Profile: The SSAIB


Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
January 29, 2020


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A profile and news page about the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), “the leading certification body for organisations providing security systems and services, fire detection and alarm systems, telecare systems and services, manned security services and monitoring services.”

Founded in 1994, the SSAIB is an SIA approved certification body, operating within the UK, though it also offers certification for firms based in the Republic of Ireland, too. Its mantra is to promote “high standards of service and is focused on serving the certification needs” of its members, of which there are around 1,800 to date. These include small, medium and large providers.

Based in Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, the association also helps to shape standards at a European level. Ultimately, the SSAIB’s role is to promote high standards of excellence and service within the community of security, guarding and fire systems, in the interests of end users. Members are assessed against the Board’s scheme criteria and British or European Standards, maintained by regular audits and inspections.

The SSAIB is also the official installer partner of IFSEC and FIREX International for 2020.


The SSAIB team

Chairman: Geoff Tate

Chief Executive: Alexander Carmichael

Operations Manager: David Profit

Field Operations Manager: David Roscoe

Security Systems and Monitoring Scheme Manager: Frank Smith

Fire Systems Scheme Manager: Keith Strugnell

Manned Services Scheme Manager: Dougie Callander

Training Manager: Trevor Jenks

Sales & Marketing Manager: Andrew Brown

Why Become an SSAIB-Registered Firm?

In a constantly evolving competitive market, installers need to know how they can best demonstrate their credentials, expertise and adhere to best practice – all while trying to win business in the security systems sector.

Also, how can specifiers and end-users safeguard the highest protection levels for their staff, facilities, visiting customers and on-site contractors? And are their implemented measures meeting insurance requirements by being compliant with all legislation and any imposed response criteria by, for example, the Police?

With countless online recommendations, government-backed initiatives and ventures such as Which? Magazine, Checkatrade and Trustatrader, it’s surprising that the benefits of third-party certification aren’t commonly recognised – as they can put installers ahead of their competitors and reassure customers that firms are working to the very highest of standards.

Leading Certification Body

SSAIB certification is a mark of excellence. Its approach is inclusive of small and larger providers alike and it has some 1,800 companies registered, representing the greatest number of security service providers in the sector in the UK.

Third-party certification plays an increasingly important role in enabling firms to compete in the marketplace, while access to some market sectors may be conditional on having it.

The Board continues to review the range of schemes it offers to ensure that it can meet the needs of both the marketplace and registered firms. Its schemes – which comply with all Police policies (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic) – both serve and rely upon good working relationships with a number of influential groups within the sectors in which they operate, not least the Police, fire services, insurers and industrial and commercial clients.

Insurers, often as a condition of their underwriting, place particular demands on security and fire safety system providers. In the event of an incident, insurers will need to be satisfied that all reasonable precautions have been taken to mitigate risk. The costs associated with losses in the aftermath of an incident are not just limited to the immediate losses; such incidents often lead to longer term consequential losses to the business.

However, by using an SSAIB-certificated provider, this will minimise the likelihood of such events from happening and demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent it.

SSAIB’s List of Accreditations

SSAIB has a wide scope of accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS.) UKAS is the sole body recognised by Government to assess (against internationally agreed standards) organisations that provide certification services.

UKAS accreditation therefore demonstrates that SSAIB operates its certification activities in an impartial, competent and independent manner, providing confidence to regulators and customers. By operating UKAS-accredited schemes, the organisation provides the mechanism by which providers of security, manned guarding and fire-related services can demonstrate their competence and their ability to operate well-managed and professional businesses.

SSAIB is also an approved assessing body for the Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme. The SIA is the authority responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK and is an independent body reporting to the Home Secretary, under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

SSAIB’s scope of certification also incorporates the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s (SCC’s) code of practice – as public-sector camera schemes now also require third-party certification. Set in the context of a draft national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales, the aim of this is to give system operators the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice and other guidance, which SCC Tony Porter describes as a “universally accepted example of good practice.”

SSAIB offers a wide range of certification schemes to meet the needs of service providers, regulators and customers.

Latest SSAIB articles and news

Paul Phillips unveiled as new SSAIB Chief Executive

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has announced the appointment of Paul Phillips as its new Chief Executive.

Installers encouraged to ‘Beat the Big Switch Off’ with toolkit developed for move to All-IP

The BSIA has developed a toolkit for alarm installers to encourage customers to ‘Beat the Big Switch Off’ and be All-IP ready.

‘Accessible to anyone’: How fire systems professionals can prove and expand competence

Trevor Jenks walked FIREX 2023 attendees through a new cross-industry scheme for acquiring, expanding, proving and renewing competence.

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael to retire

Having led the SSAIB since 2015, Alex Carmichael has announced his retirement from the certification body at the end of March 2023.

SSAIB boards HMS Belfast to update its members on ECS changes, standards and IFSEC plans

IFSEC Global reports from the first in-person members meeting for the SSAIB since the start of the pandemic. Catch up on the latest!

NSI, ACM-CCAS and SSAIB collaborate on fight against rogue labour in security post-COVID

NSI, ACM-CCAS and SSAIB join forces to protect the public from rogue security workers, and security workers from risk of exploitation. 

SSAIB awarded accreditation to certify installers for BAFE’s emergency evacuation scheme

SSAIB has announced it has achieved accreditation for BAFE’s SP207 scheme for emergency evacuation systems.

SSAIB sponsors 2021 ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards

SSAIB has been named as one of the sponsors for this year’s ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards.

Industry comes together to highlight benefits of compliant security systems to consumers

The UK’s Police Crime Prevention Initiatives has put together advice for consumers to assist with the selection of suitable security systems, stressing the importance of using a reputable and independently approved alarm company.

“Now is the time to act on apprenticeship uptake,” says SSAIB

Trevor Jenks from the SSAIB explains what the recently announced incentives mean for apprenticeships, and why now is the time to act on them.

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