BIM, Brexit and the ongoing fight for harmonisation: Q&A with Euralarm president Enzo Peduzzi
IFSEC Global speaks to Enzo Peduzzi about Euralarm s manifesto for change, with standards harmonisation the key to driving innovation, exports and customer satisfaction across Europe. The pan-European body s president also reflects on the impact of Brexit and two technological trends that are shaping the industry. IFSEC Global: What are Euralarm s priorities right now?
Enzo Peduzzi: Our priorities are outlined in our Manifesto for a Safer and more Secure Europe, which we published last year. It translates our internal strategy into actions and activities for our stakeholders, the European Commission or CEN-CENELEC. It outlines what we want to achieve in the next 2-3 years: as a European trade association we need to have a look at the development of our business in the long term. One of our top priorities right now is on an impact assessment the European Commission has recently put out on their proposals for a pan-European certification of security products. Because testing is usually done sequentially, pan-European certification would speed up the availability on the market of new, technologically innovative products In the strategic paper Security industrial policy Action plan for an innovative and competitive security industry , the European Commission called for a harmonisation in the certification of security products as a means to reach a pan-European market for the security industry and remove the fragmentation caused by the different types of voluntary national marks, with multiple tests of products. It takes some time it is a political process but the enquiry is out. Euralarm has responded to the enquiry and hopefully, at the beginning of 2017, we will see a legislative proposal, from the Commission to the European parliament, which will help the European security industry to be more competitive on the global market. Congratulated by outgoing president Marc Chabaud (right), Enzo Peduzzi is appointed Euralarm president in May 2015 IG: What benefits will the pan-European certification have? EP: There is a cost benefit as we do not have to repeat testing in different countries.
But the biggest benefit is the reduction in the time it takes to commercially roll out these products. Because the testing is usually done sequentially you do it one country, then start the next country so this would speed up the availability on the market of new, technologically innovative products. IG: Why don t manufacturers test products simultaneously in different jurisdictions to accelerate things? EP: Because the risk is high. If something happens in one country then you need to stop the testing in the next country. It is sequential for practical reasons. This will be the first step in the harmonisation of the security market. IG Is it frustrating that regulatory changes like this, which are clearly beneficial for both the industry and consumers, take so long to achieve? EP: It is a political process.
It is important for the industry and consumers, but if a crisis like the immigration issue comes to Europe, then for the European Commission and parliament it is not first priority any more, so we must be realistic. We have seen especially in our field of fire-safety and security that the standardisation process is quite difficult and cumbersome IG: Have you met much resistance from certain national bodies who are protective of their domestic market? EP: Not everybody has understood the importance of a truly European market yet. If the European security industry, especially the medium-sized manufacturer, which often have innovative products, want to be successful in the global marketplace, a strong pan-European home market is essential. So this will really help countries like the United Kingdom, Italy or Spain, which have a lot of small but innovative product manufacturers. We will have more technologically innovative products on the market, which helps the customer at the end. IG: What are your organisation s biggest achievements in recent years? EP: The first step is the Pan-European standard for the certification of service providers, which has just been voted through. There was a lot of work involved from Euralarm Members.
EN-Standard 16763 will really help service providers access a pan-European market. An other point is the standardisation process in Europe. Here we have seen especially in our field of fire-safety and security that the standardisation process is quite difficult and cumbersome. In 2014 we published a briefing document in which we highlighted a couple of issues in the standardisaton framework itself. This document stirred up quite a bit of powder in CEN-CENELEC and the national standardisation bodies, because we really were calling for action. This paper helped Euralarm to get in close contact with CCMC (CEN-CENELEC Management Centre) and we are now discussing on a regular basis the issues and find step-by step solutions to the most pressing issues. In parallel, the European Commission s recent Joint Standardisation Initiative , the JIS, has taken up these issues and started discussing them on a European level, so we are quite happy that we were not so wrong with our assessment. The JIS initiative should progress quickly. By the end of the year, apparently, the EC wants to table its joint proposals with the industry, but we will see.
We are cooperating and hope the timing can be kept. Standards have a hard time keeping up with technology change and that is why we asked for a speeding up of the standardisation process in Europe IG: Is Brexit having much of an impact on what you do at Euralarm? EP: At the moment, no. We are in close contact with our British members, the FIA and BSIA. They are very active and doing a good job in the United Kingdom, but are also active in Europe with Euralarm. We have assessed the situation together and, at least for the next 1-2 years, we do not foresee big changes . We have to see how Brexit negotiations progress, but if the United Kingdom s industry wants to export in Europe after that, then they have to comply with European standards and regulations. The standards work with CEN-CENELEC is not related to the EU. It includes countries not in the EU like Turkey, Norway, Switzerland.
For the United Kingdom to keep on working on European standardisation, it will probably require the change of some wording in the mandate for CEN-CENELEC, but not a major transformation. IG: How hard is it ensuring that standards keep pace with rapidly evolving technology? EP: Standards have a hard time keeping up with technology change. And that is why we asked for a speeding up of the standardisation process in Europe. We have seen two major technological changes. One is BIM building information modelling which has different level of maturity in different counties. The United Kingdom is one of the most advanced, while Germany for example is a bit further behind. BIM really has the potential to change the building industry of which our industry is part of it. We really need to keep up with that.
The other change is the internet of things, where everything is communicating. What happens with a small installer who installs a security control panel in my apartment, but the panel is not a piece of hardware anymore but software in the cloud ? We held a symposium on those topics last year, together with our general assembly in Lisbon. We had a good discussion with experts and our members. We will continue to monitor this subject, oversee the influences for standardisation and give our members suggestions and help over how they might prepare in future. IG: Anything else? EP: Our Manifesto for a Safer and more Secure Europe also covers qualifications and education in our industry. This is not our first priority, but we are aware we need to make an effort to educate people in the industry. Because everybody is competing for the talent and we need to offer young people interesting career paths in our industry.
We have started some concrete actions, but it will take time to find the right positions, because on a European level, education is very fragmented and complicated. It is different from country to country and city to city, but we need to get a grip on it and come up with some interesting ideas for the future. Free download covering legal requirements for responsible persons under the FSO, courtesy of the IOSH, BIFM and USHA approved UK provider of health, safety and environmental information.
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