The surveillance system provides a safe and secure shopping and working environment SSAIB, the UK and Ireland’s security, fire, and telecare certification body, has confirmed that, following an in-depth audit, major High Street retailer Marks and Spencer has achieved the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Certificate of Compliance. In a move personally praised by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, M&S voluntarily sought the certification and is the first retailer in the UK to demonstrate compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Customer and staff protection Protecting its customers and staff, by providing a safe and secure shopping and working environment, is crucially important to the company, which realised that adopting the Code would provide transparency and consistency throughout its operations. Added-value benefits have also included cost reductions, for example through value management and rationalisation of CCTV systems against their need and purpose. A reduction in the installation programme has additionally saved costs and minimised retail disruption. The certification, awarded by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, follows an audit conducted by SSAIB’s Lead Assessor Stephen Grieve, which covered all of Marks & Spencer’s operations, from its head office through to distribution centres and retail stores. In practice, it means that the company has been found compliant with the 12 guiding principles of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice (in accordance with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). M&S’ Head of Corporate Security, Clint Reid, worked in partnership with Four Security Consultants Ltd to meet the certification standards and comments, “We are optimistic about the potential improvements in protecting our people and working environment that gaining the SCC CCTV certification will bring.” “This move has significantly raised the profile of CCTV within M&S and is an important source of operational information” Operational and commercial benefits Brendan McGarrity, Head of Four Security Consultants, adds: “We praise the vision and tenacity of Clint and his team in realising the importance of gaining this certification and the hard work they put in, helping us achieve it with them. This move has significantly raised the profile of CCTV within M&S and is an important source of operational information. The increased awareness of M&S’ surveillance capability, together with the quality of its CCTV equipment, has resulted in managers being more willing to use the data to help them realise operational and commercial benefits.” Meanwhile, Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter notes that: “For a retailer of Marks and Spencer’s size to achieve full certification against the code is no mean feat at all. They are not required to comply with the code and have done this voluntarily, which makes it all the more impressive. Working with Four Group and SSAIB they have been able to demonstrate they comply with the code across their vast estate. If an organisation of this size can achieve certification there’s no reason why anyone else can’t and shouldn’t.” Adaptable and flexible approach Stephen Halpin from Four Security Consultants, who worked with SSAIB’s Stephen Grieve throughout the certification process, declares that a key element in achieving compliance was SSAIB’s flexibility. “SSAIB provided an adaptable and flexible approach, whilst remaining firmly within the scope and spirit of the SCC’s certification standards,” he explains. “This allowed M&S to demonstrate its compliance with the code in both practical application and process compliance. SSAIB remained impartial, providing advice and guidance whenever needed, and took into consideration the operational challenges of a large retail operation while working with us to deliver the successful accreditation. Included amongst the legacy commercial and operational benefits of certification is a clear understanding of the future requirements to maintain certification over the next five years, thanks in no small part to the adaptable and supportive approach of SSAIB.”
The SSAIB has been at the forefront of offering certification against this new British Standard to its members SSAIB, the UK and Ireland’s leading fire, security and telecare certification body, is celebrating becoming the first certification body to gain UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation against British Standard 102000 for Investigative Services. This follows SSAIB’s work on pilot assessments with a number of companies working in this field, which formed part of its UKAS assessment. BS102000’s recommendations cover areas including the conduct, management, staffing and operational accountability when providing investigative services, which can be used by buyers/customers in making their specification decisions. “We’ve been waiting a long time to gain this additional accreditation, but I am delighted that all of our preparations and efforts have now reached fruition,” says SSAIB’s Manned Services Scheme Manager Stephen Grieve, who’ll be managing the new Investigative Services scheme. This is a new sector for us and I’m looking forward to extending our reputation for offering high levels of certification service and customer support in other market areas to the investigative community.” The Association of British Investigators (ABI) acknowledges that SSAIB has been at the forefront of offering certification against this new British Standard to its members and several have taken an early opportunity to achieve it. As ABI President Tony Imossi comments: “BS102000 sets out the various areas of work ordinarily covered by a professional investigator for the commercial, domestic and professional markets and certification by a UKAS accredited auditor, such as SSAIB, is the ultimate verified quality assurance available in the investigation sector.” The Government announced, in 2013, its intention to regulate private investigation activities and BS102000 was developed to help providers of investigative services demonstrate their accountability. The Home Office recently declared that it expects statutory licensing of private investigation services to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015.
The appointments come in the context of future regulation through mandatory business licensing SSAIB, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary as the UK’s leading fire, security and telecare certification body, has recruited two new manned services assessors to join its team headed by Manned Services Scheme Manager Stephen Grieve. Their appointments come in the context of future regulation through mandatory business licensing – the most significant factor affecting the security industry since the SIA (Security Industry Authority) introduced individual licensing under the 2001 Private Security Industry Act. Andrew Osborne joins SSAIB covering the south of England. He brings with him an extensive and wide-ranging 40-year track record of business experience including security screening and training, health & safety management and risk assessments with companies such as G4S – with whom, for example, he conducted site and remote audits on static guarding, maritime, aviation, rail and events operations including employee screening, training and licensing. Andrew’s appointment to the team is mirrored by David Taylor’s recruitment to cover the Midlands and north of England for SSAIB. David has a similarly impressive industry CV dating back over 20 years and including roles as an operations, training and quality and security manager for Sigma Security, together with time as a project manager for Wilson James covering British Airways’s Heathrow HQ site, as well as being manager of security & safety services for both the Portman and Coventry building societies. “Bringing on board professionals of Andrew and David’s calibre is a significant step for SSAIB, investing in our regional manned services assessment capability in the run-up to anticipated 2015 business licensing – with all of the important implications involved in that process,” comments Stephen Grieve. “This move also demonstrates SSAIB’s credentials within the market, operating for the benefit of licensing and certification customers around the UK and Ireland.”