Bill Butler has been on holiday so this month’s blog was written by Stephen McCormick, our Director of Service Delivery.
Looking back, the past month seems to have gone very quickly. I’ve spent much of my time working with my senior team to put more detail into the specifications for the new systems that we’ll need to support us in the future, as well as dealing with all the normal day-to-day business issues. The development work is going well and I’m hopeful that we’ll make significant progress towards changing the way we work with individuals and businesses well in advance of the introduction of any future regulatory regime.
Towards the end of August I was able to attend the annual Government ICT conference held here in London. This year it focussed on operational efficiency and the ‘green’ agenda, with existing suppliers to government bringing forward new capabilities and services that could prove interesting to us in the coming period of change and the re-engineering of our systems and operating processes.
I’ve also been able to meet with a number of stakeholders, including speaking about our proposals for the future regime with accrediting body EDI and a number of training providers at the EDI sponsored ‘Licence to Practise’ group in Coventry. I gave an update of how our proposals are progressing at the ACS Strategy and Standards committee and I have been meeting with security companies to talk about how we might work more closely with businesses when operating the future individual registration scheme.
While we work on developing the new regulatory regime we must still continue with our day-to-day business. Our Licensing team dealt with a high level of demand during the peak of the holiday period and still managed to increase performance, completing just under 80% of all licence applications in three weeks or less. Our Customer Service team has been working on proposals to change and simplify how we will contact individual licence holders in the future – for example by using text messages and e-mail. The ACS team continues to work closely with our Compliance and Investigation team to disrupt criminal activity in the private security industry, while at the same time developing proposals on possible business licensing criteria.
I am looking forward to our second stakeholder conference in Sheffield on 12 October, and to the Autumn ACS forums and ‘Future of Regulation’ roadshows being held across the country in October and November. These events will give me the opportunity to explore in more detail the ways in which we can develop our licensing service to better meet our customers’ needs – and wherever possible hold or reduce the cost of providing that service.