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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
August 24, 2018

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Whitepaper: Multi-residential access management – The move to digital


SIA recommends mandatory business licensing conditional on ACS compliance

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has recommended a systematic overhaul of its licensing and regulations following a parliamentary review.

The SIA has agreed that all businesses offering security services – whether operating under contract or in-house and where there is a risk to public protection, safeguarding and national security – should be subject to mandatory business licensing.

Further, business licences should only be issued to companies who meet voluntary, revised Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) standards.

Other recommendations included:

  • A greater focus on risk
  • Introduction of new shared standards
  • Clearer market signalling and transparency
  • General focus on fostering a broader, more intimate industry partnership

The SIA agreed that the ACS needs strengthening and that the SIA should be responsible for setting standards and overseeing compliance

The SIA also asserted that the ACS should be industry-owned and administered. It agreed that the ACS needs strengthening and that the SIA should be responsible for setting standards and overseeing compliance.

The parliamentary review did, however, recognise that the SIA has generally performed to satisfactory standards and should continue in its role as chief regulator of the private security industry.

The news has been welcomed by the Small Business Network (SBN), a body comprising leading private security firms involved in the review. The group has long championed mandatory SIA licensing across the industry as well as an overhaul of the current Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).

It has pointed out that if buyers of security services can’t reliably screen suppliers for competence then rogue businesses will continue to get work, risking invalidation of their customers’ insurance cover should problems arise.

“It is important to us that our industry is presented in the best light,” said Abbey Petkar, managing director of Magenta Security Services and press officer for the SBN. “I believe we have been very vocal about challenges we’ve faced as an industry as well as possible solutions.

“It is a real coup to finally see some of our greatest concerns being both recognised and legitimised in this review.

“We want to congratulate the SIA on their decision to listen to the needs of the industry and respond accordingly.  It makes us all proud to know that our association is standing up for our industry needs as they focus on protecting us as providers and our clients.

“We have said, as our SBN history has proved, that working more closely with the SIA would be a relationship that benefits all parties, so it is satisfying to see a move towards this. We are not about to rest on our laurels though. We will continue to work towards creating a fairer, more reputable industry for all – inside and out.”

Parliamentary reviews like this are undertaken by Arms-Length Bodies (ALB’s) every five years or so and invite views from the private security industry and other stakeholders.

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Rich brennan
Rich brennan
September 16, 2018 7:08 am

The sia and acs are a joke, I know of ACS accredited companies using all self employed staff on minimum wage with no holiday pay or sickness pay, and yet year after year they con their way through the accreditation with ease. Another cash collecting exercise, without giving a stuff about the guys on the ground.

Lester Stickings
Lester Stickings
October 8, 2018 5:25 am

Does Sodexo recognise trade unions in the UK?