The British Security Industry Association (BSIA): A profile


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November 1, 2022


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A profile of the trade association for the UK’s security industry, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), which has helped shape security standards for over half a century.

BSIA overview

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is the trade association for the professional security industry in the UK. Based in Worcester, it has helped shape standards in the private security industry for half a century – in 2017 it celebrated its 50th anniversary – seeking to be its unified voice.

Its 520-plus members, which range from global companies to small and medium-sized enterprises, manufacture, distribute and install electronic and physical security equipment, and provide security guarding and consultancy services. According to the trade body, BSIA members provide more than 70% of security products and services in the UK by turnover.

Chairs and vice-chairs are elected to run specific sections of the BSIA membership. These sections include: access and asset protection; CCTV; information destruction; lone worker; police and public services; security guarding; security systems; specialist services; and many others.

The association applies strict membership criteria, providing assurance that member companies are financially sound and run by directors of good repute, as well as possessing ISO 9001 certification accredited by a UKAS-certification body (where applicable).

Regulatory influence

By ensuring that the views of its members are taken into account in the development of legislation and subsequent amendments, the BSIA helps influence government policy. Its lobbying efforts provided impetus for regulation of the security guarding industry through the Private Security Industry Act in 2001.

In more recent years, the BSIA has provided input into a range of legislation, including the Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012, while continuing to represent the industry’s views on regulatory change as part of the Security Regulation Alliance. The BSIA has also been involved in seeking clarification on the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act, legislation that has a significant impact in areas such as CCTV. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association was also able press government to recognise security personnel as key workers in order for its members and the wider industry to continue to operate as the country went into lockdown.

The BSIA also contributes to and has a seat on the Home Office Joint Security & Resilience Centre (JSaRC) and the Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC).

As part of its role in representing the UK security industry on British, European and international standards committees, the BSIA nominates several members as ‘experts’ to sit on development committees and working groups and are active members and contributors to CoESS and Euralarm.

Where the industry lacks standards, the association’s members develop their own codes of practice, which the British Standards Institute is said to use to provide benchmarks for the wider industry.

BSIA education and training

The association also undertakes an education role, which it delivers, in part, through Skills for Security. This skills body works with employers to improve security skills and professional standards by providing access to training courses and qualifications for people employed in private security roles across the UK.

Skills for Security offers a range of public courses, as well as options for in-house delivery. In addition to training, the BSIA carries out its education role by publishing guides and documents, providing advice on a range of issues, from navigating the CCTV regulatory landscape, to protecting vacant properties, to installing security systems. It also offers top-up training to security officers and has recently piloted the industry first Security Officer Apprenticeship.

Each year, the BSIA organises and participates in exhibitions, conferences, awards ceremonies and seminars. This annual programme of events provides BSIA members and key industry stakeholders with valuable engagement and networking opportunities to meet and share best practice.

Events and awards

As well as being a long-term partner of and exhibitor at IFSEC and its overseas events, the BSIA continues to grow its presence at events regionally; for example, it exhibits at several UK-wide roadshows, as well as hosting regional meetings. It also regularly has a presence abroad, such as in Dubai at Intersec, where the BSIA Export Section works with the UK’s Joint Security & Resilience Centre (JSaRC) to support British manufacturers exhibiting at the show.

Celebrating the security industry’s achievements is another important part of the association’s activities, with its annual award schemes providing opportunities for members to recognise the contributions made by security professionals on the ground. Schemes include awards for security officers, technical categories and awards for corporate social responsibility, apprentices, contribution to the industry, environment and equality diversity and inclusion.

Memberships and support services

BSIA membership gives companies access to a wide range of HR and legal services, providing small businesses with essential advice and guidance, as well as a free legal helpline. Companies can also take advantage of special offers on finance and insurance packages and company fuel cards and much more through its Affinity Benefits scheme.

There is also the option of Overseas Associate membership, which the BSIA created to help security companies based outside of the UK gain insight into the country’s private security industry.

Overseas members get access to a wide range of industry knowledge through the BSIA’s publications, such as its monthly news channel, BSIA Connect, which contains industry news, examples of best practice and thought leadership articles written by experts in the security field.

Membership also provides opportunities for overseas members to work in partnership with UK-based security companies, as the latter will be assured that overseas firms, through BSIA membership, are equally committed to best practice.

In addition, members, whether UK-based or abroad, can demonstrate their commitment to high standards though display of the BSIA logo – a hallmark recognised by industry stakeholders and security buyers as representing quality and expertise.

Latest BSIA articles

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.

BSIA founder member, Securitas UK, provides support to homeless charities across the UK

Securitas UK, is working with homeless charities and funding initiatives to deliver hot meals and accommodation for people in need. 

BSIA calls on government for clarification on role of biometrics and surveillance under new Bill

The British Security Industry Association is calling on the UK government for clarity on how it intends to fill the void left by the B&SCC.

Paddy Kyle appointed as new BSIA Chief Commercial Officer

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has appointed Paddy Kyle as its new Chief Commercial Officer.

BSIA’s British Security Awards reveals 2023 winners

Winners were announced for The British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) flagship event, the British Security Awards on 21 June.

BSIA elects broadcaster Nick Ross as new president

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has elected broadcaster and campaigner Nick Ross CBE as its new president.

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