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BSIA offers end-user advice over regulatory reform

by Brian Sims

The BSIA (British Security Industry Association) has produced a guide for end-users and security buyers, to help them understand the proposed changes to the licensing and regulatory regime of the UK’s private security industry. There will be a gradual change in the way private security companies and individual officers operating in the UK are licensed and regulated. This is currently carried out by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), but following the Public Bodies Review in 2010, aimed at increasing the transparency, accountability and efficiency of public services, the Authority is to be reformed. The new solution should be based upon a phased transition to a business licensing regime. Under this regime, regulatory control would move from the licensing of individual security operatives to the licensing of private security businesses, and businesses would be responsible for ensuring that required checks on individuals are carried out. Additionally, the regulator will continue to undertake individual criminality checks. Trevor Elliott, Director of Manpower and Membership Services at the BSIA, stated, ‘Over the next couple of years, the regulatory landscape of the private security industry will change dramatically, and the legal responsibilities of both security companies and their customers will be affected. ‘While it may take a while for these changes to become apparent to the end-user, early preparation is essential to ensure that companies procuring security personnel understand what’s changing, and what they need to do to ensure that they continue to operate within the law.’ The BSIA has produced an online guide to provide background information on why this change is taking place, along with key dates in the transition process.

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