For the latest news from the SIA see www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/about-news.aspx
3 September 2012
IPSA link with IQ
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has become the latest representative body from the security industry to become a member of Industry Qualifications. As a representative member of IQ, IPSA will play an important role in shaping the IQ offer for the security sector, in addition to working with IQ on the development of qualifications to support IPSA training initiatives.
The involvement of representative bodies is a key part of the IQ stakeholder engagement strategy, and is designed to ensure that IQ products and services remain focused on industry needs, and meet industry standards. “IPSA have a long tradition for championing education in the security sector, stretching back to 1958”, said Raymond Clarke, Chief Executive of IQ. “As a member of IPSA myself, I am only too aware of the invaluable service that is provided by IPSA in advising and representing members on a wide range of issues, including education. We look forward to supporting IPSA with its own plans for training, and benefiting from the tremendous source of expertise and guidance that becomes available to us. ”
Chairman of IPSA, Mike White said “IPSA are proud to be associated and aligned with IQ, a progressive, innovative and forward thinking organisation constantly seeking to achieve the very highest standards in training and skills development. We look forward to a long and productive relationship and to working together to enhance the training opportunities available to our members".
14 May 2012
Rt. Honourable Bruce George – appointed President of IPSA
Described as “A man in a Million" by the Mayor of Walsall when presenting the Rt. Hon. Bruce George in 2011 with the silver casket and scroll marking his being granted the Honorary Freedom of the City of Walsall in recognition of serving 36 years at its Member of Parliament, the International Professional Security Association expresses similar sentiments and is pleased to announce that Bruce George has been appointed Honorary President of the Association.
Bruce George is well known in the Private Security Industry having campaigned for over 30 years for the regulation of the manned services of the security industry which was finally achieved by the passing of the Private Security Industry Act in 2001.
Born in Glamorgan in 1942, he graduated from the University of Wales and pursued post graduate studies at Warwick University gaining a Masters degree in Comparative Politics. Thereafter he held lecturer and senior lecturer posts at various Polytechnics until elected to Parliament as a Labour Party candidate to represent Walsall South in 1974.
Pursuing jointly his interests in security and defence, he became a formidable parliamentary representative serving on inter-parliamentary committees and organisations over the next three decades. These included membership of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee from 1979 and serving as its Chairman from 1997 to 2005.
Aside from becoming the outstanding parliamentary champion of the movement for regulation of the security industry he has been a regular contributing writer to academic journals, published several books on defence and related matters, and is a regular speaker on European defence and security issues.
Since standing down from Parliament in 2010 he has continued to work as a Visiting Professor at Portsmouth University’s Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, travelled widely as an election monitor and nearer home is also Vice President of The Security Institute.
Announcing his appointment as President of IPSA, Chairman Mike White said, “As many of you know, Bruce has been a tireless supporter of the private security industry for more years than he's prepared to admit to. He is a published author on security industry matters with many of writings being required reading on university degree courses. Since his retirement as an MP Bruce has remained a very vocal commentator on our industry and its regulatory provisions. The Association is greatly honoured by his acceptance of the post of Honorary President and looks forward to working with him to enhance the influence and relevance of the Association in the industry today.
Accepting the appointment Bruce George said “I am delighted that I have been invited to join IPSA as its Honorary President and I do so with much enthusiasm as I have been a long term admirer of the consistent efforts made by the Association to raise standards and represent its members. I am very much looking forward to working with the International Council as we contemplate further changes in the regulation of the industry in the months ahead.”
13 October 2011
Report on the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the International Professional Security Association
The Association’s 2011 Annual General Meeting and lunch were held at the Churchill Museum and War Rooms on 20 September. It was there that Prime Minister Winston Churchill conducted operations during the Second World War. The choice of venue continued the theme of splendid locations following last year’s event on HMS Belfast. It was therefore all the more poignant with the news that veteran of HMS Belfast and IPSA Chief Inspector, Bruce Woodcock, had died suddenly a few days previously. Quoting from a tribute message written by one of Bruce’s early clients, acting Chairman Mike White highlighted the special attention give by Bruce to his role as a mentor and guide to new entrants to the profession and his sustained interest in their progress and success thereafter. Bruce had loyally served IPSA for over three decades in various roles. A minute’s silence followed to mark his passing and to express condolences to his Wife Lyn and Family.
In the absence of the Chairman, David Barratt, Mike White opened the meeting and welcomed the members and several guests that including representatives Dave Humphries and Robin Dahlberg of the SIA.
Delivering the Chairman’s address Mike surveyed the past year’s activities, noting the robust response to the government’s threatened abolition of the SIA that was lead by IPSA and quickly taken up by other associations. Subsequently IPSA had been prominent in the various stakeholder consultations between the SIA and Industry that continued towards agreement for a new regulatory regime that would be effective, efficient and cost effective for government and the industry.
Additionally, the Association was represented on several British Standards review committees and in this way ensured that the interests of members and member companies were taken into consideration in determining industry standards and practice;
Chief Executive Officer, Justin Bentley, summarized his written report highlighting the important role IPSA was taking in the many consultations that were taking place between stakeholders and the SIA notably through the Security Alliance. He stressed that members would be kept informed of developments and if they had views and comments that they wished to be addressed they should make then known so that they can be included in IPSA submissions and discussions.
Referring to membership he said it continued to fluctuate but with no significant increase and the challenge for the next year was to build on the reputation and success of IPSA as the preferred professional and representative body and encourage more companies and individuals to join.
The Honorary Treasurer, Paul Trendall’s, written report was accepted in his absence as were the formal accounts. Changes in the accounting practices regarding the treatment of subscriptions, changes in office structure and the waiving of some office holders of outstanding awarded sums resulted in the accounts showing a significantly improved position. The total effect showing an improved trading position would be more fully reflected in the accounts when prepared for the year 2011.
The election of Council Members followed. Five new nominations were included in a group of 14 members, all proposed, seconded and unanimously voted on to the Council for the ensuing year.
The full list of Council Members elected is:
Robert Begg (representing IPSA company member Elizabethan Security)
Paul Cullinan (representing IPSA company member Carlisle Cleaning & Security)
Kieran Donnelly (representing IPSA company member ISS Facility Services)
Simon Pears (representing IPSA company member Sodexo)
Dennis Ricketts (representing IPSA company member Spectrum Positive)
[At the subsequent meeting of the IPSA International Council, Mike White was elected Chairman of the Association, Adrian Kingston-Jones was elected Deputy Chairman and Paul Cullinan was elected Treasurer.]
The Chairman thanked those standing down for their generous service during the year.
The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Sodexo Ltd and Simon Pears their representative for supporting the event at such a prestigious venue and in spectacular style. Also to Innovise Software represented by Graeme Hughes and MacMillan Sheikh Plc represented by Sheikh Imtiaz Mahmood.
The formal business of the AGM was followed by an Open Forum during which the subject of forthcoming regulation was openly discussed and responses made by both Robin Dahlberg and Dave Humphries of the SIA.
Questions focused particularly on the business registration proposals and application of that to sole traders such as consultants, dog handlers etc. Robin Dahlberg stated that those concerned should make specific recommendations as to what they would regard as an acceptable cost for registration in order that the SIA can make suitable recommendations to Ministers.
After a very enjoyable networking lunch, a team of invited speakers addressed the gathering. Graeme Hughes of Innovise Software made a presentation of their software solutions used by the security industry and also many major facilities management companies.
Sheikh Imtiaz Mahmood delivered an address on behalf of Lord Sheikh who has been a generous supporter of IPSA for many years. Lord Sheikh paid tribute to Patrick Rabbits and his early leadership of the Association and that this had been resolutely followed by successive leaders over the years. He expressed great confidence that IPSA would continue to be a leading professional body for the industry and that he would be happy to support it in all its future endeavours.
Mr Bruce George, Privy Councillor and former Member of Parliament, spoke passionately about his long campaign whilst in Parliament to secure a regulated Private Security Industry and expressed his initial disappointment at the limitations of the scheme that was eventually introduced. He was critical of the early failures of the regulatory body to run an effective and efficient system. More recently, however, he noted that there had been significant improvements and effective enforcement against the criminal elements and those who sought to avoid regulation. It was therefore with great dismay and not a little anger that he had learned of the government’s intention to abandon regulation after so much had been achieved, although it was not by any means a comprehensive regulatory solution.
He went on to criticize the large industry companies for their apparent dominance in relation to determining the policy of minimal required training for security personnel. He contrasted the UK basic requirements with those of other countries of Europe which far exceeded ours and indicated a greater commitment towards professionalism in the industry than that aspired to in this country.
He urged IPSA to continue to pursue the goal of professional standards and recognition for security personnel at all levels based on good training and career development. Although now retired he declared that would still speak out and voice his concerns in the hope that the government of the day would understand and recognise that a regulated security industry that embraced the whole range of security functions that touch the public was a necessary condition for ensuring the protection of the public and supporting the police in the many areas of police activities that are increasingly being delegated to the private security industry.
Simon Pears of Sodexo Ltd took the opportunity to explain how Sodexo had come to decide that IPSA was their preferred professional body and declared that they had observed how very effective IPSA representatives were in putting the case for their members even when it appeared that their views were not being well received by the SIA and others. The company valued the timely flow of relevant news and information about the industry and legislative changes that they received from IPSA. He complimented IPSA on its performance and said that would recommend the Association to any company or individual seeking membership of such a body.
Mike White concluded the day with a brief summary and thanks to the guest speakers.
10 October 2011
IPSA provides Maritime Sector with Representation and Training
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has recently reintroduced a specialist but limited Maritime Sector to deal with the increased needs of the maritime industry as they affect members, and company contracts. IPSA is offering, within its training programme, courses not only at Port Facility Security Officer and Ship's Security Officer level, but also for manned guarding companies involved in the physical security of wharves and docks. This "dry side" of maritime security may not be attracting the high profile of piracy, but is of increasing importance due to the threat of terrorism. Additionally, there is the everyday "nitty gritty" work of security, fire prevention, health and safety and the prevention of damage.
IPSA is therefore, building on its course base for supervisors, officers and trainers. However, additionally, bespoke crime prevention, civilian river patrol, bye-law enforcement and, in conjunction with the Institute of Professional Investigators, internal investigation courses will also be available As IPSA is an independent organisation, not profit driven, prices will be competitive.
International Chairman Mike WHITE explained "We have had requests for both training and assessment both within the UK and abroad. Thankfully, we have within the membership all levels of personnel including PFSO trainers, former forces personnel, former dock and port law enforcement personnel and harbour and river patrollers. With the aid of sister organisations, where necessary, we can deliver training and assessment packages worldwide at competitive prices".
IPSA International Council members Roger Felgate and Simon Smith are the main contacts for the maritime sector and can be contacted with any queries about maritime training or membership.
24 March 2011
IPSA welcomes Government’s recognition of clearer legislative path for the SIA transition
Yesterday evening in the House of Lords agreement was finally reached to remove the Security Industry Authority (SIA) from the Public Bodies Bill.
This does not change the overall situation whereby the SIA will be replaced with a “new regulatory regime”, however it does mean that the path will be clearer with a single piece of legislation both abolishing the current authority and detailing what will replace it.
The emphasis on business regulation is welcome, however it is important that the Government continues to recognise the benefits of licensing of individuals. Business regulation should make it easier to enforce the legislation, and allow the use of various sanctions to encourage compliance, however it is the visible individual licence on the security company employee that gives the public confidence.
We are also glad to acknowledge Baroness Neville-Jones’ comments about the consultation with ACPO. It is vital that the industry continues to have the support of the police, both in the enforcement of the legislation and the recognition of the professionalism of the security companies and individuals who have met the agreed standards.
IPSA remains committed to the review of regulation and will continue to drive this process forward through its active and ongoing participation with The Security Alliance to ensure a smarter, more meaningful regulatory regime.
7 March 2011
Security Buyers Want Industry Regulation
On the same day that the SIA announced government agreement on the framework for future regulation of the security industry, buyers of security services made clear their desire for continued regulation.
In a survey conducted by the International Professional Security Association (IPSA), over 220 buyers of security services responded to a series of questions about the future regulation of the UK’s security industry.
98.7% of respondents wanted to see the industry remain regulated, with an overwhelming majority (80.8%) preferring regulation of both security companies and security personnel.
The survey which was conducted by IPSA as part of their membership of the Security Alliance and sponsored by Impellam Support Services, had the support of both the Institute of Facilities Management and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply: 26.3% of respondents were from the FM and logistics sector, with a further 12.1% coming from local government.
The survey also revealed that 89.7% of security buyers believed that now was the time to introduce the licensing of in-house security personnel; currently exempt from licensing and not currently included in future licensing plans.
Speaking on behalf of IPSA’s International Council, Paul Trendall said: “We were very pleased to see that the people who buy security services had the same view of future regulation as we have been lobbying in support of. Getting their opinion was, from IPSA’s point of view essential. Without security buyers, there is no security industry”. Paul went onto say “We were surprised though, at the strength of feeling about in-house licensing. Having been left out of the original legislation, it has been a Cinderella issue ever since. It is clear now that people buying security want a common licensing standard to dispel public confusion about who is licensed and criminality checked, and who isn’t. With almost 90% in favour, and new primary legislation required in any event, there will never be a better time than now to introduce the licensing of all security personnel.”
3 March 2011
IPSA Supports Bill Butler’s Statement on Industry Regulation
The International Professional Security Association voiced its complete support for Bill Butler and the SIA today following his statement concerning the new regulatory regime for the security industry.
An IPSA spokesman said: “IPSA has lead from the front on this, being the first industry body to engage with every single MP in support of the SIA, and subsequently working with our colleagues in the industry as part of the Security Alliance. We are pleased to see Bill Butler being able to announce a framework today which sits well with all we in the industry have lobbied for”.
Although “The details of the plan have yet to be decided …..”, and Parliamentary approval will still be required, IPSA is confident that the principles upon which the plan will be based are known and agreed between government and the industry. This will allow for future discussions to take place in a productive and consensual way.
“In an industry whose first dealings with the regulator were not auspicious”, said the IPSA spokesman, “we have been able to demonstrate how there is now a mutual respect and trust between us and our regulator, that some other industries can only wish they had too”.
1 February 2011
IPSA Supports Industry Unity
The recent press release and article from the Chairman of the Joint Security Industry Council (JSIC) has opened the discussion not just for who is providing representation to the Government on licensing, but also long term collaboration by the industry.
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) believes that whilst there is indeed an opportunity for JSIC to be a part of the future of regulation in the UK security industry, there is an absolute need for the recently acquired industry wide solidarity to be maintained if we are to benefit from this once- in-an-industry-lifetime opportunity to engage with the regulator and Government to make positive changes for the future.
That solidarity is ideally represented by the continued existence of and support by all for the Security Alliance. IPSA remains wholeheartedly in support of the Security Alliance, its principles for the review of regulation and its position regarding the future of regulation and licensing. The Security Alliance demonstrates how well, as a whole, the industry has come together as one and we continue to actively work within the Security Alliance to represent our membership and to ensure the best possible future for our industry.
IPSA recognises that the Security Alliance is currently a single aim body. A revitalised JSIC could become involved as a supporter of the Security Alliance, and/or with fresh industry support become the body considering other longer term industry related issues.
21 October 2010
Licensing: the Industry has won the initial battle, now let’s win the war
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) welcomes the Government decision to retain licensing in the security industry, albeit with some changes as to how it is to be regulated. Indeed, as disclosures in the press show, the Government has had a change of heart on licensing, with in some cases press releases changing by the hour, and the industry can be proud of what it has achieved in recent weeks.
On behalf of its members, IPSA petitioned strongly, not only to the Home Office and the SIA but also to every MP and key members of the House of Lords, seeking their support and making them aware of the concerns of the people we represent about the future of the industry and its regulation. At the same time we expressed the desire to work with government in cost reduction measures without loss of effective regulation.
Since last week’s announcement, IPSA has agreed to attend the meeting taking place this week of the new Security Alliance. As a long term supporter of the Joint Security Industry Council, we are interested to see whether this initiative will result in a new Lead Body, representing the views of the whole industry. It is certainly clear that where there are a variety of bodies, each seeking representation for their members, there should be some method of reaching a consensus of these views and for this to be taken forward outside the industry.
In addition the SIA has invited IPSA to attend a roundtable meeting next week involving those whom the SIA consider to be key industry representatives and we eagerly await the SIA’s vision of the future. Discussions so far indicate that they see their change of status as a positive move, where they are better able to work with the industry, and are able to continue their “journey” of improving the status of the industry and removing those unwanted elements that in some areas still lurk in the shadows.
In a separate initiative, IPSA is also in discussion with purchasers of security services. We wish to see greater involvement with the people who make the choices, with their understanding the benefits of a professional security service. As we in the industry are aware, a blinkered view of the abilities of security companies and a focus purely on price has made it difficult for providers to move forward. This should not be allowed to continue.
There is no doubt that there are changes ahead and IPSA, on behalf of its members, will be continuing its work to ensure that the changes are positive.
22 September 2010
Security Industry still requires licensing
The International Professional Security Association believes that the intention in the leaked government memo, which the BBC has obtained, paints an inaccurate picture of the security industry and that the abolition of the Security Industry Authority would be a severe step backwards.
The security industry and the employees within the industry may welcome the financial relief of removing the costs of licensing, however the risk of the criminal element re-entering the industry is still too great to justify abolishing licenses. With cuts likely to be made in the budgets of all police services, now is a time when the private security industry which will take up the slack, needs to be licensed by government to ensure public confidence remains high.
Whilst licensing started in 2003, it was introduced in various stages and has been in place for a relatively short time in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The positive benefits to the industry in England and Wales must be seen to be implemented in these countries as well.
Greater financial prudence and taking advantage of improvements in technology in areas such as the Criminal Records Bureau should be sufficient to reduce the costs and hence lessen the financial burden on the industry, without reducing the benefits brought in by licensing.
As a trade association with a membership consisting of both individuals and companies, we wish to encourage the government to not make any hasty decisions and to allow the Security Industry Authority to continue with its task of ensuring that the public is not placed unnecessarily at risk.
14 July 2010
New Deputy International Chairman at the International Professional Security Association
At the first meeting of IPSA’s International Council, following the recent AGM, Mike White was elected as Deputy International Chairman, taking over from Dennis Ricketts who has been appointed Public Relations Officer with particular interest in Wales and the South West where he is located.
Mike has worked in a variety of senior management roles for various guarding companies, leading to his current position as Head of Operations and Sales at Charter Security Plc, a Barking based guarding company.
In recent years Mike has taken an increasingly active role in the Association, contributing ideas and attending events in a representative capacity. His appointment is a welcome and natural progression.
Speaking about his new responsibilities, Mike said “I am extremely committed to the security industry and believe that I am best able to contribute through supporting colleagues through the membership bodies.”
David Barratt, now in his second year as International Chairman, said “I am looking forward to working with Mike. As I am based in the North East, I am conveniently placed for attending industry events throughout the UK, however as many events and meetings take place in London, I am sure that Mike will get the opportunity to be an active deputy.”
Dennis Ricketts’s long service as Deputy Chairman is well recognised and appreciated and he assumes a new role more compatible with his other commitments whilst remaining a member of the International Council.
17 May 2010
Training Course in understanding the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has put together training for people who want to understand the inspection requirements of the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). This follows on from reports that consultants have been approaching companies offering to assist with ensuring that they meet the requirements, but the company has subsequently failed the inspection.
A trial course was run by IPSA in March and, although it was initially marketed to individuals providing consultancy services, it was also taken up by some guarding companies wishing to have the experience in-house. Following on from this successful first run of the course, three further dates have been arranged across the country to take place next month. These are:
The course provides a detailed step by step approach, for meeting and interpreting the specification for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) accreditation, as laid down by the Security Industry Authority. The course is led by two highly experienced ACS assessors, so is based on the actual methods practised by the assessment bodies.
Following the first course, the Operations Director of an existing ACS company said "The course gave a sound steer as to the requirements needed when completing the workbook. It also highlighted areas that may need addressing within a company structure to attain a creditable score."
Another delegate discussing the course said "I attended a training workshop run by IPSA to support our consultancy business in delivering into one of our clients the SIA Approved Contractors Scheme. To achieve the accreditation is very important to our clients and I was fortunate to be able to secure a place on the course to allow me to have a more in depth understanding of the process. I was hoping that following the course I would have learnt a little more about the scheme and how I could enhance the process needed to gain the accreditation, but what I didn’t expect was to be given such an in-depth viewpoint of the whole process. The course content was excellent, the trainers were experienced and extremely knowledgeable and the entire course has given us the confidence that, if we follow the principal steps laid out from the literature supplied and the process taught on the day, we can now deliver into our client a successful award of the accreditation."
Justin Bentley, Chief Executive at IPSA, commented “We are keen to support measures which raise standards in the security industry. At the same time we are aware that every penny counts and wish to ensure that companies do not waste money on ineffective advice. We are able to provide quality guidance direct from the practitioners and consider this course to be extremely good value.”
Interested persons can find out more information from the IPSA website: http://www.ipsa.org.uk/training
17 May 2010
IPSA to provide Quality Assurance for NTIPDU courses
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and the National Training Inspectorate for Professional Dog Users (NTIPDU) have formed an alliance to provide Quality Assurance and certification for selected specialist courses designed by the NTIPDU.
NTIPDU, which has been supporting the security dog industry since 2002, has discovered a reluctance from existing awarding bodies to accredit and certify courses which involve assessing the security dog with its handler.
Many roles involving the use of a trained security dog are substantially reliant on the performance of the dog and the understanding of the dog’s reactions to and by the handler, as opposed to purely the knowledge of the handler, so it is important that the assessment of training reflects this.
IPSA has worked closely with the security dog industry on the creation of British Standards and is delighted to be able to support the NTIPDU. The IPSA Chief Executive, Justin Bentley, stated “We are keen to promote professionalism across the whole of the security industry, including providing assistance to specialist groups who wish to demonstrate a quality approach to training in their sector.”
Sandra Timmis, Director of NTIPDU, said “We already know that the training we provide is of the highest standard. This agreement will reassure our members and clients that an independent body is validating our work.”
24 February 2010
IPSA highlights weakness in SIA prosecution policy towards clients employing contracted unlicensed staff
When the Security Industry Authority (SIA) first arrived on the scene, they expressed the view that the cost of licensing would be recouped by security companies, with customers happy to pay for a more professional service.
However security companies soon discovered a reluctance on the part of the majority of customers to pay any increase, even before the current recession started. Rather they hoped that the SIA would continue to promote the industry and encourage customers to meet the cost. Certainly the least that security companies should have been able to expect from the licensing authority was support in ensuring that their clients would at least have to ensure that contract companies they engage would be supplying licensed staff. The recent SIA press release (22 February 2010) shows that the SIA is not in fact supporting that position.
There appears to have been a total turnaround by the SIA on the culpability of the customers or clients. Last year, in response to a question raised at the SIA May 2009 conference, whether the SIA would be willing to investigate the possibility of a specific offence for clients knowingly using unlicensed persons, the SIA stated that criminal liability already existed under present legislation. The spokesperson went on to say “When tackling security contractors providing unlicensed staff, one of our standard approaches is to engage with their customers and where necessary point out the customer’s liability for being a party to an offence of the supply of unlicensed operatives or operating without a licence. We have not yet found it necessary to prosecute a customer but it remains an option.”
The SIA statement following the outcome of the Sabrewatch prosecution declares “The retailers (who had no part in the offences as the staff were hired under contract) were supportive of the case and a number gave evidence against Sabrewatch in court.”
The Authority re-confirm this in the ‘Notes to editors’ stating “A customer hiring security staff under contract is not responsible for ensuring those staff are licensed – rather it is the duty of the contractor to ensure its staff are licensed before they are deployed.”
Was this a quid pro quo offered by the SIA to Sabrewatch clients to secure a prosecution that they might otherwise lose? The cynic in me envisages a deal whereby “we can offer you immunity from prosecution if you help us by giving evidence against the contractor”.
I have not yet seen sufficient details to understand why Sabrewatch was singled out for prosecution, but I feel that security companies’ customers would be taking more care in future when selecting a security company, if Sabrewatch’s customers or clients had also been prosecuted and presumably also found guilty. By focusing only on the contractor, I think this was a missed opportunity for the SIA to demonstrate its declared policy of enforcing the legislation fairly and proportionately against all those involved.
Customers always have the right to shop around for the best price, and to change supplier if they feel that a provider is supplying a poor service or is charging over the odds; this is the principal of open competition. However customers must be seen to be responsible under the law for ensuring that their contractors are meeting legislative requirements. Only then are we likely to see the remaining criminal elements expelled from the industry.
9 December 2009
Security Association members lead the way in Northern Ireland
As compulsory licensing of Security Officers and the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme start to take hold in Northern Ireland, the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has noted that it is member companies of IPSA and the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the two UK associations for security companies, that have achieved the quality mark of the Security Industry Authority’s voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).
In order to pass the inspection for the ACS, companies have to demonstrate compliance with the relevant industry standards and a quality scheme covering key aspects of the management of the company, its relationship with both employees and clients and also corporate social responsibility.
For many years, and certainly predating the Security Industry Authority, the security associations have been encouraging companies to comply with the relevant British Standards which are guidelines based on industry best practice. The associations have emphasised that their members are better informed and able to keep pace with change, meaning that their clients can expect to receive a consistently good service.
Keith Wray, Managing Director at Property Support Services Ltd, said “We have always embraced standards and quality of service, and see the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme as a welcome addition to our existing standards certificated after inspections by SSAIB and our long term commitment to the industry as members of the International Professional Security Association”
Property Support Services Ltd Managing Director Keith Wray, SIA Chief Executive Bill Butler,
PSS Quality & Training Manager George Adams
The Security Industry Authority Chief Executive, Bill Butler, said: “I am delighted to congratulate Property Support Services on becoming an ACS company. They have shown a commitment to raising standards within the private security industry. Buyers of security services can have peace of mind and confidence knowing that approved companies have reached stringent and wide ranging standards."
Justin Bentley, CEO of IPSA, commented “I congratulate Property Support Services on being awarded this recognition of best practice and commitment to standards. Early adoption of this scheme, following its expansion into Northern Ireland demonstrates this company’s forward planning and wish to ensure the best service delivery to their clients.”
3 August 2009
Patrick Somerville QPM appointed Vice President of IPSA
Last month, at the first meeting of the IPSA International Council following the AGM in June, changes were agreed within the leadership of the Association.
At the AGM Patrick Somerville announced that he felt it was time for some fresh input to the Association as he had been in post for a record period of eight years as International Chairman; previously Chairmen have normally held the post for only a few years.
At the International Council meeting, David Barratt, Business Account Director at Shield Security Services (Yorkshire) Limited in Hull, was unanimously elected as the new International Chairman for a three year term. David speaking shortly after being elected said “Anybody would have a hard time filling the role vacated by Patrick but I am looking forward to representing the interests of members.
Recognising the many occasions that Patrick has represented IPSA and his expressed willingness to continue representing the Association where that was appropriate, it was proposed and agreed that Patrick be appointed a Vice President of the Association.
Accepting the appointment, Patrick said “I have been able with the help of others to bring the Association to a new position of relevance and effectiveness always motivated by the desire to properly look after the interests of our members and their companies. It is now time to hand over the reins and I wish David and the new Council as much and more success in continuing this important work of promoting IPSA’s role in the industry. I am honoured to be a Vice President and to have the opportunity to support IPSA in that new role.”
Dennis Ricketts remains as Deputy International Chairman and Paul Trendall of Carlisle Security Services Limited has been appointed as Honorary Treasurer. Paul Trendall, along with Mike White, James Henderson and HRH Prince Bala-Tonglélé were elected to the International Council earlier this year. Shaun Murphy of Polyguard Security Services (UK) Ltd was elected to the International Council at the AGM , replacing Paul Macarthur who stood down.
27 July 2009
IPSA company wins 'Security team of the year' award
Employees of IPSA member company GBM Support Services Group have won the SECURITY TEAM OF THE YEAR award at the annual SCEPTRE awards run by Shopping Centre magazine.
The award for the team of 53 security staff working at the Harlequin shopping centre in Watford and seven associated car parks recognised in particular their achievement in reducing vehicle crime by 70%.
David Donovan, director of GBM, said "We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It is great to be recognised for all our hard work and commitment to the safety of everyone in the centre. I am very proud of the whole team, and we will endeavour to continue the fantastic work".
10 July 2009
IPSA supports 2010 Counter Terror Expo
IPSA is proud to announce its support of the 2010 Counter Terror Expo, taking place on the 14th and 15th April 2010 at Olympia, London. The Association will be exhibiting at the event.
For more information about the event, see www.counterterrorexpo.com
12 May 2009
IPSA member company triumphs at IFSEC awards
Carlisle Security triumphed at last night's IFSEC 2009 Awards with a clean sweep by winning in both the award categories for security guarding.
The IFSEC Awards ceremony, hosted this year by John Sergeant of Strictly Come Dancing fame, saw Carlisle Security pull off a remarkable "double" in their first year of entering the competition; an achievement also making them the only entrant to win two awards.
The work Carlisle Security does for Merseyrail Electrics was recognised by the first of the two awards: "Guarding Service Delivery to Customer". Recognising as it does the very best practice in service delivery and customer satisfaction this award underlines Carlisle’s commitment to providing it’s customers with top quality services and value for money.
Carlisle Security then took the "Policing Partnership of the Year" award for the provision of the now familiar Travel Safe Officers on London's Docklands Light Railway. This was the first year this award had been made at IFSEC, and recognises the role of private security companies within the wider policing community. In Carlisle’s case it particularly recognised the close working links between the company and police services around the country; and especially those with the British Transport Police.
Martin Woollam, Carlisle's Operations Director, accepted the awards on behalf of Carlisle Security.
This brings to three the number of awards won by Carlisle Security in the last year, having earlier carried off the award for Best Security Partnership at the Security Excellence Awards. A hatrick of trophies which makes Carlisle Security the most recognised security company in the UK in 2008/2009.
Justin Bentley, Chief Executive of IPSA, said "This is a fantastic achievement By Carlisle Security, demonstrating their commitment to quality service provision."
8 May 2009
IPSA Membership: an enhanced service for Trainers & Training Companies
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) is launching a dedicated section for individuals and companies involved in training. The launch will take place today, Friday 8th May, at the Edexcel BTEC Security Training Forum in London.
Training is a unique part of the security industry which provides and enhances skills and knowledge, although until now it has been an area without an independent voice.
The Association has for some time had a separate fee structure for training companies, but it has not provided targeted support for the sector. Now it is intended to add both focus and support, particularly for the numerous individuals working as trainers, whether self employed or within organisations. To this end a new category of IPSA individual membership of ‘Trainer’ is being introduced, to help identify and differentiate the individuals working in the sector.
It will then be possible to distribute information on training related matters by e-mail specifically to those individual and company members working in the sector.
In addition, regular events will be arranged for trainers to get together, share best practice and also raise issues and concerns which IPSA, as a representative body, will be able to ensure are addressed in the appropriate quarter. A Trainers’ Committee will be put in place to assess demand and, where appropriate, arrange these meetings.
IPSA has always had “promoting professionalism” as a key aim of the Association. We now intend to take this a significant step further by directly involving those professionals who bring skills and knowledge to the whole industry.
Sallyann Baldry, National Business Development Manager at Edexcel, commented “We welcome the introduction of a category of membership for individual trainers, IPSA already provides professional association membership to many existing Edexcel approved training centres, but this will additionally provide for independent trainers to join an association that justifiably prides itself on the services it provides to trainers, in terms of professional development and networking opportunities.”
28 April 2009
SRM joins forces with Guardian Jobs to launch the National Vetting Certificate
New National Vetting Certificate (NVC) will help applicants stand out from the crowd by demonstrating their integrity to potential employers
SRM (www.srm-solutions.com), a leader in information risk management, business continuity, and secure IT service delivery, has today announced that it has teamed up with Guardian Jobs, the dedicated jobsite from the Guardian Media Group, to launch the National Vetting Certificate.
The NVC will help to address the "Catch 22" problem that currently plagues the recruitment process: many job applicants are unable to go through the vetting process without first taking up a position with an employer, but many employers are unable to recruit an applicant unless they have already been vetted. This situation has arisen in part due to the fact employers are facing greater demands for better security, both to reduce internal risk and comply with regulation, and also partly due to the fact they can no longer rely on implied trust i.e. simply believing an applicant is who they claim to be.
Unfortunately, the days of implicit trust have long gone. According to a survey for BERR in 2008 by Price Waterhouse Coopers, in association with Symantec, HP, and The Security Company (International) Ltd, The report, called 2008 Information Security Breaches Survey, states that 39% of security breaches within large businesses were due to "staff misuse of information systems".
Understandably, employers are therefore much more cautious about employing someone who has not been vetted to a recognised and sufficient standard; as a result, applicants are under pressure to prove their identity prior to application.
The NVC meets the BS7858 Code of Practice and solves the vetting Catch 22 by enabling applicants to prove their identity and other details without first needing to be employed. This in turn enables them to apply for positions requiring such proof. On being presented with an NVC an employer can verify it on a secure online national database. Once the NVC has been verified, an employer will then be able to make a more informed decision about the applicant’s suitability. Combined, the NVC and the ability to verify it gives employers an independent and auditable level of security in the recruitment process, helping to reduce the risks they face and to better meet the demands of internal governance and compliance criteria.
"Modern companies have a moral and legal requirement to protect their assets, their staff, and their shareholders when it comes to recruiting new personnel," says Stephen Brown, Chief Executive Officer, SRM. "As a result, it will soon be unthinkable to hire someone who doesn't have a valid, up-to-date NVC listed on their CV alongside details of their other qualifications, work history, and education."
The NVC will allow job applicants to prove their identity, verify their education, and certify their background for employment purposes. Not only does the NVC meet British Standard 7858, it is the only national vetting certificate to carry a UKAS-accredited stamp and is supported and certified by the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) as best-practice for staff vetting.
"The NVC is a great way for any job candidate wanting to make their CV stand out, something which in the current market could be crucial in helping them to get their CV to the top of the pile," says Matthew Chapman, Partnerships Manager, Guardian Jobs. "And for employers, the NVC is a great way of differentiating between candidates – it will allow them to make a quicker, more informed and smarter decision."
The NVC is valid for three years from the date of issue, and includes the following checks:
* Five-year address verification
* Credit Check - County Court Judgement, Insolvency, Bankruptcy search
* ID verification (Passport)
* Written five-year employment history verification
* Two personal references
* Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Basic Disclosure
* Terrorist Files & Sanctions check
The NVC will be especially important for job applicants who are seeking positions that will require them to handle customer data or other sensitive information, as it will provide instant, independent proof of both their identity and integrity.
Applicants interested in ordering an NVC can access the service via a secure online application form available at both the main Guardian Jobs website: www.jobs.guardian.co.uk, as well as www.thenvc.co.uk, a dedicated site launched specifically to support the NVC programme.
18 February 2009
SIA remain unanswerable to the industry
In January Bobby Logue raised an important question, asking for the SIA to release the critical independent delivery review, which had led to the departure of the then SIA CEO Mike Wilson [Infologue article: www.infologue.com/user/strAdvert.asp?idAdv=744]. At a recent IPSA meeting, members brought up the lack of openness of the SIA and requested the International Council to publicise their concerns. The SIA has since released two documents, both written by themselves, a summary of the review [The SIA Delivery Review: Strengthening our Capability to Deliver our Remit www.the-sia.org.uk/home/about_sia/publications/publications_reviews.htm]and the progress made against some of the criticisms [The SIA Delivery Review: Progress Report Against the Review Action Plan www.the-sia.org.uk/home/about_sia/publications/publications_reviews.htm], however what is still lacking is the original document.
What is it that they are refusing to tell us? Why was it decided by the board that the best course of action was to force out the Chief Exec within days of receiving the report? Was he considered by the board to be so ineffective that he was not to be given the chance of rectifying the highlighted problems? Surely many of the issues actually relate to management practices put in place from day one?
Looking through the released documents, some items are of no surprise. There is a number of criticisms about working with stakeholders and enforcement, areas where they had started improvements last year, which have also continued since November.
For a body which has added countless levels of administrative burden to the industry, and an inspection scheme which strays far away from quality of service delivery, it appears that they had been lacking in numerous areas of best practice themselves. Whilst it is nice to hear that some people have now been moved from temporary to permanent contracts and will receive appraisals (once a third party contractor has been appointed for this), what we want to know more about is the failings in service delivery and what will be done about it.
We still have:
- Call centre staff that give out incorrect advice, which in cases could lead to a person unwittingly committing a criminal offence (how difficult is it to grasp that a security dog handler is also a security officer).
- No clear escalation procedure for the more difficult queries through the call centre – if it isn’t on the script, say “I will call you back”, then don’t.
- Application forms being rejected for small reasons that a phone call could clarify – it is easier to post everything back to the applicant, irrespective of the fact this delays them obtaining their licence by a week and possibly preventing them for working during that period. How about some customer service? Even Licence Dispensation Notices (LDNs) do not help here, as the application has not been accepted.
- Applications that for no obvious reason get “stuck in the system”. Mavis going ill or taking a holiday whilst the application is sat on her desk, shouldn’t be a reason to prevent somebody from working.
We have to accept the SIA, we don’t have a choice. They are the sole provider of the licenses required by law for us to work in this industry. As a Government appointed body, they are supposed to be transparent. We want to know that they are aware of problems still in the system and we want to know what they will be doing to improve the processes. Don’t misunderstand me, they have already significantly improved on the initial systems, but there is still room for improvement. The industry (and SIA customer) wishes to be part of the journey, not simply taken for a ride.
29 January 2009
IPSA launch Employer Sponsored Membership (ESM) Scheme
The International Professional Security Association (IPSA) has launched a new initiative to encourage companies to offer their employees membership of a professional body as part of their staff benefits package. The Employer Sponsored Membership (ESM) Scheme creates a framework for companies to foster professionalism amongst staff through association membership, with the company looking after the administration on behalf of staff. The companies have the option of either paying membership fees as an employment benefit or giving staff the choice of membership with the company managing fees on behalf of staff through monthly payments made direct from wages.
To encourage companies to take part in the ESM Scheme, the IPSA website will be listing which companies are participating, with regular updates of related news. The scheme is open to any company which values its employees, irrespective of Association membership. The ESM Scheme also offers beneficial rates, as the administration involved is shared with the companies, taking advantage of technology to reduce the processing required.
Carlisle Security Services Ltd is the first new member of the scheme and has undertaken to pay for a minimum of one hundred employees to become IPSA individual members. Paul Trendall, Operations Director said “We recognise quality is paramount and investing in our people is essential. Working in partnership with IPSA is one of the ways we will ensure that we will stay at the top of our game.”
The Employer Sponsored Membership Scheme was officially launched at Carlisle Security Services Ltd’s “Contract Managers’ Awayday” held on 28 January 2009 in Coventry. Justin Bentley, Chief Executive of IPSA, explained in earlier years many large employers with in-house security teams supported a similar scheme that allowed several thousand employees at all levels to become part of the move towards professionalism at that time. As guarding duties moved from in-house teams to contract guarding companies, the commitment to and investment in their staff has often been lost, especially in recent years as profit margins have been further eroded. The time has now come for companies to recognise the importance of promoting professionalism amongst staff.
Congratulating Carlisle as the first company to join the new scheme for employer sponsored membership of the Association, Justin Bentley, said “Participation in the scheme by Carlisle Security Ltd. is a courageous decision in these difficult times and I thank Richard and the Board for that initiative. I welcome those who will become members of IPSA and hope to see more of you at our events.
By introducing a new scheme to enable employers to demonstrate their commitment to raising the status of employees and rewarding performance, we at IPSA are offering the same range of benefits and advantages to these members as those enjoyed by all our members.”
The Association is currently identifying member companies that would benefit from transferring to this scheme. Knights & Sons Security Limited is one such company, that is encouraging staff to take up individual membership and is likely to benefit from transferring to the new scheme. Companies such as G4S, where directors in the Middle East have been required in recent years to hold association membership, would also benefit.