In welcoming members and their guests to the British Security Awards 2018 on Wednesday 11 July, the British Security Industry Association’s CEO James Kelly kick-started his Keynote Address by mentioning the re-branding of the event – running in its new guise for the first time this year – and boldly stated: “It’s our ambition for the British Security Awards to become the national event that recognises the talent and commitment of our industry’s finest.”
Thanking the Trade Association’s members for their many and varied working contributions across the year, with those contributions remaining at the heart of the BSIA’s ongoing success, Kelly expressed his gratitude for all those who have given of their time in the past year to help the BSIA develop and achieve its strategic goals.
Indeed, there have been notable successes during the past 12 months. Political lobbying remains at the core of the Association and “good progress” has been made at Westminster. “As a Trade Challenge Partner, we successfully lobbied the Government to reverse its planned removal of Trade Show Access Programme funding for the overseas trade shows, meaning that grants are now once again available for Intersec Dubai, IFSEC South East Asia and Security Essen,” asserted Kelly.
“We have also lobbied various UK and European organisations to raise awareness of the challenges and added cost implications posed by the Radio Equipment Directive, which has resulted in some useful guidance being produced and a wider understanding of how members can achieve compliance,” continued the CEO. “Further, the BSIA has engaged with UKAS to lobby for the retention of citing normative standards on ISO quality management certificates, with UKAS consulting on a Policy Paper to introduce this into recognised industry schemes.”
The organisation’s commitment to training the next generation continues with its training arm, Skills for Security, developing a series of successful apprenticeship training programmes around the subjects of fire, emergency and security systems, team leadership and customer service. The team is also looking at creating a portfolio of other services around legal training, with briefings on key topics designed to keep organisations legally compliant.
SIA Triennial Review
Moving on to the subject of regulation in the private security sector, Kelly observed: “We are pleased to report the recent publication of the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Triennial Review, which was finally released in June. The Association was invited to join the Home Office Challenge Group overseeing the Review, and we were able to put a number of our views to the Independent Reviewer. The majority of recommendations laid out in the report are strongly supported by the BSIA, aligning closely with our own key lobbying positions on retention of regulation, the merits of business licensing and the need for in-house security to be brought into the regulatory orbit.”
According to Kelly, the BSIA’s next steps are to call on the Home Office to respond to the key proposals and to consult with the industry on their implementation “without further delay”. He stated: “The private security industry is an enormous resource for police and Security Service/Secret Intelligence Service collaboration, and often the first responder to incidents on Britain’s streets, so we are ideally placed to play an essential part in fighting all forms of crime and criminality.”
In the systems arena, the BSIA has been playing an important part in developing the Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) project, which proposes a move from manual response handling to a centralised, fully-automated and end-to-end electronic alarm handing ability aimed at reducing call handling times and the incidences of error. Working alongside the Fire Industry Association and the Fire & Security Association, the proposal is to have a fully operational model ready by 2020.
“Our exporters have been working with the Department for International Trade to add more emphasis on supporting SMEs and identifying priority markets and in building a BSIA Export Consortium to collectively capitalise on export opportunities,” urged Kelly. “The BSIA is proud of its reach in helping exporting members exhibit their offerings in the Middle East, Malaysia, Europe and, potentially, South Africa.”
On the global stage
The BSIA remains a key contributor to national, European and International Standards and the Association has made important contributions to a number of key industry bodies, with both members and staff making representations to Euralarm, the Confederation of European Security Services, the SIA’s Strategy and Standards Group and the work of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner. Involvement in terms of the latter includes contributing to the development of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice and the recently released Buyer’s Toolkit.
Kelly signed off his delivery by stating: “We remain confident that the role of the private security industry in supporting the UK’s economic growth will continue to position the Association – and, most importantly, its members – as a strong force within our ever-changing industry.”