In his final blog of the year for Infologue, John Briggs, operations director for First Security, takes a look back at some of the key issues and developments of 2013.
“This past year has generated discussions in areas such as training, licensing and vetting, and advances in technology. Hostile reconnaissance and terrorism were also hot on agendas within the security industry, as well as the debate on manned guarding versus electronic security.”
To recap these discussions, Briggs talks us through 2013 and what the industry can expect moving forward.
“With the security industry evolving from just offering physical protection to now including an array of added value services to better protect and serve clients, security providers are looking beyond the basic means of protection to ensure they continue to evolve as the industry does, while also offering clients a service with a difference.
“Producing a better service by employing higher skilled guards can secure better margins. This improved service comes from training. However, importance must be placed on the quality of the training. For the value to be truly showcased, the training must be accredited. Without that accreditation or some kind of certification, the training is essentially worthless; clients have no evidence to understand how skilled its security team is, and security personnel have no confirmation to allow their newly attained skills to be transferred to future roles or employers.
“However, training alone is not sufficient. 2014 will see the introduction of business licensing requirements for security companies that hold a contract to provide a security service, with these requirements being mandatory from April 2015. This does not however, change any of the licensing provision or regulations for personnel although some of this may change in the future.
“Any person working within the security industry must be adequately licensed to undertake the role they are employed to do. With the introduction of the updated vetting standard BS7858 earlier this year, confidence should increase within the security industry about the calibre of people being employed to protect people, property and assets.
“With strict licensing requirements, and improvements to the quality of training available, manned guarding should improve over the coming years, but there is still some uncertainty within client businesses as to whether the physical presence of a security guard is enough to offer adequate protection.
“Although they are always alert, a lone manned guard may not be able to maintain a constant vigilant presence in every area of a business. Therefore, achieving a balance between a physical presence and an electronic security system can create a security solution that offers smarter security through personal delivery.
“Security guards provide a responsive and preventative approach to security combined with customer service that no machine can replace. Technology such as CCTV, access control and video analytics can assist them to perform their job more effectively, offering flexible, more affordable and bespoke security solutions for any business.
“The security industry should be focused on all of the assets it has at its disposal to provide robust and compliant security solutions. Combining both guarding services with the latest technologies will increase confidence in the market that security needs are being met, while decreasing risks associated with security threats, hostile reconnaissance and terrorism.
“This next year will provide some challenging moments across the industry, particularly with business licensing regulations. However, the security industry is generally looking stronger as we move towards 2014.”
Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of Infologue.com or Interconnective Limited.