Engaging with the Government, Modernising the BSIA and Developing Exports are vital to our members success – Julie Kenny

Julie Kenny
Julie Kenny

“Over the past year, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has worked hard to engage with the Coalition Government to ensure that our industry remains adequately represented through a period of substantial legislative and regulatory change. It is pleasing to see these new relationships begin to flourish as we move towards a new era of industry regulation,” said the British Security Industry Association Chairman July Kenny, when addressing the BSIA annual lunch, on Wednesday, at the London Hilton Hotel, writes Infologue.com’s Bobby Logue.

Active Engagement with Government

Kenny then went on the highlight the vital importance of actively engaging with Government in both the UK and Europe; “The government’s announcement late last year that the regulation of our industry was to undergo a review provided an ideal opportunity for the BSIA to forge such links. The Association was quick to respond to this announcement and was instrumental in the formation of the Security Alliance, a single-issue body formed to provide all key security industry stakeholders with a forum where members could debate and formulate a unified response to the question of future regulation. Since its formation in October last year, the Security Alliance has gone from strength to strength, rising to the challenge of regulatory change and embracing the development of lighter-touch regulation, with its consequent empowerment of the industry. Lobbying and representation have remained the core function of our Technical team at the BSIA, representing members’ views in both the UK and European arenas and continues to reinforce the Association’s position as the most prominent voice of the UK’s private security industry. Legislative changes have been abundant this year, and the BSIA has provided input into consultations on the government’s;

  • Protection of Freedoms Bill
  • Localism Bill
  • HM Treasury’s consultation on tax credits for Research and Development and,
  • the European Commission’s consultation on an industrial policy for the security industry.

In addition to this, a targeted public affairs campaign, lead by our Chief Executive James Kelly, has succeeded in placing the BSIA in front of leading politicians with an interest in the security industry, in visits to both Houses of Parliament and also through the BSIA’s presence at the political party conferences last September.

“Developing these political links is key to the Association’s long-term success, and with such an array of changes affecting varying sectors within our industry, the value of trade association membership in providing a collective voice for even the smallest security companies is now more apparent than ever.”

Modernising the BSIA

Modernising the BSIA was also on Kenny’s agenda to ensure the association was a more up-to-date, flexible and dynamic organisation that’s run by its members for its members; “A key element of this modernisation is the Constitutional Reform Group, which was formed with the primary aim of updating the existing constitution to ensure that the Association’s governance arrangements are fit for purpose, transparent and simple, enshrining the principles of democratic and equitable representation for members to encourage greater membership participation and influence. With a whole raft of documents included in this review, from the Memorandum and Articles of Association through to the Bye-Laws down to individual section rules, the success of its implementation depends upon the ongoing support of our members.”

Raising the BSIA profile

Julie Kenny spoke of the importance of raising the profile of the BSIA in both UK and internationally; “During the past year, the BSIA’s message has reached an audience of over 108 million people, with media coverage reaching as far and wide as China and the USA. Here in the UK, the BSIA has begun to secure regular coverage in the national press, with articles and interviews appearing in the Daily Express, the Independent and the Guardian. 2010 was a particularly successful year in terms of reaching a wider audience, with BSIA press coverage achieving a 700% increase on the previous year. Speaking out on behalf of our industry and making our collective voices heard continues to be a vital way of getting our members’ messages across to end users and potential customers, promoting the importance of quality and professional security solutions. As we look to the future, the on-going success of the BSIA – and indeed, our industry as a whole – depends upon the continued participation of its members. Our collective knowledge and expertise and working together in partnership gives a boost to all of our individual businesses whilst ensuring that, as our industry changes, we are at the forefront of developing new and innovative ways of working, making our industry something we can all be proud of. We want a BSIA that provides a membership that is value for money and relevant to your businesses.“

On the Olympics….

“With less than a year to go before the Olympic Games our work alongside the Home Office, The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority continues to go from strength to strength, under the expert guidance of our dedicated 2012 Project Director, David Evans. As we move towards the final stages of security planning for the Games, the BSIA remains at the forefront of the industry’s preparation for the events. Our participation in various working groups, including RISC’s 2012 Industry Advisory Group and the Police Coordination Working Group ensures that the BSIA and its members are recognised as expert voices on security planning for the Olympic Games. Bridging the Gap, the initiative developed by the BSIA and run in conjunction with The London 2012 Organising Committee and North Hertfordshire College, remains on course to achieve its goal to provide 12,000 additionally trained security personnel for the Games, while promoting the security industry as a viable long-term career choice for young people, a rare and valuable opportunity in these austere economic times.” said Kenny

Exporting is Essential

Julie Kenny emphasised the importance of exports to the UK’s economic growth; “We need to explore business opportunities in other countries – this remains crucial to companies looking to diversify and grow despite the challenging UK financial landscape.

The BSIA’s Export Council continues to provide an essential service to members, promoting their products and services at overseas exhibitions in countries as diverse as Dubai, Germany and Russia, while maintaining excellent working relationships with UK’s Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation. The Export Council’s Meet the Buyers initiative held at IFSEC continues to go from strength to strength, with over 700 one-to-one introductory meetings arranged between UK security companies and overseas buyers.”

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