The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is prioritising its use of better regulation principles and has made real progress improving its performance as a regulator, according to a new report published today by the Better Regulation Executive. The report, part of a series of reviews of national regulators, examined how the SIA matched up to the principles of effective regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005. The SIA, which regulates the growing private security industry, has placed a high priority on implementing these principles across their work.
The SIA currently licences over 300,000 security operatives and has approved 631 security companies across the UK.
The report found that:
- the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme has helped raise standards and encouraged exchange of good practice within the industry;
- communication with stakeholders, which had been problematic, had improved as the SIA were engaging constructively and proactively with businesses; and
- criminality in the industry, whilst not eliminated, had been reduced through the work of the SIA.
The report highlighted that the SIA could further improve performance by integrating risk assessment into strategic planning, improving customer focus and some aspects of communication with stakeholders.
The Hampton Implementation Review process, that will examine a total of 31 national regulators, follow two independent reports by Sir Philip Hampton and Professor Richard Macrory on making inspection and enforcement of regulation more effective. The Hampton Review in 2005 – led by Sir Philip Hampton – recommended an end to the one size fits all approach to regulation and that regulators should take a risk-based approach to enforcement and information gathering. Among its findings were that regulators should carry out inspections only when needed and avoid unnecessary form-filling and duplication of effort or information.
In 2006 Professor Richard Macrory’s review of penalties for failure to comply with regulatory obligations recommended that regulators should focus on outcomes, rather than action. He recommended that sanctions should be aimed at changing the behaviour of non-compliant businesses and eliminating any financial gain from non-compliance. The Better Regulation Executive’s full report on the Security Industry Authority can be found at www.bis.gov.uk/. The review took place in January 2009