Brian Sims

SIA launches consultation on new Business Approval Scheme

THE SECURITY Industry Authority (SIA) has launched a public consultation process focused on the key principles that will underpin its Business Approval Scheme going forward.

The changes under consideration will signal “a significant shift” in the way in which the SIA approves businesses under this scheme. What’s more, it will also change how standards are defined for security businesses, all the whole ensuring public protection is at the very heart of the new scheme.

The SIA currently approves circa 750 security businesses. Within this number, 85 of the largest businesses by turnover account for around 40% of the total UK private security market, employing around 30% of individual SIA licence holders.

For its part, the Business Approval Scheme is the main way in which the SIA can influence improvements to business standards. It’s a voluntary, quality-based scheme through which the private security industry’s regulator promotes good practice and improvements in industry standards.

During the past year, the SIA has engaged with key stakeholders and the industry through a series of roadshows and roundtable discussions that have taken place across the UK to inform its thinking.

The SIA is now seeking views on the principles that will underpin this change. Feedback is encouraged from the private security industry, its customers, representatives and other standard-setting bodies, agencies, members of the public and individuals harbouring a keen interest in public safety.

Growing recognition

Steve McCormick, the SIA’s director of licensing and service delivery, explained: “Since the SIA established its Business Approval Scheme back in 2006, there have been many changes in terms of customer requirements, an increased demand for private security and new emerging threats posed to public safety.”

McCormick added: “The growing recognition of the critical role private security plays in public safety means there’s a clear need for a new scheme grounded in public protection. This is an opportunity to shape how the SIA sets standards for private security businesses in order to ensure they contribute to public protection and raise industry standards in the years ahead.”

The consultation process will run for six weeks and close on 4 April. A summary of responses to this consultation process will be published within 12 weeks of the closing date.

Subject to the responses, the SIA will then hold a further consultation on the proposals for the new Business Approvals Scheme once the detailed design is complete.

*Visit the SIA’s Business Approval Scheme consultation page for further information and details of how to respond

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