Hard on the heels of the launch of the Contract Quality Marque comes the news that the three major private security industry bodies – the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and Skills for Security – have announced another important initiative aimed at creating a high-level operational standard for companies wishing to demonstrate a significant and verifiable difference in the guarding services they provide. This will complement the Contract Quality Marque and is further evidence of the organisations’ strong belief in the future.
The organisations have senior representatives on a steering group which is chaired by VSG’s Bill Muskin, the Chairman of the BSIA Security Guarding Section Committee. Their aim is to reach agreement on a forward-looking standard which will be awarded to any guarding company once the company has passed an appropriate inspection. It will cover operational matters including, but not limited to, specific assignment training, company infrastructure, compliance with the Working Time Directive, standards of equipment and supervision and consistency of service and support delivery.
Bill Muskin comments “Whilst the introduction of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) of the Security Industry Authority was, and remains an important development for the industry and gives some element of differentiation from other companies not in the scheme, we believe that there is a strong case – and a strong appetite from many – for a much more definitive operationally-based standard. We see ACS as very much the entry point for companies wanting to improve quality and customer service. This new standard is intended to challenge companies to aim higher and will, unequivocally, require compliance with, and inspection to, all relevant British Standards. This will then become a benchmark of difference and will give real advantage to those that meet it and for those who purchase from them.”
The group intends to commence what they describe as ‘the widest consultation ever undertaken on a security guarding standard, in order to ensure that both the detail and the intent reflects the needs of customers, practitioners, external stakeholders and the supplying companies themselves.’
The steering group stresses, even at this early stage, that the standard will be voluntary and will be available to all companies involved with guarding service provision.