We at Skills for Security would like to congratulate Security Management Today on your joint campaign with Infologue.com entitled Four Issues, One Voice, and would very much like to add our voice to the swelling chorus of support you are no doubt beginning to attract.
Campaign 1: Licensing of in-house officers
As the security sector’s skills and standards setting body, we are fully supportive of the unilateral licensing of security personnel that carry out the same ‘licensable activities’. It is unacceptable – and certainly not in the long term public interest – to sustain a potential two tier system wherein fully-trained, qualified, Criminal Records Bureau-checked and licensed contract security officers could be required to work alongside in-house colleagues that meet none of these criterion.
Campaign 2: Equal representation on the SIA Board
We are fully supportive of our own Regulator, which we believe has achieved a great deal under the pragmatic leadership of chief executive John Saunders (particularly in relation to up-skilling both the training fraternity and the workforce in our sector), and we are continuing to work closely with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to ensure that a new educational and learning culture framed by Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is driven forward. However, we fully understand that the industry would like to see equal representation. Having consulted extensively with the Private Security Authority in Eire, we have experienced at first hand how it’s Board – which includes a number of representatives from both employers and the Trade Unions representing employees – have worked hand-in-hand to secure the best interests for all stakeholders in their licensing process.
Campaign 3: Fair charging
For a number of years, many sub-sectors of the security business sector have struggled to maintain an acceptable profit margin. The guarding sector, in particular, has seen profit margins decrease to an unacceptable level. With this in mind, Skills for Security welcomes any dialogue that allows our sector to have a full voice in any future deliberations regarding charges associated with the regulatory process.
Campaign 4: Cutting red tape
We believe that the Government itself is keen to see less red tape, as evidenced by the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (which aims to make it quicker and easier to tackle unnecessary or over-complicated regulation, and help bring about a risk-based approach to it). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 17 May 2006, and we are certain that the SIA will be following the progress of this Bill very closely – as well as continuing to consult with the sector on the future shape of licensing.
We look forward to following Four Issues, One Voice as it develops, and wish you all the very best in your worthy endeavours.
*Stefan Hay FSyI MioD, Director of Strategic Development – Skills for Security