August's SIA Update with key information
August 2018
In August’s newsletter we are announcing that our Licence Management service is available to all approved contractors already using our Licence Assist service for the past six months.

In this newsletter you can read about our Skills & Qualifications Review. We will be sharing more information, about how you can share your opinions on security qualifications, in the coming months.

This month, we have shared information about how to avoid being scammed when looking for work in the private security industry, information on apprenticeships and our upcoming counter-terrorism events.

In our public protection section we are inviting security businesses and operatives from in and around Cumbria to our event on safeguarding and vulnerability in the night-time economy.

Our August enforcement update features the prosecution of the director of Showtime Security Guards, who was found guilty of intimidating witnesses and given a prison sentence. We also report on a recent exercise  on licence spot checks in South Yorkshire.

In our licensing matters section, our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article is about why it is important to read and understand the instructions in your ‘Next Steps’ email.
Finally, we share some of the upcoming events in the security industry including our open day in Birmingham on 25 September and Security Twenty 18 in Dublin and London.

Licence management service available
Skills & qualifications review project
Avoid job scams
Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events
Private security industry apprenticeships
Nominations for the UK OSPAs

Safeguarding and Vulnerability in the Cumbria Night Time Economy

Showtime security guards limited director found guilty of intimidating witnesses and given prison sentence
Spot checks in South Yorkshire

Updates to our licensing system for individuals
Helping your business manage licensing notifications
GDPR changes to our licensing system
Explaining the licensing process

Birmingham Open Day
Security Twenty 18 Dublin & London
Security Events Website

Previous Editions

 Licence Management service now available

We are making our Licence Management service available to existing approved contractors that have used the Licence Assist service for more than six months. In addition, we have directly invited more than 38 approved contractors who we believe will benefit most from upgrading to Licence Management.

In 2016 we successfully rolled out the Licence Management service to nine approved contractors as part of a pilot. We have used the lessons we learned, and the valuable feedback from that pilot, to inform and improve our service so we can now offer it to other approved contractors.
It’s an initiative that allows us to work closer with your business, and enables you to take more responsibility in regulation. Licence Management has a strategic value; it fits with how we drive business improvement via our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). It also fits with how we seek to engage businesses using our licensing system. It provides continuity between our operational and quality approach to businesses.

What are the benefits of the Licence Management service?
By being part of the Licence Management service you can:
  • Submit and manage licence applications for your workforce online
  • Update information (e.g. individuals’ details) directly onto our licensing system.
  • Assist licence applicants through the licensing process, making your business an employer of choice.
  • Save time and costs, and minimise the risk of document loss as the need to send valuable documents to us is removed (in straightforward cases).
  • Get real-time alerts of revoked or suspended licences plus general updates.
  • Remove the need for your staff to go to a Post Office for identity verification.
  • Pay for single and multiple applications online, and by direct debit.
Who is eligible to use our Licence Management service?
The Licence Management service is available for your business if you have:
  • Been an approved contractor for 12 months, for six months of which you must have been using the Licence Assist service
  • Meet additional indicators as part of the ACS assessment relating to your ability to manage applications for operatives
  • Meet additional requirements relating to information security
The roll out of the Licence Management service is led by Tony Holyland, our Head of Quality & Standards, and has involved colleagues from across our operation.

Tony says:
We hope that the Licence Management service will give us closer relationships with businesses, which will allow them to be more involved in regulation. This initiative will strengthen our overall approach to driving up the quality and operational efficiency of businesses.

He added:

There is a new significant requirement on businesses which keeps us, and approved contractors, in step with data protection legislation. All approved contractors using the Licence Management service must have the Cyber Essentials Plus certification (or equivalent standard). This is a scheme designed to help organisations protect themselves against common, online security threats.

We have also developed a comprehensive library of guidance on our website. This will provide you with additional information should you wish to take up the Licence Management service including:

  • The Approved Contractor Scheme application form
  • Licence Management customer service journey
  • Code of Connection
  • Code of Connection guidance
  • Licence Management Partnership Agreement
  • Licence Management Operating Manual
The entire process, from application to decision, should take between three and six months. If you would like to know more, please send us a message through your online business account using the phrase: “Tell me about Licence Management” and include a contact number.
View our Licence Management service offer
Register for a Business Account

 Skills & qualifications review

We review the skills and qualifications criteria required for our licence-linked qualifications every five years so that the skills criteria are kept current. This time around we have widened the scope of this work to consider not just the mandatory qualifications we require, but to include the skills and knowledge needed by operatives throughout their careers and across the industry.
This is ambitious and for this review we have adopted an approach which will give us a broad and deep insight into the skills needs of the industry. Our aim is to improve the professionalism of security operatives, drive up standards in the industry, and help protect the public in the UK.
The review will also look at the current training process and seek to improve our certainty of the integrity of the qualifications and its achievement.
The project has a number of key milestones that will need to be delivered before the new qualifications are available in January 2020.
  • Development of qualification specifications
  • Research and consultation into the private security industry characteristics, working methods and emerging/future trends
  • Development of quality parameters for delivery of training
  • Development of a skills strategy for the industry
 Crucial to the success of this project will be the evidence base we are generating from research into the private security industry characteristics, working methods and emerging/future trends to guide our approach. This research is currently underway and being conducted by research company IFF, some of you may already have been contacted.
Another significant addition to this review is we are developing a skills' strategy in partnership with the private security industry that will drive a broader skills agenda. Here we will be considering career paths, and continuing professional development. Currently we are looking at the development of a new apprenticeship framework.  We want to create a structure of learning and development in partnership with the private security industry that will help it to become a career of choice.
We have created expert working groups for each of the specialist areas in which we need to develop content for qualifications. These groups are made up of top scoring approved contractors, individual businesses, awarding organisations and subject specialists.
We have already made good progress, the Expert Working Groups got together for the first time last month to look at the training specifications for each of the licensable sectors.
In the next few weeks we will be consulting on the draft specifications for each licensable sector.
We hope as many of you as possible will take part in the consultation.  It’s a fantastic way for those of you working in the industry to contribute and to help to get this right. This is your opportunity to shape the future of the qualifications to ensure they are relevant for your industry in the years ahead.

 Avoid job scams in the private security industry

Scammers know that finding a job can be tough. To trick people looking for honest work, scammers advertise where real employers and job placement firms do. They also make upbeat promises about your chances of employment, and virtually all of them ask you to pay them for their services before you get a job. But the promise of a job isn’t the same thing as a job. If you have to pay for the promise, it’s likely to be a scam.
Scammers advertise jobs where legitimate employers do — online, in newspapers, and even on TV and radio. Here’s how to tell whether a job lead may be a scam:
You need to pay to get the job: Legitimate employers and employment firms will not ask you to pay for the promise of a job. A scammer may say they’ve got a job waiting, or guarantee to place you in a job, if you just pay a fee for certification, DBS checks, training materials, or their expenses placing you with a company. But after you pay, the job doesn’t materialise.
You need to supply your credit card or bank account information: Don't give out your credit card or bank account information over the phone to a company unless you're familiar with them. Anyone who has your account information can use it.
Check with the hiring company: If a company or organisation is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company to find out if the company really is hiring through a placement service.
Get details in writing: Get a copy of the contract with the placement firm, and read it carefully. A legitimate company will give you time to read the contract and decide and will not pressure you into signing then and there. Be cautious if they are reluctant to answer your questions, or give confusing answers.
Check for complaints: Check online and on social media to see if any complaints have been filed about a placement company. You can do an online search with the name of the company using key words like review, scam, or complaint. Look through several pages of search results. And check out articles about the company in newspapers, magazines, or online.
If you have come across a fraudulent recruitment advert, please report it via the SAFERjobs website.
Find out more about how to find a job safely

 Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events

We are working in partnership with Police Scotland and invite you to participate in our upcoming ‘You Can ACT’ counter-terrorism awareness sessions. The next two sessions in East Kilbride and Edinburgh are now full and we will shortly be taking bookings for further events in Stirling and Perth.

Other 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 you 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:
Stirling: Thursday 4 October 2018 

Perth: Tuesday 16 October
East Kilbride (full capacity)
Wednesday 12 September 2018
Light refreshments will be served at 16:30 for a prompt 17:00 start.
The event is set to end at 20:00.

Edinburgh (full capacity)
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Light refreshments will be served at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
The event is set to end at 21:00.
Further details for all our upcoming events will be available on our website.
Keep an eye on our booking form for future events

 Apprenticeships in the private security industry

Skills for Security is supporting anyone who wants to apply for or offer an apprenticeship in the private security industry.

The UK Government introduced the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and improve the quality, profile and credibility of apprenticeship training.
Apprenticeships enable people to learn while they work alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills, while earning a wage and receiving holiday pay. Apprentices study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week) and apprenticeships take between one to five years to complete, depending on their level.
Apprenticeships can start at any time and run all year around. This means that employers can take on apprentices just like any other employment candidate, or indeed retrain someone who’s already within the business, at any time.
Skills for Security is providing information, advice and guidance to employers, employees and trainers. It explains the three different apprenticeships on offer:
  • Fire, Emergency and Security Systems apprenticeship
  • Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship
  • Customer Service apprenticeship
If you are interested in offering an apprenticeship or you want to apply for one get in touch with Skills for Security.
Find out more about apprenticeships in the security industry

Entries open and new categories added for UK OSPAs 2019

Entry for the 2019 UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) has opened and the event organisers are calling for nominations.
The UK OSPAs are in their third year and form part of a global awards scheme currently running in eight countries to recognise and reward outstanding performance across the security sector.
2019 sees the introduction of a number of new categories which have been pioneered to acknowledge both in-house and contracted security personnel and new security products.
Nominations are invited in the following categories:
  • Outstanding In-House Security Manager/Director   
  • Outstanding Contract Security Manager/Director
  • Outstanding Security Team
  • Outstanding Contract Security Company (Guarding)
  • Outstanding Security Consultant
  • Outstanding Customer Service Initiative
  • Outstanding Security Training Initiative
  • Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator       
  • Outstanding Event Security Team
  • Outstanding Security Partnership      
  • Outstanding Security Equipment Manufacturer
  • Outstanding New Security Product
  • Outstanding Security Officer
  • Outstanding Young Security Professional   
  • Outstanding Cyber Security Initiative 
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
The awards provide the opportunity to acknowledge the excellence and innovation of individuals and companies who play a vital role in safeguarding across the UK.
The awards will be judged by an independent panel who have been nominated by many of the leading security associations.
Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on 28 February 2019 at the Royal Lancaster in London.
Nominations are open until 15 October 2018
Visit their website for more information on the nomination criteria
Public Protection

Safeguarding and vulnerability in the Cumbria night time economy

This event is aimed at all security companies, personnel and licence holders, in line with the Safer Cumbria Alcohol Strategy and our own objective to protect the public.

At the event you will hear about child sexual exploitation (CSE), safety and vulnerability in the night-time economy, modern day slavery, counter-terrorism initiatives, the Ask for Angela initiative, and our work in the Cumbria area.

This event will launch:
  • Cumbria Constabulary's new False ID protocol that aims to prevent and identify vulnerable children seeking to enter licensed premises.
Date: Tuesday 18 September
Time: 10:00 until 16:15
Location: Details available when registered
This is an opportunity for security businesses to engage with us and promote joint-working in and around the Cumbria area. You will be able to network, and gather knowledge and good practice from around the county.
Please note that if you or your colleagues would like to attend this event, you will need to ensure that each person registers individually and completes the form.
Register to attend on our website
Enforcement Update

Director of Showtime Security Guards Limited found guilty of intimidating witnesses and given a prison sentence

On 27 July, at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Showtime Security Guards Ltd and its director, Maria Francis were sentenced, having pleaded guilty in June 2018 for supplying unlicensed security operatives in Shropshire.
Ms Francis was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and the company was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £500 in costs.
In June, the owner of Showtime Security Guards Ltd, Matthew Davies, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. On Friday 27 July, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and given a further 14 days, for supplying unlicensed security personnel.
This investigation began in December 2016, when we received information from West Mercia Police that Showtime Security Guards Ltd was employing unlicensed security guards.

In court, His Honour Judge Barrie could see that Davies’ priority was financial gain and not making sure security operatives were correctly licensed. He also said: 

"It is important to note that breaches of security regulations and laws place the public safety and wellbeing at a significant risk."
During the sentencing hearing, the court heard that Davies and Francis were in a relationship when the offences took place. The judge acknowledged that Francis was, in part, coerced by Davies but as the statutory director she is not free from blame and was legally responsible for allowing the supply of unlicensed security guards.
The judge also noted that what had started as a misunderstanding between Davies and a customer of Showtime Security Guards Ltd, who was a witness in the prosecution case, provoked an aggressive response. He said that Davies saw it as opportunity to threaten the witness with the intention of diverting him from providing a statement and giving evidence. 

When sentencing Matthew Davies, His Honour Judge Barrie said:

"I must remind you that perverting the course of justice is serious. It undermines the rule of law and the integrity of the court system and it discourages other witnesses from giving evidence.
You dealt with this matter in the same way that you deal with your business. You need to be a strong personality when being the owner of a company and I think you are somebody who doesn’t like anything to get in the way of their business and success.  Quite frankly, I think you are a bully."

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager said:

"The outcome of this case reinforces the message that supplying unlicensed security operatives is a serious matter and one which exposes the public to risk. This is clearly unacceptable, and has had significant consequences for the defendants in this case, both personally, and for their business. We will continue to deal robustly with those who undermine the safeguards that regulation provides.
In addition, the behaviour of Matthew Davies in this case has been nothing short of disgraceful and I agree with the judges’ comments that Mr Davies acted like a bully. He believed that he could get his own way through threats and intimidation. However, on this occasion, his attempts failed and he now has time to reflect on his behaviour from prison.
I am very clear that individuals such as Matthew Davies have no place in a professional and respected security industry and I wish to express my thanks to those witnesses who were prepared to support this case and who contributed to today’s outcome."
Our investigation into Showtime Security Guards Ltd revealed that the company had supplied unlicensed security operatives at Tuffins Supermarket, Craven Arms, The Radbrooke Campus construction site in Shrewsbury and the VDubs in The Valley event. They also supplied security to the Foyer at Ludlow, which provides residential and support services for vulnerable 16-24 year olds.
Following this sentencing, we have made a successful application to start Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings against Maria Francis and Matthew Davies, and a financial investigation is now underway.
Find out about our completed prosecutions

Spot checks in South Yorkshire

At the start of August members of our regional investigation team based in South Yorkshire, supported by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Licensing and Enforcement officers and South Yorkshire Police, carried out licence inspections in Rotherham (Operation Pitbull). This took place over a Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning (3-4 August).
The purpose of Operation Pitbull was to investigate and spot check licence holders and in total 13 venues in the area were visited and 33 door supervisors were inspected.
As a result, one individual was found to be unlicensed and was sent home by the venue; we will follow up on this case.
Another individual was found to be licensed, but working on a replaced licence which was impounded. The team also found that two door supervisors had breached their licence conditions by failing to inform us of their change of address and they were both issued with warnings. Both individuals were able to access their online personal  accounts quickly and change their address details on the system. 

Nigel Davies, Regional Investigation Manager who covers South Yorkshire said:

"It is a concern that a number of compliance issues were identified in Rotherham during this exercise. The results speak for themselves. It is essential that venues and security suppliers ensure that all of the security personnel they deploy are correctly licensed."

Our South Yorkshire regional team will follow up these issues with the individuals and companies concerned.

Licensing Matters

Update to our licensing system for individual account holders

On 6 September we will be making some changes to our licensing site to help you keep track of your important documents and ensure you are notified of any actions you need to take to progress your application.
Tracking your documents: When you are required to send important and/or sensitive documents to us, we will return it you by the courier DX. You will be given a unique tracking reference and a link to the DX tracking page. By linking to this page you can track when your documents will be delivered.
Post Office ID check: After you have been to the post office to do your ID check we will notify you if have any outstanding actions that you need to do before your application can progress. It is important that you read the notification and complete the action required.
Keeping up to date with the SIA: When you log into your account you will be able get the latest news from the SIA  just by clicking on the following social media feeds.


Helping your business manage licensing notifications from the SIA

We have built a new function to allow you to manage the type of notifications your business receives from us. From 6 September, you will be able to choose the channel and who within your business should receive it. The notification types are grouped as follows:

  • Application Notifications
  • Decision Notifications
  • Account Notifications 
To access this new capability:
  1. A super-user within their account selects the “manage notifications” tab on their home page.
  2. Beside each notification type will be a manage button
  3. When the super-user clicks “Manage” button a new page opens where they can select how they want to receive that type of notification – email, account or both – and there will also be options for a super-user to add or remove business users from a message type.  

GDPR implications on SIA licensing

GDPR – changes to our licensing site and what this means for approved contractors using Licence Assist (LA) or the Licence Management service (LM).

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now requires the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  to strengthen the consents for individuals subjected to a criminality check, particularly those conducted by registered bodies such as the SIA. We need to change our system in order to comply with these requirements.
We currently obtain GDPR consent for the processing of personal data on behalf of the DBS. We made a change in July to time and date stamp consent at the application stage for individuals, and on 6 September we will be making changes for Licence Assist and Licence Management service applicants.

What are the changes?

Individuals linking to a business so that the business can submit a licence application on their behalf will be asked to answer two new consent statements as part of the linking process. These are required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and have already been introduced to the application form for applicants submitting their own application.

Read our privacy policy for more information

Explaining the licensing process

Your next steps instructions
When you submit your licence application we give you instructions on what to do next. These instructions are displayed on screen and are also sent to you as an email and as a message to your online account. Please read these instructions carefully. If you don’t do everything we ask of you, your application will be delayed and may even be cancelled.
Your ‘Next Steps’ instructions may ask you to do any of the following:

  • visit the post office
  • send identity documents to us
  • pay at the post office or online
  • send us evidence of a criminal record check from overseas
  • fill in and return a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure form
  • send us a photograph of yourself and a completed counter-signatory form

The instructions we give will vary from person to person, so please don’t worry if we ask you to do something and you know other licence applicants who were asked to do something else.
As well as the next steps instructions, we may also send you further information requests. These requests will be sent to your online account, so you should keep an eye on your ‘My Messages’ tab. We won’t be able to process your application until you provide the information we asked for.

Read an example 'next steps' message
Upcoming Events

Birmingham Licensing Open Day 

We have hosted open days in London and Manchester, next we are heading to Birmingham. At the event we'll provide one-to-one support from our experts on our licensing system, for both individuals and businesses.
Date:                         Tuesday 25 September 2018
Location:                  Birmingham City Centre
Time:                         14:00 – 17:00
Register to join us on our website

Security Twenty 18

Ireland, Dublin
5 September 2018

London, Heathrow
7 November 2018
Find out more and book your place here

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.
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All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information contained in this communication is accurate at time of release.

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