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.