The threat of cyber-attack is ever-present, and to mitigate against this the government through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) within GCHQ has established a set of minimum standards that will help protect your data, and that of your clients – Cyber Essentials Plus. The NCSC issued guidance last October named Cyber Security: Small Business Guidance.
Any business that is planning to get Cyber Essentials Plus certification needs to be mindful that there are cost and time implications to achieve this accreditation. The cost of Cyber Essentials Plus is dependent on the size of the business and the accreditor that you use, the infrastructure, number of IP addresses, items on an inventory list and the complexity of your network. Visit Cyber Essentials Plus.
When you register for your SIA online account we ask you for your email address. We use that email address to send you messages, requests for information or instructions that you must follow.
Sometimes the emails we send out will be mistaken for 'spam' or 'junk mail' by your internet service provider or the email service you are using. When that happens our email will be filtered out or trapped and won't arrive in your inbox. We have done what we can to reduce the chance of emails from us being caught in this way, but there is a limit to what we can do to prevent this from happening. This is because we can't control the filtering rules used by your internet service provider or the settings on your device.
If you are expecting an email from us and you have not received it (for example, you have registered for an account and you are waiting for the account activation link) then please check your spam or junk folders to see if the email is there.
We also recommend adding us to your 'safe senders' list. How to do this will vary depending on your service provider, your device and the email app you are using, but Gmail and Outlook users may find the links below helpful.
The register/login screen of our licensing site includes links that allow you to reset your password or request a reminder of your username, but this will only work for people that have registered an SIA online account on our current website (launched in July 2016).
Accounts from our previous licensing site were not brought over to the current one. If you haven't used our online service since before July 2016, you'll need to register a new account (don't worry, if you had an account with us before, our system will match up your new account with the information we already hold once you've registered). User names and passwords for older accounts won't work, and you won't get a response if you ask for a reminder of your old username or to reset your password.
We emailed you not too long ago to ask you what you think of ACS Update, and how we can make it more interesting, relevant and engaging. We are reminding you to complete this survey. As ACS Update is one of our main communication channels, we want it to continue to be useful and informative.
To share your thoughts, please answer our short questionnaire, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Any information you provide will only be used for the purposes of this research. Your responses are confidential and we would be grateful if you could complete the survey by 31 July (note extended deadline).
This is also your opportunity to tell us how we can improve the design and format and what information and new topics you would like included in future editions.
Alan Clamp, our CEO is to step down from the organisation in the autumn after more than three years at the helm. Alan will take on the role of CEO at the Professional Standards Authority from 1 November 2018.
Commenting on his decision to leave the SIA, Dr Clamp said: "It has been a great privilege to lead the SIA. I have been supported by a staff team who have consistently performed to a very high standard with dedication and professionalism."
“I would like to thank them for this. Their commitment, together with the engagement and support of the private security industry, has enabled us to achieve our objectives and rise to the challenges and opportunities we have faced over the last three years”.
“I am very proud of what the SIA has achieved and am confident that the great team of staff we have in place will continue to deliver our core objectives of raising standards and protecting the public as well as delivering high-quality regulation".
Dr Clamp joined the SIA in June 2015. He has overseen the introduction of our online licensing system and work to strengthen and review our ACS; championed an increased engagement with the industry; and put in place robust governance and assurance processes to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.
Elizabeth France, SIA Chair said:
“It has been a pleasure working with Alan as CEO of the SIA. On behalf of the Authority, the senior executive team and staff, I thank Alan for his commitment to the work of the SIA.
We shall miss his calm and incisive leadership, but we are confident that the solid foundations he has laid will serve us well in the future. We wish him well in his new role. Our task now is to begin a recruitment process to identify a successor in time to ensure continuity and progress across all areas of our work. Details of the recruitment process for the new SIA CEO are available on our website”.
When you apply for or renew an SIA licence we check your criminal record. We do this by submitting something called a ‘disclosure request’ to one of the UK‘s three disclosure bodies: Access NI (Northern Ireland), Disclosure Scotland and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Tonight (Thursday evening - 26 July) we will be making some changes to our licensing site to do with the way we receive information from the DBS. The site will be unavailable from 8.30pm until 11.00pm while we make these changes.
Why are we making these changes?
Until now the results of DBS criminality checks have automatically been shared electronically with us. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now requires the DBS to strengthen the consents for individuals subjected to a criminality check, particularly those conducted by registered bodies such as ourselves. We need to change our system in order to comply with these requirements.
What is changing?
The ‘Criminality Information’ section of the application form will be amended to include new consent statements that will ask you to confirm the following:
That you consent to the DBS providing an electronic disclosure result directly to us. This result will indicate either that your certificate is blank (no criminal record), or that we should wait for your certificate (which means that it contains criminal record information).
That you consent to the DBS providing a copy of your criminal record certificate directly to us (if you do consent, a copy of the certificate is automatically sent to you as well).
If you don’t give your consent for us to receive both an electronic result AND a copy of your criminal record certificate directly from the DBS, you will need to complete a paper version of the DBS disclosure request form. This will delay your licence application, as we won’t be able to proceed until we receive the completed form back from you.
The arrangements for Disclosure Scotland and Access NI, for those who are resident or have an address history in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively, remain the same.
HMRC and SIA sign new MOU
We have sealed a new partnership with HMRC to tackle the incidence of tax fraud in the private security industry.
Our organisations have been working together to identify problems in the sector, including businesses abusing employment rules, running up high debts and taking part in Payroll Company Fraud.
It is estimated that this could be costing the UK economy tens of millions of pounds – money that should be funding vital public services.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will allow us to share information with HMRC about businesses and individuals working within the sector in order to clamp down on those taking part in illegal working practices and tax fraud. All data sharing will fully meet existing legal requirements.
Simon York, Fraud Investigation Service Director, HMRC, said:
“This new partnership with the Security Industry Authority sends a clear message to those trying to cheat the system that this is not acceptable. Tax fraud is not a victimless crime – it robs the UK of funding for our vital public services like the NHS. This MOU will help us drive up standards in the sector and ensure there is a level playing field for those legitimate businesses who play by the rules.”
Dave Humphries, Director of Partnerships and Interventions said:
"This MOU will allow us to track businesses with rogue employment models and nurture a fair environment that ensures that security staff are employed legitimately and treated fairly; and that this standard becomes the norm.”
We regulate a wide range of activities within the private security industry including; Security Guarding, Door Supervision, Close Protection and Public Space Protection (CCTV). The estimated turnover of the regulated security industry is £3.8 billion.
HMRC is the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority and collects the money that pays for the UK’s public services. In 2016/17, HMRC collected and protected £28.9 billion of tax that would otherwise have gone unpaid due to evasion and avoidance.
The purpose of the MOU is to document the arrangements and obligations for the sharing of information between ourselves and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Our SIA licence is a trusted official document. The licence conveys the fact that the holder is trained and checked, and is considered a fit and proper person to engage in licensable activity.
This is why we take reports of fraudulent licences very seriously. Operatives working on cloned, forged, or expired licences are rare, but our investigation teams do come across them from time to time. When caught, these fraudsters are invariably prosecuted. For example, please read the recent successful prosecution of Jack Clegg Walsh.
As a result, our investigators and intelligence staff have been engaging with Operation Amberhill, the Metropolitan Police’s fraudulent documents unit. The enhanced security features on the new SIA licence, which were introduced in July 2016, were designed with the assistance of officers from Operation Amberhill.
Our investigators are now equipped with new scanning equipment, which they are using in the field to combat the use of cloned, forged, or otherwise fraudulent licences.
What you can do to detect and prevent licence fraud:
Check the security features on the licence. There are currently two different versions of the SIA licence in circulation. The old version, with a visible chip and smaller photo without expiry date, will no longer exist after July 2019.
Access our leaflet, Guide to the new front line licence design. This explains the security features on both versions of the licence, and also shows the differences between them.
Check names and licence numbers against the Register of Licence Holders on our SIA website http://bit.ly/1Rx2uht
Create an online business account at the SIA’s website and register for the online licence checker tool. You will be able to create a watchlist for all staff that hold an SIA licence and will be able to check the validity of their licences.
Require licence holders, particularly those who are not previously known to you, to evidence their identity by producing a driving licence or other legitimate photographic ID.
With your help we can stamp out licence fraud, and maintain the status of the SIA licence as a badge of trusted professionalism competence.
Are you planning an event? We have just produced a new version of ‘Security at Events’, our guidance booklet for event organisers. This can help you ensure that any security services that you buy in are complying with the law. Some or all of the security staff at your event may need an SIA licence.
You can find the booklet on the ‘Events and SIA Licensing’ section of our website.
This booklet identifies the roles in your event that may require an SIA licence. There is also guidance on due diligence checks when buying security, and a resources section. Understanding what makes someone licensable is important, and will help you ensure you have the right person in the right role at the right time.
This booklet is only intended as general guidance. Although it gives a helpful overview of the law, it can’t cover every circumstance. Event organisers should consider the implications of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 for particular events or premises, and seek appropriate independent legal advice.
Time is running out to nominate women in your organisation for a Women in Security Award. Whether they are your CEO, chair, managing director of a security company; or a security professional working within the security department of a commercial company, public sector, private security industry or the wider world of security.
The judges will consider how the nominee contributes to the wider security industry over and above her job spec. When submitting your nomination, please explain why, in your opinion, the person you are nominating should win the award.
The awards are for the following categories (women in roles as):
Working in frontline
Contribution to the Industry
The judges are leaders in bodies across the wider security industry and past judges have been from the Security Industry Authority, International Professional Security Association, the Association of Security Consultants, the Security Institute and more.
The ‘Women in Security Awards’ were started in 2013 to celebrate and recognise the achievements, value and contributions women make within the private security industry and wider security industry.
We support the Women in Security Awards: as a regulator, we are committed to equality and diversity within the private security industry.
We are working in partnership with Police Scotland, and we invite you to participate in our upcoming ‘You Can ACT’ counter terrorism awareness sessions. The next two sessions are specifically aimed at front line security staff working within the Inverness or Dundee areas. Future events will take place across Scotland and, later, UK-wide.
Each awareness raising session will take the form of nationally agreed corporate counter terrorism guidance to help individuals understand, and guard against, current terrorist methods. An initial one-hour presentation is designed to provide you with:
• Greater awareness of counter terrorism issues, including the current threat.
• An understanding of the important role you play in preventing terrorist attacks.
• Increased confidence in your own abilities.
• Shared knowledge of best practices and procedures.
The presentation will be followed by an immersion exercise. This will develop your knowledge, skills and decision-making in a safe learning environment. We will take you through a simulated attack, and provide you with a unique opportunity both to contribute and to learn from the experiences of others in order to protect yourself, your business and your community.
The upcoming events will take place as follows:
Inverness: Tuesday 14 August 2018
Dundee: Thursday 23 August 2018
Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm for a prompt 5.00pm start. Each event is set to end at 8:00pm.
If you or your colleagues would like to attend either event, please follow the link below and complete the registration form. You will need to complete a separate registration for each individual.
Future events will be held in East Kilbride (12 September 2018) and in Edinburgh (19 September 2018).
Further details for all our upcoming events will be available on our website.