The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is set to begin a new series of regular articles for the readers of Risk UK in which we shine the spotlight on NSI-registered businesses for the benefit of risk and security managers who purchase security guarding solutions.
In recent years, the UK’s security guarding sector has witnessed a good deal of change, some of it brought about from within, but other elements – a prime example being alterations to the policing and law enforcement landscape realised by, among other things, Government austerity and the terrorism threat – realised due to external forces.
Margins remain pretty low. Business licensing appears to be on hold, with the future direction of the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme – and, indeed, the Regulator itself – somewhat uncertain. There have been plenty of mergers and acquisitions in the market, with diversity – in the shape of the ‘siloed’ security approach versus the move towards ‘Total FM’ solutions – also playing its part in re-shaping the guarding landscape.
On top of all that, the Apprenticeship Levy is now ‘live’ and will impact security companies going forward. Of course, there’s also the implications of Brexit to be considered.
The idea behind ‘Meet The Security Company’ – a feature that’s scheduled to appear in the pages of Risk UK on a monthly basis – is to offer a dedicated forum for NSI-registered solutions providers to speak directly to the end user client base, voicing their opinions on where they firmly believe the sector ought to be heading.
We’ll be asking those security companies involved to offer a brief general overview of how they see the security guarding market at the current time. Are present margins in the sector sustainable? In terms of the end user customer, who are they being put in front of when tendering for work and do they feel the knowledge levels among clients are now greater than they were, say, five years ago?
Are end user customers asking the right questions of security companies as their service providers, and is there now a greater desire for true partnership working as opposed to security being seen as a necessary ‘bolt on’?
How do today’s security companies define quality of service delivery? What should be the key elements of guarding delivery on the ground, and what does ‘value add’ look like from their perspective?
Undoubtedly, the National Living Wage will have a major impact on the sector. What are NSI security companies’ considered thoughts on this and, indeed, the National Minimum Wage?
We’ll also be asking those firms taking part in ‘Meet The Security Company’ to outline their thoughts on the proposed enablement of business licensing. Will that strand of SIA licensing induce positive change?
In which direction would today’s security companies like to see ‘The Regulation Roadmap’ take the guarding sector during the next decade?
If they had to describe ‘The Security Officer of Tomorrow’, what would be the key traits necessary for success?
Importantly, in what ways is third party accreditation beneficial for not only security businesses, but also the security guarding sector in general?
*The first instalment of ‘Meet The Security Company’ will appear in the July print edition of Risk UK