Salford University receives Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s certification mark

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s third party certification scheme enables organisations to clearly demonstrate that they comply with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. For relevant authorities (such as local authorities and police forces) this is particularly important, as they must show due regard to the Code. For other organisations, compliance with the Code is voluntary.

Salford University has recently achieved Step 2 certification. It’s not an organisation that’s legally required to comply with the Code, so why apply? Trevor Jones, head of security at Salford University, said: “The university believes that following the Code is nationally recognised as Best Practice for CCTV operations. Applying for and attaining the Commissioner’s certificate, and being able to use the certification mark, demonstrates to our students, staff and visitors that we operate our CCTV to the best standards possible.”

For many youngsters, going to university or college is probably their first experience of living away from home. Many probably don’t give much thought to their safety or who’s looking after them. Do they securely lock their laptops, smart phones and tablets away? Are their doors and windows secure, is the campus safe and who can they call in an emergency? For parents, their children’s safety is almost certainly at the forefront of their minds.

Jones added: “Achieving certification against the Code shows to potential students and their families that the university takes their safety and security extremely seriously. Being recognised by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner as an organisation that reaches the highest standards is a powerful statement.”

Simple, accessible and affordable

Certification is simple, accessible and affordable and there are three security industry certification bodies currently qualified to audit against the Code of Practice – the National Security Inspectorate, the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board and IQ Verify.

There are two steps to certification: the first step, desktop certification, is aimed at organisations working hard to achieve full compliance with the Code, but who are aware that they may need more time to become fully compliant. The second step, full certification, is for organisations that are close to or fully compliant with the Code. Salford University is certified against Step 2.

“We already had BS 7958 [the British Standard for Control Rooms) in place as well as all the relevant governance and documentation,” stated Jones, “so the process was very easy for us, though I imagine if you don’t have BS 7958 the process will still be relatively easy. If you currently run a good system and Control Room then you should meet all of the necessary requirements.”

12 guiding principles

To achieve the full certification mark, Salford University invited an auditor from one of the certification bodies into its CCTV Control Room to audit the surveillance system, cameras and procedures, working with a checklist against the 12 guiding principles in the Code.

The audit took place over the course of a day. During the visit, Salford University was required to provide various items of documentation such as privacy impact assessments, procedural manuals and information sharing agreements for the auditors to inspect.

Salford University passed with flying colours and was awarded full certification. The University is now also able to proudly display the Commissioner’s certification mark on its website and other publicity materials.

Trevor Jones concluded: “I would certainly recommend the certification scheme to other universities. In fact, I think it should be mandatory. It’s excellent value for money, too, simply because of the huge reputational value it offers.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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