SIA Update June 2017
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June 2017
In this month’s newsletter, we want you to tell us what you think of our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). We would like to hear from everyone across the private security industry, including companies that are not part of the scheme.

We have an upcoming violence reduction workshop in Belfast in September. We will also be sharing the feedback from previous events soon, so look out for more news on this.

We have now published the report on our public consultation on physical intervention. See below for a link to the full report.

In this month’s enforcement update you can read about Chester Crown Court upholding our decision to refuse ACS status to Extreme Security Solutions Ltd.

If you are applying for a licence or waiting for a decision on your licence have a read of this month’s ‘Explaining the Licensing Process’ feature which looks at licensing checks.

We are running a series of events around the UK for approved contractors. At these events we will provide an update on the licence system, focussing on ways that you can access the help you need, while supporting your staff, a presentation designed for the security industry from National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and a presentation on vulnerability awareness.

Finally, following the success of our first counter-terrorism workshop in Southampton, we have organised two more in the South East which you can sign up to attend.
Our ACS Review is LIVE
Violence Reduction Workshops
Report on Physical Intervention Training, Disability and Close Protection
SIA Conference Workshop Feedback

Crown Court Upholds Our Decision

2017 ACS Forum Events

Explaining the Licensing Process

Counter-Terrorism Workshops
Security Events Website
SIA News
Tell Us What You Think of the Approved Contractor Scheme
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We are working with Pye Tait over the coming year to undertake a full review of our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). The review will ensure the scheme continues to be relevant, and reflects new thinking and emerging best practice for security companies.

We want to hear from all stakeholders from across the industry; approved contractors, non-ACS companies, and buyers of security.
We want to know what you think should change, and this review is an opportunity to shape the future of the scheme.

The review will look at:
  • Benefits – A review of the benefits that the scheme can bring to approved contractors
  • Recognition – Ensure approved contractors get proper recognition for meeting high standards
  • A new standard – ensure that the new standard remains fit for purpose and reflects emerging best practice
  • Scheme operation – ensuring that the assessment process, customer service and how the scheme works are fair and efficient
The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete and your views will be treated confidentially by Pye Tait Consulting and reported anonymously to the SIA.

You can also find out more about the ACS Review via the ACS Review Portal - this link opens in a new window

Complete the ACS Review Survey
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Violence Reduction Workshops
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We are running a series of events across the UK to promote violence reduction measures, principally within the night-time economy. So far we have run successful events in Ipswich, Brighton, Manchester, Worcester and London.

These events have brought together private security operatives and businesses to discuss local initiatives, safer restraint guidance and good practice to prevent harm to security operatives and the public.
At each event, we hear from representatives of the police, local authorities and about town centre initiatives. The briefings are FREE to attend – the next event will take place as follows:
  • Belfast – 5 September 2017
More events to be added.

The events run from 10:00pm to 14:00pm, and include a free networking lunch.

If you want to find out more about reducing the risks from violence in the night-time economy then these events are for you. Spaces are limited so email us and book your place today.

Sign up to book your place
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Report on Physical Intervention Training, Disability and Close Protection
We have published the report on the public consultation on physical intervention that we ran from September 2016 to February 2017.

This asked for views on how the licensing system should manage certain situations; for example, one in which someone who wants to work as a door supervisor has a disability that means that they may be unable to physically intervene to protect themselves, colleagues and/or members of the public. The crucial question to answer was this: how can we balance the requirement to protect public safety, with the requirement to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people?

The consultation also asked for views on a proposal requiring close protection licence holders (and applicants for Close Protection licences) to have successfully completed physical intervention training in order to work as a door supervisor.

The report has the results of the consultation and sets out what we will do next. You can download it from our website.

Download the report
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SIA Conference Workshop Feedback
The workshops from the SIA Stakeholder Conference in March produced a wealth of interesting comments. We have been unable to give you this information due to the restrictions on our communications prior to the general election – but we have been working on your comments and suggestions. Here is a brief summary of some of what was said and the action we’ve taken.


It was suggested that the SIA should do more to communicate stories about the industry. This included good news stories about best practice and the benefits of the ACS as well as stories that highlight prosecutions and the risks associated with poorly managed security. The SIA Communications team is putting together case studies and examples that will contain these features.


There were a number of comments about the ACS. The ideas and proposals ranged from the cost of joining the scheme and the structure of the scheme, to the standards adopted. There is currently a review of the ACS being carried out. The points raised are all being included in the evidence gathering phase.


We asked for comments on the proposed leaflet for buyers of security. This is now being sent to the printers and we will inform you when this is available. Further suggestions about buyers included working with insurance companies and encouraging the use of approved contractors in the public sector. These are being included for consideration in the delivery of the SIA buyers’ strategy and the on-going work to engage buyers at different stages of the procurement process.

Development of Regulation

The discussions mentioned the working conditions of individuals in the industry. Comments were made about a need for further or top up training, career paths, diversity and staff retention. There was also a suggestion that individual licences could be tiered to reflect enhanced training or experience. The SIA encourages best practice through the criteria set in the ACS: staff training, development and improvement policy and procedures must be implemented and communicated. There is also active encouragement of diversity through support given to initiatives such as Women in Security.

The lively and informative discussions helped give a better understanding of the challenges facing the industry, from the introduction of new technology such as drones, to the opportunities and dangers that cuts to police funding have created. These insights have been shared at Board level.

Many thanks to everyone who attended and added to the open exchanges.

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Enforcement Update
Crown Court Upholds Our Decision to Refuse ACS Status to Extreme Security Solutions Ltd
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The Crown Court has upheld our decision to refuse ACS status to Extreme Security Solutions Ltd.

On Friday 9 June 2017 at Chester Crown Court, we successfully defended an appeal by Extreme Security Solutions Limited against a decision to refuse the company’s application for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status.
The company appealed to the Crown Court after their initial appeal was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 21 February 2017.

The company, based in Macclesfield, applied for the ACS in November 2015 after a similarly-named ACS company, Extreme Security Limited, went into liquidation with significant debts and owing tens of thousands of pounds to HM Revenue & Customs. Mark Longden, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, was a director of both companies.

There was another compliance issue as one of the previous directors of Extreme Security Solutions Ltd, Mark Longden’s wife Amie Longden, had been unlicensed for several months prior to obtaining an SIA licence in March 2016.

After an investigation, we also discovered that the company had been supplying an unlicensed security guard to a local college over an extended period. The guard, when interviewed by our investigators, admitted that he had been unlicensed since 2009 and had problems with alcoholism and debt.

The company’s application for ACS was refused in September 2016. Their initial appeal against the decision was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court in February this year. New evidence produced at the Crown Court appeal also showed that the company was incorrectly claiming on its website to already hold ACS status.

Dismissing the company’s further appeal at Chester Crown Court, Recorder Harry Narayan stated that the deployment of an unlicensed guard to a college was a “serious lapse” by the company, given that the licensable status of the guard was “easily checkable”. He also noted that the failings took place “over a lengthy time” and “at a place where persons were entitled to be protected” and where “those in authority should be properly checked”. The fact that the company’s website claimed that it already held ACS status demonstrated that “the company is not being run as it should be”.

Extreme Security Solutions Limited were ordered to pay our legal costs of £2,976, in addition to the £4,067 costs ordered previously by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court.

Lisa Targowska, our Legal Deputy Director, said:
“We are grateful the Court agreed with us that this company is simply not fit and proper to be awarded ACS status. We will continue do our utmost to protect the integrity of the ACS and keep unsuitable businesses out of the scheme.”
Go to SIA prosecutions
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Approved Contractor Scheme
Make Your Voice Heard at the Free 2017 ACS Forum Events – Coming Soon to a Town Near You
The 2017 ACS Forum Events are almost here. These free events for approved contractors are taking place nationwide in July and August as a benefit of the scheme.

The first event, in York, is coming up on 06 July. It will be your chance to hear from, and bring your questions and issues to, director-level representatives from the SIA. It will also be your opportunity to meet and mingle with ACS peers and feed into the ACS Review.

These events are intended to:
  • Keep you engaged with our strategic approach
  • Inform and involve you with the future development of the Approved Contractor Scheme, and encourage your engagement and feedback
  • Provide an update on the success of regional Partnerships & Interventions compliance and enforcement activity in your area
This summer’s events will take place in the following cities:
  • Thursday 06 July: York
  • Tuesday 18 July: Cheltenham
  • Thursday 20 July: Chester
  • Wednesday 26 July: Edinburgh
  • Tuesday 01 August: Belfast
  • Thursday 03 August: London
The agenda will include a full update on the Approved Contractor Scheme, including news on our ever-popular enforcement activity; a section on our online licensing system, which will concentrate on ways that you can access the help you need, while supporting your staff; information on the take-up and performance of the Licence Management service; and the latest information about the upcoming ACS Review.

We will also be inviting guest speakers to cover current hot-button topics such as counter-terrorism and best practice in the security industry.

We’ve been in consultation with the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), and they have put together a presentation specifically for the private security industry. This will include awareness of radicalisation in the workforce, a checklist that includes counter-measures for companies and individuals, and ways of ensuring that your staff understand how to respond to a terrorist incident.

You will be the first to see this presentation.

This will be followed by a guest presentation on vulnerability awareness; how door staff can make an important difference by being vigilant, and observing customers who may become at risk of harm. This will also include a section on dealing with anti-social behaviour using the Five Step rule.

There will be a networking lunch, and you are then invited to stay on for an afternoon session feeding into the ACS Review. This will be led by Pye Tait Consulting, who are working in partnership with us.

This is your final opportunity to help shape the design of the Approved Contractor Scheme. It will consist of a summary and recap of the consultation so far, followed by a workshop covering:
  • Relevance, and reflecting new thinking and emerging best practice
  • Differentiation, entry levels and outcomes
  • Member recognition
  • Accessibility and inclusivity
  • Meeting buyer needs
  • The ACS Standard criteria and guidance
  • Scheme operation
  • Scope for the private security industry to have a fuller role in the ACS.
It’s worth emphasising that although we may have run reviews of the scheme previously, none will be as fundamental as this one. This is a complete review and could lead to important changes that we are sure you will want to influence and have your say on.

Please use the link below to register to attend your chosen event(s). We are asking people to indicate which session they will be attending – morning, afternoon, or both.

We will email you following your booking to confirm your place. Joining instructions will follow by e-mail a week before your chosen event.

Delegate places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not charge for these events; however, delegates who book, do not attend and do not formally cancel their booking in advance will be liable for a delegate fee of £75 (inclusive of VAT).

Please note that due to high levels of interest, we have to limit individual companies to two delegates per event.

Register and book your place
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Licensing Matters
Explaining the Licensing Process
Licensing Checks

When we assess your suitability for a licence we do so against a published set of criteria. These are explained fully in our Get Licensed booklet and on our website here but a short version would be that we check your:
  • age (you must be 18 or older to hold an SIA licence)
  • identity
  • competency (qualifications)
  • criminal record
  • mental health
  • right to work in the UK
Also, although we don’t specifically check for it we may also take into account certain other information – for example, County Court Judgments, SIA warnings or any information about you that has been provided to us.

The checks that we do are split into three phases:
  • We check your competency when you fill in your online form. We do this by performing a look-up against a qualifications database that we maintain, which is updated by the various qualifications awarding bodies.

  • We check your age and identity after you submit the form by checking your identity documents. Some of these checks may be done by authorised third parties, such as the post office or your employer if they are using our Licence Management service. We may also ask you to send us your documents so that we can check them ourselves. If you are a UK passport holder we will check the passport details you’ve given us against the Passport Office’s database. Our identity check also includes a manual review of the photographs provided by you and your training provider, and the official photograph on your ID.

  • Once we have confirmed your identity we check your criminal record, mental health and right to work in the UK. We can only do this once you have passed our identity checks because we must be sure that we are conducting those checks on the right person.
Please remember that you have a legal obligation to provide us with information that is “true and complete”. We process the information we are given in good faith and we cannot be held responsible for any delays that may be caused by you giving us incorrect or incomplete information, even if that information is submitted by accident.

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Upcoming Events
South East Counter-Terrorism Workshops
We are hosting more Counter-Terrorism workshops – on Monday 17 July in Crawley, and Monday 24 July in Maidenhead. These will include aspects of the Project Griffin - this link opens in a new window training, and a presentation from the South East Police Counter Terrorism Unit.

Following the recent London and Manchester terrorist attacks, we want to emphasise the importance of front line security operatives having the knowledge and training to know what to look out for, and what to do, in the event of a terror attack.

We are working with the South East Counter Terrorism Unit team to share their expertise, as they held a similar workshop in Surrey earlier this year. This was attended by over 100 local small businesses and the feedback from attendees has been very positive.

The details for the upcoming workshop are as follows:

Where: Crawley Town Football Club, Checkatrade Stadium, Winfield Way, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RX
When: Monday 17 July 2017
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Where: The Desborough Suite, The Town Hall, Maidenhead SL6 1
When: Monday 24 July 2017
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
All those attending will receive a certificate that they have completed this workshop and this can be beneficial for career development.

To attend you must register in advance. Please email us at least one week before the event.

Email us to book your place
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Security Events Website
Find out key information about events that may be of interest to the security industry by visiting the All Security Events website. - this link opens in a new window

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