Home Guarding SIA launches consultation on Code of Conduct for private security operatives

SIA launches consultation on Code of Conduct for private security operatives

by Brian Sims

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is launching a six-week consultation on a draft Code of Conduct for SIA licence holders and applicants for SIA licences. The SIA is inviting the industry, licence holders and anyone with an interest in private security to have a say on the draft Code of Conduct by taking part in a survey. The consultation period will end on 23 February 2020.   

The idea of the draft Code of Conduct is to improve standards and public safety by setting out the standards of conduct and behaviour that the SIA expects people to uphold if they’re entrusted with protecting the public, premises and property. It would give a clear, consistent and positive message to service users, businesses and employers about what they should expect from licence holders. The SIA also wants it to help licence holders understand what to do when they face challenging situations at work.

The majority of licence holders uphold the standards of behaviour that the SIA, their employers and the public expect of them. Their professionalism and dedication keeps the public safe and tackles crime. However, there are incidents in which some licence holders don’t behave in this way. This minority lowers the standard of service the public receives, harms public safety and brings itself and the rest of the private security industry into disrepute.

Broad behaviours 

The SIA is suggesting that there are six broad behaviours that licence holders and applicants should follow. These form the framework for the draft Code of Conduct and are called ‘The Six Commitments’. The intention is that the Code of Conduct would apply to all licensed security operatives and applicants. A small number of additional requirements would apply to the ‘controlling minds’ of private security providers (eg directors).

The draft Code of Conduct builds on the Standards of Behaviour for Security Professionals published last year.

The SIA’s plan is to make the Code of Conduct mandatory by putting it into the licensing criteria published in ‘Get Licensed’. This would mean that a licence holder who doesn’t behave in the ways set out in the Code of Conduct might have their licence suspended and/or revoked.

Putting a Code of Conduct into criteria would ultimately need the approval of Home Office ministers.

Experience and engagement 

Ian Todd

Ian Todd

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, explained: “The draft Code of Conduct sets out the standards of behaviour which we believe are required of a licence holder, taking into account the challenges faced by security professionals. This draft is based on our years of licensing experience, refined by engagement with key individuals working in the industry. However, we need input to develop a Code of Conduct that really works for licence holders, private security businesses and ourselves. It’s therefore imperative that as many licensed security professionals as possible take part in this consultation. We want to hear from them.”

Participating industry professionals should read the background information and download the draft Code of Conduct. They will then need to answer the questions in the survey.

Once the consultation ends in February, the SIA will analyse the results and publish a report on its website. The SIA will then use the comments it has received to write a final version of the Code of Conduct.

As stated, the introduction of a Code of Conduct will be subject to final approval by Home Office ministers.

*Versions of the consultation in alternative formats and/or Welsh are available on request. Interested parties requiring a copy are advised to send a request to codeofconduct@sia.gov.uk

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