Alternative security licensing system proposed
The Small Business Network (SBN) celebrates its 10th anniversary by advocating an alternative licensing system to ensure good business practices and professionalism across the UK security industry.
This year the SBN is highlighting the challenges of licensing all security providers and the need for greater levels of professionalism across the industry. Abbey Petkar, press officer for the SBN and managing director of Magenta Security Services, says: "The ACS is a great scheme, but it is voluntary, which means that approximately 20% of UK based security companies are currently being audited." This has led to a two-tier system, according to Petkar. "At the top are those voluntarily undergoing rigorous assessments of their business practices.
They are not just professional, but they are willing to demonstrate that professionalism through third-party checks."
He says that the other end of the scale consists of rogue operators, companies that are often uninsured, pay less than minimum wage or do not meet pension requirements, for example. With the majority of British security businesses and firms not committed to the ACS, the SBN makes it clear that most of these organisations are professional. "We are currently investigating an alternative to the full ACS," says Petkar. "Perhaps lower cost of entry and a less burdensome audit - but still a clear demonstration that the company in question is committed to professionalism and expects to become fully ACS audited in due course."
The SBN also reminds users of security services they have an obligation to check the quality of their suppliers. "You wouldn't hire a lawyer or accountant without checking their credentials, the same should be true of a security company," adds Petkar. Working alongside the International Professional Security Association (IPSA), SBN is made up of security companies and professionals that are focused on improving the sector as a whole. The network launched in 2008.
To achieve its goals the network lobbies both members and the government on issues affecting the security industry and presents methods to respond to and overcome these issues. Free Download: Securing the UK's borders. Getting national security and Brexit right first time is crucial, we do not want to get this wrong.
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