First three companies gain Product Certification to British Security Standards to meet proposed SIA business licensing requirements

bsiRenown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley are the first three companies to achieve Product Certification to British Security Standards from BSI, the business standards company, to help them meet proposed Security lndustry Authority (SIA) business licensing requirements.

The SIA, the organization responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, currently requires that all security staff are licensed. From 6 April 2015, in addition to individuals, proposed new regulation will require that all private security businesses also hold an SIA business licence, in order to demonstrate their competence to deliver security services.

To meet this proposed new legal requirement, Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley have taken advantage of a new pathway for security firms to gain an SIA business licence – via third-party Product Certification to relevant British Security Standards with BSI.

Renown Protection Limited knew it needed to get a business licence in order to continue to operate legally. However, as a small firm they had to consider all possible options including closing down the company. “As a small firm, we wondered if it was worth getting a licence, but when we looked into it more closely, we saw we were already doing a lot of the things we’d need to do,” says Jay Hollick, Managing Director at Renown. “The biggest challenge was in ‘winning hearts and minds’ however once we got buy-in from everyone they understood why we needed to complete paperwork, for example, and they could see the benefit of regular training and in-house refreshers, and keeping a record of their continuing professional development (CPD).”

This new route to compliance particularly benefits businesses that are looking to provide clients with independent proof of their commitment to providing a quality service. “Product certification and licensing shows clients and prospects this is how we do business – it proves it, without us having to convince them,” adds Hollick.

By placing more emphasis on staff training and development, the company has also seen improved staff performance and morale. “We have always taken pride in giving staff a thorough induction and training, but whereas it has been largely verbal in the past, it is now much better documented and methodical. Staff are more motivated now, which means our clients get a better service.”

Stopfordian and West Valley see the product certification route as an opportunity to not only meet the proposed new statutory licensing requirements but also build on their existing good performance and reputation.

In 2014 Stopfordian formed a strategic partnership with West Valley, the two firms now work together to protect their collective clients at work, home and in between. A key benefit of the product certification process has been in helping them both maintain their quality ethos, and building upon it to make day-to-day running as efficient as possible.

The process has also enabled the companies to look deeper into what they do and how they do it, leading them to devise and implement improved structures and processes. “The thorough approach to even seemingly small parts of the job meant that all aspects of the company were looked into, considered and improved. For example, stringent key-holding procedures ensure the safety of clients’ venues. Screening and vetting procedures, whilst time-consuming, are beneficial as we are able to verify that our staff are of the highest quality,” explains Laura White, Stopfordian’s Office Manager.

Product certification has ensured that the two companies mirror each other in terms of procedures and service. As a result, they are not only able to serve existing clients, but also to promote the new merged entity in a way that is quality assured. “We are now able to increase business while running the companies in the most efficient way – saving money and driving profits,” says White.

Suzanne Fribbins, Risk Management specialist at BSI commented: “Renown Protection Limited, Stopfordian and West Valley should all be very proud of their achievement in being the first to receive third-party product certification to meet the Government’s proposed new requirements for security firms. They can now demonstrate they have an independently verified best practice processes in place, which will provide their clients with peace of mind that any operative entering their venue has been stringently assessed. Compliance with the security industry’s proposed business licensing will also enhance their ability to win and retain contracts and shows a clear commitment to best practice and continual improvement.”

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