuals and companies within the private security sector for their talent and commitment in protecting people and property, saw a significant number of NSI approved companies celebrated amongst its winners. Organised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), this year’s British Security Awards were streamed online for the first time in its history, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and featured special guests including Ian Todd, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority and Rick Mounfield CSyP FSyl, Chief Executive of the Security Institute. Nearly 200 representatives from across the sector watched the event ‘live’ on the BSIA’s YouTube channel. Front line key workers NSI congratulates all of the winners and finalists including those NSI approved companies Industry figureheads announced each award including Dame Cressida Dick, DBE QPM, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service who praised the wider security industry and highlighted the invaluable contribution of front line key workers throughout the pandemic. NSI congratulates all of the winners and finalists including those NSI approved companies and their representatives who won the following ten categories: Best Newcomer: Harriet Giles, Mitie Service to the Customer: Thomas Ibbetson, G4S Outstanding Act: Adam Rich, Mitie Security Manager of the Year: Babatunde Lawal, G4S Best team: Templars Square Security Team, Westgrove Group Apprentice of the Year: Tessa Bruce, EFT Systems National Partnership: M&S Connected Solution, Mitie Business of the Year: STM Group SME of the Year: Fenix Monitoring Best Use of Technology: B&Q Crime Centre, Mitie Security systems sector Richard Jenkins NSI Chief Executive commented: “NSI has been a long-standing supporter of apprenticeships within the security sector and was delighted to once again sponsor the Apprentice of the Year award. Our warm congratulations go to Tessa Bruce from EFT Systems in recognition of her drive for success and outstanding achievement in the Engineers of Tomorrow competition heats. We wish Tessa a long and successful career in the security systems sector." "Our congratulations extend to all of this year’s winners and finalists whose achievements and excellence were celebrated by the judges, including those NSI approved companies and representatives who came top in their categories. We pay tribute to the industry’s front line officers whose critical ‘key worker’ contribution was commended with a Chairman’s Special Recognition Award acknowledging the immense role they have carried out during COVID-19.”
Mitie Security, one of UK’s renowned technology-led security business, has become one amongst the first business in the sector to successfully pilot virtual accredited training modules. Mitie is working in partnership with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and Highfield Qualifications, the licence awarding body, to provide online access to the training course which is required to become a licensed security guard. Previously, candidates were required to attend on-site courses. However, with social distancing measures in place, an innovative training solution was required to meet the growing demand for licenced Security Officers to support the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Mitie employees took part in the pilot, successfully completing their training and, after passing their assessments, were awarded their SIA licences. Access and egress control More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks. Designed for people wanting to take their first step into a career in the security industry, the virtual security guarding course consists of 20 hours of virtual training in the form of live tutorials. These are delivered via video conference over a minimum of three days. During this time, participants cover a number of specialist and management modules, such as health and safety, patrolling, searching, access and egress control, and avoiding and defusing conflict. To ensure that the SIA standards are met, the Security Industry Authority and Highfield Qualifications supervisors also make unannounced visits by joining the live tutorials. CCTV Level 2 At the end of the course the participants are required to take three online assessments on invigilated software to test their knowledge and competency. Once submitted, the online test results can be delivered in just 20 minutes, significantly faster than the two to three weeks that it normally takes for on-site exams to be graded. Following the success of the licencing training, Mitie will be rolling out a ‘CCTV Level 2’ online course. With many buildings across the country closed due to lockdown, this will ensure security teams are equipped to carry out roles now encompassing the increased use of CCTV. Retail and healthcare As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training" Jason Towse, Managing Director of Business Services, Mitie, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to our sector – one of which has been unprecedented demand for Security Officers in key sectors such as retail and healthcare at a time when people are physically unable to attend training." "As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training, offering people the chance to kick-start their career in security and supporting the efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to our Learning & Development team for making this happen and congratulations to all our new colleagues that have successfully completed their accreditation online. We look forward to welcoming many more.” Enhance business practices Ian Todd, CEO, SIA, said, “This is an example of fantastic partnerships in action. With Mitie’s passion and support, along with other providers, we have been able to pilot a new approach to training in quick time. At the SIA we are always keen to see innovation in the way that training is delivered, without losing the integrity of the qualification." "The excellent collaboration between the two organisations shows that despite these uncertain times, we can continue to improve and enhance our business practices. We will now fully evaluate the pilot, including with other providers who have taken part. Thank you to all involved for making this possible.”
With recently introduced social distancing measures, Key Workers essential to the running of public and other services across the UK including the NHS and critical infrastructure, have been categorised by Government. The intent is to ensure health and safety for the public at large during the pandemic and efforts to control COVID-19. NSI’s view is clear: approved companies working in security and fire safety deliver every day essential services ranging from a wide variety of guarding services, to fire detection and intruder alarm systems, CCTV systems and the 24/7 remote monitoring of these systems in purpose built and secure Alarm Receiving Centers (ARCs). Alarm response centers Approved companies working in these specialisms go to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their service. It is NSI’s belief that essential staff in their businesses are Key Workers, providing critical maintenance and emergency call-outs to ensure effective security and safety cover. They understand exactly how to balance utilisation of Key Worker status with the demands of social distancing, and so support public safety and the emergency services. NSI considers Key Worker status is appropriate for specialist employees of companies approved by NSI and SSAIB" With regard to the Guarding sector Ian Todd, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority on 26 March expressed the view: “roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, also meet the critical worker definition. This would include, amongst other areas, the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises; the monitoring of similar through CCTV or other remote means; and the provision of alarm response centers including mobile units.” Maintain security and fire systems Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive, NSI comments: “NSI considers Key Worker status is wholly appropriate for specialist employees of companies approved by NSI and SSAIB, many of whom work directly or indirectly in collaboration with Police Forces and Fire and Rescue Services to maintain security and fire systems within public infrastructure, as well as a multitude of commercial and private property throughout the UK.
Key topics and challenges affecting the security systems and guarding sectors were addressed at this year’s NSI-sponsored Thought Leadership Summit, held at the Royal Lancaster London. Delegates from across the industry engaged with a lively, informative and thought provoking programme, organised by the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs). A cross-section of security industry end users, service providers, sector organisations and regulatory bodies attended the third annual UK OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit, where an international line-up of speakers provided a variety of valuable insights. They included Inspector Angel Martinez Sendino from the Central Private Security Unit with Madrid Police, who described the pioneering strategy it has adopted to tackle false alarms and the resulting reductions achieved. Real Living Wage Inspector Sendino’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion about the Madrid experience and the lessons that might translate into the UK to beneficial effect. This round-table debate, involving David Mair from the Security Systems Unit at the Metropolitan Police, Ken Meanwell from Secured by Design, David Wilkinson from the BSIA, plus NSI’s Richard Jenkins, was chaired by Professor Martin Gill and prompted informed delegate feedback during a Q&A session. Meanwhile, the merits and implications of paying the Real Living Wage in the security sector were summarised by Sebastian Bachelier from the Living Wage Foundation. He explained how the voluntary Real Living Wage (as distinct from the statutory Minimum Wage for under-25s and the National Living Wage for over-25s) offers benefits to workers and employers alike, in addition to tangible economic contributions when implemented. Underrepresentation of women The SIA welcomed NSI’s forthcoming Code of Practice for the provision of labour in the security and events sector The Summit moved on to hear from Ian Todd, Chief Executive of the Security Industry Authority. His address covered areas including the Approved Contractor Scheme and concerns surrounding the role of labour providers operating outside the ACS’ remit. This involves issues including rogue labour, inadequate screening, poor training and illegal low pay, along with the SIA’s role as a regulator in managing these concerns. The SIA welcomed NSI’s forthcoming Code of Practice (NCP 119) for the provision of labour in the security and events sector. Douglas Barnett from AXA Insurance then provided an insurer’s insight into its experience of guarding contractor practices, drivers behind the race to the bottom and future opportunities. Concluding the event, Charlotte Howell from Perpetuity Research summarised some of the main findings from a recent survey of experiences from women working in physical security and key areas for future industry development, including the significant current underrepresentation of women in the security sector. Help propel the security sector “This Thought Leadership Summit is the first to have been sponsored by NSI and our involvement with this prestigious event was prompted by our drive for continual improvement amongst security providers,” comments NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins. “We welcome fresh perspectives that provoke constructive debate about how the industry could develop. The Thought Leadership Summit proved a driving force in moving the debate onwards in a positive and engaging way and covering a range of challenging topics. Recognising new technology, working practices and shared standards can help propel the security sector and raise its profile with buyers, people joining the industry, and in the wider community.”
The Private Security Industry Act of 2001 gives the Security Industry Authority (SIA) the function of setting standards of conduct in the United Kingdom’s private security industry. Time is winding down to provide input during the SIA’s six-week consultation on a new draft code of conduct for SIA licence holders and applicants for SIA licences. The authority is inviting the industry, licence holders, and anyone with an interest in private security to have their say on the draft code of conduct by taking part in a survey. The consultation will end on 23 February. “The ethos of the code of conduct is that it will improve standards and public safety by setting out the standards of conduct and behaviour we expect people to uphold if they are entrusted with protecting the public, premises and property,” says Ian Todd, Chief Executive, Security Industry Authority (SIA). Security's Code of Conduct A code of conduct sets out what standards of behaviour professionals have to meet in order to work in the profession In security as in many professions, a code of conduct sets out what standards of behaviour professionals have to meet in order to work in the profession. SIA is suggesting Six Commitments of behaviour that will apply to all licensed security operatives and to applicants. If the code of conduct is sanctioned by the U.K. Home Office, it would become mandatory and incorporated into SIA’s licensing criteria Get Licensed. A commitment to certain standards of behaviour is fundamental to what it means to be fit and proper, and to being part of a profession. The six commitments are: Act with honesty and integrity Be trustworthy Protect the people and property you are entrusted to protect Be professional at work Act with fairness and impartiality at work Be accountable for your decisions and actions “We will review the comments from the consultation once it concludes on 23 February, analyse the results and publish a report on our findings,” says Todd. “The SIA will then use the comments it has received to write a final version of the code of conduct. The introduction of a code of conduct will be subject to final approval by Home Office Ministers.” SIA’s current Standards of Behaviour provide guidance on professional behaviour but are not mandatory. The draft code of conduct builds on the Standards of Behaviour. Upholding SIA's Standards The SIA’s Partnership and Interventions team is the unit that enforces the Private Security Industry Act “The majority of licence holders uphold the standards of behaviour that the SIA, their employers and the public expect of them,” says Todd. “Their professionalism and dedication keep the public safe and tackle crime. However, there are incidents in which some licence holders do not behave in this way. This minority lower the standard of service the public receives, harm public safety, and bring themselves and the rest of the private security industry into disrepute.” The SIA’s Partnership and Interventions team is the unit that enforces the Private Security Industry Act. It is likely that they will be required to enforce the code of conduct should it become mandatory. The draft code of conduct is currently out for consultation and the proposal has been shared widely to licence holders, private security businesses, and enforcement partners encouraging them all to take part. “Once the consultation has concluded, we will analyse the findings from the feedback, produce a report and publish it on our website and share this widely via social media,” says Todd.
Magenta Security MD Abbey Petkar met with SIA Chief Executive Ian Todd and Tony Holyland (SIA Head of Quality & Standards) at Magenta HQ last month to discuss concerns about the lack of business licences in the security industry. They also considered other topics focused on making the security industry more professional and more robust in the face of unscrupulous players in the market. This included how the ACS could be made more available to 80% of the industry, which represents approximately 40% of licence holders, yet to join the voluntary scheme. “It was obvious from the outset that Ian understood the issues the security industry faces and that Ian and Tony want to do more for the Industry. Ian is keen to push through changes that would enhance the whole of the security market, however, he needs to convince the Home Office that the changes are needed; and more importantly wanted by stakeholders across the whole of the security sector,” comments Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security. Business licences The conversation also considered the importance of paying guards a decent living wage – to avoid modern-day slavery “In response to the objections I have raised over the SIA’s handling of business licensing they made it clear that it is still something they wish to explore and achieve but the political landscape means it is currently unfeasible, however, they will continue to lobby the Home Office as and when appropriate.” Despite not being able to push forward with business licensing, the SIA representatives did, however, confirm their desire to approach the challenge from a different angle as explained further by Abbey. “Though they are struggling in terms of business licences, the SIA is focusing instead on the end clients, educating them on the types of security companies they should consider using to ensure they avoid cowboy firms with poor standards across a number of areas.” Commitment to positive change The conversation also considered the importance of paying guards a decent living wage – to avoid modern-day slavery; customer service levels and environmental issues, all of which are fundamental to Magenta’s business practices and ethos. It was agreed that Tony Holyland would attend the next SBN (Small Business Network) meeting at Abbey’s invitation. Tony commented that he believes that of all the organisations set up to help the security industry understand the implementation of the Security Act, the SBN is the only one to remain in existence and that he looked forward to attending the meeting. Abbey concludes: “The meeting provides a real foundation for future dialogue and commitment to positive change. SIA has a lot of work to do. However, under the leadership of Ian Todd, I am convinced that the outlook for the future of the industry is in safe hands."
Elizabeth France CBE, Security Industry Authority Chair, announces the appointment of Ian Todd as SIA Chief Executive. Ian succeeds Dave Humphries who has been interim CEO since the departure of former SIA CEO Alan Clamp at the end of October. Ian will join the SIA on 25 February 2019. Ian will be joining the SIA from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) where he is currently Deputy Director General. This builds on a number of board level roles in professional regulation, including the health and legal sectors. Focus on public protection He has also spent time in central government, including the Cabinet Office. Ian has extensive experience of dealing with the public in a frontline role as his first career was with the NHS ambulance services. Throughout his near 15 years he was a qualified paramedic and held a number of roles to Director level, including as part of the Gold command team during 7/7. Ian will build on our work with government, the private security industry, and our other stakeholders to maintain a focus on public protection" Elizabeth France said: "I am delighted to welcome Ian as the SIA's future Chief Executive. Ian joins us with an excellent track record in leadership and organisation development, we look forward to working with him. Ian will build on our work with government, the private security industry, and our other stakeholders to maintain a focus on public protection and ensure the SIA continues to improve the service we provide to licence holders and security businesses.” Strategic direction “I am confident Ian will enjoy the challenge of delivering effective regulation in a changing environment. He will carry forward our strategic plan and build on our successes to ensure continuity and progress across all areas of the SIA's work." Ms France added: "I thank Dave Humphries for his steady leadership since Alan Clamp's departure in October. He has ensured that the SIA has continued to move forward strategically and operationally." Dave will continue at the helm until Ian arrives at the end of February. Ian Todd said: "I am excited to be taking up the post of Chief Executive at the SIA and look forward to drawing on my experience to drive the SIA's strategic direction and strengthen its regulatory role. The SIA plays an important role in protecting the public and improving standards in the security industry. I look forward to working with the board and staff at the SIA, as well as external stakeholders and partners. I am committed to building on the good work of the organisation and to ensure that the SIA continues to be seen as an effective and efficient regulator".