For the first time, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is offering a new ‘probationer’ membership across all 17 Sections of the Trade Association’s membership. The new category allows companies that don’t yet possess their ISO 9001 certificate, but meet with the rest of the BSIA’s rigorous membership criteria, to temporarily join the organisation on the condition that they’ll achieve their IS0 9001 certificate – accredited by a UKAS certification body – within 12 months of joining.
During that time, the BSIA will provide a given company with guidance and advice in order to help them achieve the certification. Once it has been achieved, the company will then become a permanent member of the BSIA. However, if after 12 months the certification isn’t achieved, the company will cease to be a ‘probationer’ member.
Discussing the new ‘probationer’ membership, Sharon Mughal, membership development manager at the BSIA, explained to Risk UK: “Since working at the BSIA, I’ve found that a large proportion of companies approaching us for membership, and who do demonstrate a quality service, turn out to be ineligible due to the absence of the ISO 9001 accreditation. This isn’t necessarily due to the fact that they haven’t considered the certification, but rather because they don’t always see it as being a sufficient way in which to differentiate themselves in the industry. Instead, they see BSIA membership as the differentiator. While we still believe the ISO 9001 certificate is an important quality mark, allowing a 12-month probationary period in which to achieve it seemed like a logical decision. It’s one that should also help to raise management standards within the wider industry.”
Financial status and British Standards compliance
As a ‘probationer’ member, companies will be able to access some of the benefits of being a BSIA member, including the opportunity to attend BSIA Section and Regional Committee meetings with an open meeting policy. They will not, however, have voting rights. To differentiate them from full members of the BSIA, ‘probationer’ members will also be given their own logo that can be used on their company literature during the 12-month period.
In order to be considered for the scheme, companies must demonstrate that their business is financially sound, that their directors are of good repute and that they comply with any British and/or European Standards and Codes of Practice relevant to the Section for which they’re applying for membership.
“It’s also important to note companies must demonstrate that they’re looking to attain ISO 9001 within a 12-month period before applying and being considered for the ‘probationer’ membership,” added Mughal. “Along with our other rigorous membership criteria, this helps us to determine whether or not a company is of a reputable standard. The BSIA will work with businesses intensively during their probationary period, which will allow these already high quality companies to achieve their goal.”
*For more information about the new BSIA scheme contact Sharon Mughal via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org