A BBC report Monday alleges instances when Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences were fraudulently obtained, prompting questions about licencing processes and whether unqualified candidates are being "fast-tracked" and provided SIA cards without taking the required hours of training and passing exams.
Following is a statement provided to SourceSecurity.com by Robert Buxton, head of communications, Security Industry Authority, about the matter:
SIA assures investigation over alleged training malpractice
We take allegations of training malpractice seriously. When the BBC shares the information it holds on training malpractice, we will investigate, and where training malpractice is proved, we will take action against the licensed individuals concerned in order to protect public safety. We will also pass the information to the qualification authorities and the relevant enforcement partners for them to investigate the training malpractice allegations.
"When the BBC shares the information it holds on training malpractice, we will investigate, and where training malpractice is proved, we will take action against the licensed individuals concerned in order to protect public safety", says Robert Buxton, head of communications, SIA
Qualifications are awarded by nationally recognised awarding organisations under the oversight of Ofqual in England and Northern Ireland, and are not, in law, the direct responsibility of the SIA. Nevertheless, we monitor all allegations we receive of training malpractice and pursue these through the responsible awarding organisations and Ofqual.
Security qualifications malpractice
In the last three years over 343,000 security qualifications have been awarded. In that time, 188 allegations of malpractice were investigated by awarding organisations, leading to the closure of 28 training centres. In the same period, 1,800 security qualifications were withdrawn, leading to action against over 1,100 licence holders (those who used their fraudulent qualification to gain an SIA licence).
Compliance with the Private Security Industry Act 2001 continues to be high. Overall compliance with the law for 2013/14 is 98%. The figure is based on 569 SIA / joint SIA-partner checks, spread geographically across the UK and all regulated sectors.
(The British Security Industry Association's Training Providers Section has also responded to the BBC report.)