Essential information for the private security industry
September 2018
In September’s newsletter we announce the outcome of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) Review and highlight events taking place across the country where approved contractors can come and discuss the review and more with us in person.

This month, you are invited to take part in our consultation as part of our skills and qualifications review in the security industry. Crucial to the success of this project is the engagement of industry and stakeholders so we would encourage you to share your views.

Also in this newsletter is our clarification on the use of vascular restraint, our corporate blog on tackling fraud and a reminder to use our buyers’ guide to security.

In our public protection section we are inviting security operatives and businesses in Scotland to register to attend the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) counter-terrorism events we are hosting with Police Scotland.

Read our enforcement update on two recent fraud prosecution cases, the South West region child sexual exploitation disruption workshop, and about the women’s safety charter launched in London.

In our licensing matters section we share process diagrams to help people understand the application process when applying for or renewing a licence. Our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article is about licensing checks and our licensing criteria.
Finally, have a look through our events section to see what events are taking place in the private security industry.

Consultation on the private security industry skills & qualifications
Outcome of ACS review published
This autumn’s ACS Events
Clarification on vascular restraint
SIA blog on tackling fraud
Use our buyers guide to security ‘Do you buy security’

Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events

Security guard who committed identity theft jailed for five months
Door supervisor who stole identity given suspended sentence for fraud
Child sexual exploitation disruption workshop
Women’s safety charter champion 

Application process diagrams
Making the most of your SIA business account
Explaining the licensing process

Security Twenty 18  London
Security Events Website

Previous Editions

Consultation on the Private Security Industry Skills & Qualifications

We have launched a consultation which will help to determine the content of the next generation of licence-linked qualifications for the private security industry. The consultation will run for four weeks concluding on Friday 26 October.
It is essential that as many people as possible give their views on this important consultation. Employers and prospective operatives spend a considerable sum of money each year on these qualifications, and they need to be fit-for-purpose. We can achieve this only with the help of the private security industry.
The consultation is structured around the six licensable sectors (below) that require a qualification. These are supported by nine skills’ specifications being consulted on and they include common industry knowledge and specialist content areas that go into making up the licence-linked qualifications.  Visit our website for more information.
To have a say on the draft specifications for the licence-linked qualifications, please visit the consultation website.
The licensable sectors that require qualifications are:
  1. Cash and Valuables in Transit 
  2. Close Protection
  3. Door Supervision
  4. Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
  5. Security Guarding
  6. Vehicle Immobiliser. 
The specifications will be re-drafted following this consultation, and will be put out to two further rounds of public consultation. 

Tony Holyland, SIA Head of Quality & Standards, says:
“This consultation is a fantastic way for those of you working in the industry to contribute and to help to get the specifications right. This is your opportunity to shape the future of the licence-linked qualifications to ensure they are relevant for your industry in the years ahead.”
The specifications were created in collaboration with the private security industry. We have worked with expert working groups drawn from each of the specialist areas to develop the content for the qualifications.
We have commissioned IFF Research to carry out research into the industry which will finish in October. This consultation is part of this research and the research findings will be used to help shape the next edition of the specifications.
When this consultation concludes we will work together with the expert working groups and they will analyse, review and amend them.
We will then make the next draft of the specifications available to the public again for comment.  This will be supported by a further consultation that will be designed around more in-depth interviews.
The development of the specifications is a key milestone in our Private Security Skills & Qualifications Review; and this consultation is an essential element.
Tell us what you think and take part in our consultation

Outcome of the review of our Approved Contractor Scheme published

We are announcing the key changes from the latest review of our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) for private security businesses. The changes will take effect on 1 April 2019.
The ACS was established in 2006 with a stated purpose ‘to protect the public and to maintain and improve standards in the private security industry’. The ACS has undergone a number of reviews but this latest review took a root and branch look at the scheme.
Evidence from the extensive consultation suggested that we did not need to make fundamental changes to the scheme. However, it was clear from the responses there were opportunities to make improvements.
The changes that will apply from 1 April 2019 are rooted in the feedback from the consultation. They include:
  • An update to the standard to place more of an emphasis on service delivery and less of an emphasis on processes. This will help businesses to drive improvement to the service that they provide for customers. The new ACS standard will be mandatory criteria for all approved contractors from 1 April 2019. All approved contractors have until this date to ensure they are ready to be assessed against the indicators in the new self-assessment workbook.​
  • A revised self-assessment workbook. This contains the quality indicators that approved contractors must demonstrate have been met. The self-assessment workbook has been streamlined and made clearer and easier to navigate. Go to our website to view the new self-assessment workbook (PDF, download size: 1.18 MB) and a summary of the high-level changes to the self-assessment workbook (PDF, download size: 3.26 MB)
  • A revised eligibility and ‘fit and proper’ criteria to ensure only sound, sustainable and credible companies are able to join the scheme. The enhanced scrutiny will give clients and local enforcement partners the assurance that they are working with some of the best run businesses in the industry.
  • A firmer approach with PAYE. Approved contractors must give justification and evidence as to why their staff might not be in a PAYE scheme. This will help ensure that businesses are employing staff on the right basis, ensure compliance with tax and employment law and make sure that employees of approved contractors enjoy proper employment rights.
We are revising our approach to how we market the ACS and will provide more support for businesses. This will include a resource centre for applicant and existing businesses to help them meet or exceed minimum ACS requirements.
We have published a detailed briefing on the changes resulting from the review in a special edition of ACS Update
Since the review was concluded two key developments have taken place which will benefit approved contractors:
  • Crown Commercial Service, through whose commercial agreements £13bn of public sector procurement spend is channelled, have agreed that approved contractors will be a mandatory requirement of becoming a supplier on Lot 1 A of their major Facilities Management (FM) Marketplace agreement in England & Wales.
  • The revised ACS is being endorsed publicly by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), giving a clear steer to buyers of security that approved contractors are preferred by police forces.

Our Director of Operations and Standards, Stephen McCormick said:

"Since the ACS was launched in 2006 we have made incremental changes which have ensured the standard has been raised. During this review we consulted extensively with approved contractors and the wider private security industry to fundamentally test the integrity of the ACS and its ability to drive improvement. Our evidence tells us that the scheme has achieved this aim and has had a transformational effect in driving up standards within the industry.
We are building on a successful quality standard and have made a number of key changes which will strengthen the scheme. Our aim for the future of the ACS is a growing partnership with private security industry businesses that demonstrates the value and contribution they make to UK PLC.
Find out about the ACS Review

This Autumn’s ACS Events

We are hosting a series of events to explain in detail the outcomes of the review of the ACS.
Be the first to know and understand the changes so that you can fully assess the impact it will have on your business in preparation for implementation of the changes in April 2019.
Each event will be open for registration at 09:30 and will begin at 10:00, It will also include a networking lunch at 1pm.
Wednesday 3 October - Belfast
Tuesday 9 October - Glasgow
Tuesday 16 October - Bristol
Tuesday 23 October - Leeds
Thursday 25 October - Birmingham
Tuesday 30 October- London
Wednesday 31 October - London
Please note that due to high levels of interest, we have to limit individual companies to two delegates per event.
The agenda of the event will include:
  • An explanation of the changes to the self-assessment workbook
  • An in depth look at the new streamlined workbook including the updated indicators designed to give a clearer focus on service delivery
  • A look at the revised eligibility ‘fit and proper’ criteria.
In addition to this we will provide an update on the private security industry skills & qualifications review. This covers proposed changes to the licence-linked training for each sector and consideration of any refresher training for operatives. The creation of a new skills’ strategy to increase professional development for those working in the industry including career paths and apprenticeships.
At these events we will discuss how we can work in partnership with businesses. We will consider the next step as part of your business partnership with us. You will be able to find out more about the newly available Licence Management service. This includes the new ‘Watchlist’ we are developing with enhanced capability based upon your feedback. Our customer service team will be on hand to provide one-to-one assistance and advice on how to get the most from all our services including your business account.
Spaces are limited so we encourage you all to sign up as soon as possible via our website.
Book your place at an ACS event near you

Clarification on the use of vascular restraint

In the last few months there have been several recent incidents involving door supervisors that have resulted in serious injury, or worse, to members of the public. In some cases, these injuries have been attributed to the use of so-called ‘vascular restraints’.  These are also known as ‘chokeholds’, and are extremely dangerous.

These techniques are not part of SIA required training for licensed operatives, and should not be used.  There still appears to be a belief among some operatives that these are legitimate restraints, mandated for use by law enforcement agencies.  Please be aware that the use of neck restraints by police officers both here and in the United States has been prohibited for almost 30 years.

For best practice we recommend that security operatives should only use the techniques that they have been trained to use as part of their SIA-linked training on physical intervention.

Security operatives must remember that there are always risks associated with using physical intervention. Applying force or pressure to the neck, spine, vital organs, or vulnerable parts of the body can result in serious injury or even death. Such techniques must be avoided.

Physical intervention must always be used as a last resort, and the least forceful intervention practicable must be used.
Please see below our recent publications:
Download the Guide to Safer Physical Restraint (PDF, download size: 1,036 KB)

SIA Blog - Tackling Fraud in the Private Security Industry

In the September corporate blog, our director of Partnerships and Interventions, Dave Humphries talks about how as a regulator we are reducing fraud in the industry and cites two recent prosecutions as examples.

Read this month’s blog, make a comment and share your opinions.
Read our latest blog online

Use our guide to buying private security ‘Do you buy security’

Have you seen our new guide to buying private security? This leaflet highlights the importance of buying security based on quality, not just on price. It also warns potential buyers that cut-price security can put a company’s reputation at risk.

The guide looks at the benefits of buying quality security. It also reminds buyers that they can have confidence in the fact that Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) businesses have been quality assured to ensure that the services they provide are compliant.

Approved contractors can use this guide when tendering for work. It is designed to raise awareness among buyers, so they can make informed security purchases based on quality.
Download the regulator’s guide to buying private security
Public Protection

 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 are specifically aimed at front-line security staff working within the Stirling and Perth 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:
Thursday 4 October 2018
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.
Tuesday 16 October 2018
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.
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.
Register for further details, for all our upcoming events, on our website.
Register today to secure your place
Enforcement Update

Security guard who committed identity theft and fraud jailed for five months

On Thursday 6 September, at Woolwich Crown Court, Kazeem Oladimeji of Bromley pleaded guilty to an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 of fraud by false representation while working in the security industry.

Oladimeji was jailed for five months and fined £115 for gaining employment using fraudulent documentation. He has been in custody since 15 August 2018 following his appearance at Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

Oladimeji’s conviction followed an investigation, which stemmed from a report by a former SIA licence holder that his identity may have been compromised.

Our investigators established Oladimeji had adopted another’s identity and obtained a false passport to enable him to gain employment. He undertook a licence renewal, altering or replacing the issued licence to show his own photograph.

Oladimeji was formally interviewed and admitted that he had used false identification documents, including obtaining a passport in the victim’s name. During the interview he also admitted to working illegally as a security guard at a supermarket in South London.

Our investigation was taken on by the Metropolitan Police Service due to uncertainty regarding Oladimeji’s true identity and immigration status in the UK.

Nathan Salmon, our Criminal Investigations Manager, said:

"Kazeem Oladimeji sought work in the security industry but in all probability did not qualify with our standards to achieve a licence. He therefore committed identity fraud in order to gain a job in the private security industry.

The gravity of his offence is reflected in his sentence of five months in prison.
The SIA is committed to taking robust action against those who commit criminality within the private security industry and this case serves as an example."

Nicholas Banks, our Senior Manager for Decisions & Compliance, said:

"We are confident that our identity checking procedures are sufficiently robust and minimise the risk of fraud but recognise the challenge in trying to eliminate fraud. Where we do become aware that a fraud has taken place we take stringent and urgent action.

Door supervisor who stole identity given suspended sentence for fraud

On 3 September 2018, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Moses Oshunkoya was sentenced for fraud, having pleaded guilty on 20 August, after using a stolen identity to apply for an SIA licence.

Oshunkoya had used a stolen identity to apply for a door supervision licence three times since 2007. He used the details of an acquaintance, a Dr Soetan, who realised his identity had been compromised in May 2015. Upon returning to the UK, the Border and Immigration officials alerted him that his identity may have been stolen.

Dr Soetan contacted us and we investigated the matter and found that he was listed as a licence holder, despite never having applied for a licence. In August 2015, we revoked the licence held by Oshunkoya.

Further investigation revealed that Oshunkoya had fraudulently obtained genuine documents, such as a passport and a utility bill to apply for an SIA licence.

In court, Oshunkoya was given an 18 month sentence, suspended for 2 years, for committing fraud. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Our Criminal Investigations Manager, Pete Easterbrook said:

"Identity theft has a significant impact on the victim and I am pleased that in this case we were able to bring the perpetrator to justice and reduce any further harm.

Having obtained the identity of another person, Moses Oshunkoya sought to obtain work in the security industry, ironically a position which carries trust and responsibility.

Mr Oshunkoya believed that he had got away with his crime, but this was not the case and he was called to explain his conduct in court. We are committed to pursuing those people who commit criminality within the security industry and will take robust action against those that do."

During the investigation, our investigators asked Dr Soetan to confirm that he recognised the person using his identity as "Moses".

Our investigators traced his address history and found his mobile number. They checked this with the Police and discovered that Oshunkoya had reported an assault at a nightclub. Consequently, the Police were able to find out where Oshunkoya worked and who his employer was.

Our investigators enquired further, contacting Oshunkoya’s former employers who provided a statement. They interviewed Oshunkoya twice but he declined to comment on both occasions. In the end he was identified by several witnesses as both “Moses” and Dr Soetan.

Nicholas Banks, our Senior Manager for Decisions & Compliance, said:

While Mr Oshunkoya was able to fraudulently obtain a licence using a stolen identity, we robustly check all licence applications.

All first time applicants must produce in person either their passport, UK driving licence, original UK birth certificate or UK biometric resident permit card for a face to face check. Our digital checks also result in some documents being subject to further inspection using a verification scanner. In addition, in order to apply for a front-line SIA licence you must obtain an approved training qualification which also requires production of identity documents in person.

We are confident that our identity checking procedures are sufficiently robust and minimise the risk of fraud but recognise the challenge in trying to eliminate fraud. Where we do become aware of fraud we take stringent and urgent action."

Find out about our completed prosecutions

Child sexual exploitation disruption workshop

Our partnerships and interventions east region team is currently supporting the child sexual exploitation (prevention) National Working Group Network and the Centre of Expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA). The support includes delivering a series of national child sexual exploitation disruption tactic workshops. These are aimed principally at front-line child sexual abuse/exploitation investigators and safeguarding professionals.

Due to the role we have already played in raising awareness of child sexual exploitation and how the private security industry can help in disrupting the exploitation of children and can report signs of child sexual exploitation concerns, the National Working Group and the Centre of Expertise view the SIA as an important partner in supporting them.

On Tuesday 18 September a South West Region Child Sexual Exploitation Disruption workshop was held at Avon & Somerset Police Headquarters in Bristol. Around 70 delegates participated in the workshop including child sexual exploitation professionals from the NHS, local authorities, and police officers from Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police.

Our investigator, Matt Murchington, provided an overview of the SIA, the private security industry and the support provided for the prevention of child sexual exploitation including Operation Canberra, previously reported on in SIA Update.

Accompanying Matt, was Rachel Nichols from our West & South West Team, who provided post-workshop regional support. Consequently, Rachel received several such requests and is now taking these forward. The next event is now scheduled for early December in the South Yorkshire and Humberside region. Please look out for more information to come.
To find out more about the network visit their website

Women’s Safety Charter Champion

Following an event at the end of July called ‘Reclaim the Night to launch the Women’s Safety Charter’, we want to promote this charter within the private security industry.

Our women’s safety champion Kirsty, an investigator on our London partnerships and interventions team said:

“The Women’s Safety charter has gained the support of borough councils across London but the impact and value of such a charter applies to everyone. This charter is a commitment to address sexual harassment, particularly in the night-time economy. The security industry can play an important role to ensure the public can feel comfortable and safe from any intimidation or sexual violence. I would urge security businesses and operatives to find out about the charter and how you can apply the principles of the charter where you work. Doing so will promote a culture of zero-tolerance of sexual harassment and mean that all reports from victims and bystanders will be taken seriously.”

This charter is supported by the Mayor of London and the Night Czar Amy Lame. It is in response to the fact that sexual harassment of females at bars and night clubs is seen as normalised behaviour and goes unchallenged and unreported. Harassment can frequently be trivialised and women and men can feel that is not worth confronting.

The charter outlines voluntary baseline standards to support the work taking place across London to end violence against women and girls. It is based on the following principles:
  • Prominently display high visibility posters in a venue which discourage harassment and encourage reporting
  • Take every report of harassment and sexual intimidation seriously and take appropriate action.
  • Take active steps to support persons who report harassment or sexual intimidation which might take place.
  • Train all front of house staff to address women’s safety and harassment
  • Take active steps to ensure women leave a venue safely.
Southwark Council in London have been the first to introduce and promote the Women’s Night Safety Charter.

As security operatives and businesses please share this initiative with night-time economy venues.
Watch this video to find out more about the women’s safety charter
Licensing Matters

Application process diagrams

We have created several visual representations to explain the licence application process for new applications, renewing a licence and applying for an additional sector.
The different application processes require different actions, and these diagrams highlight what you need to do at each stage of the application process.

These will help you to understand what your responsibilities are when applying for a licence.

For further support, please visit our help and guidance page

Making the most of your SIA Business Account

In the past few months, we have been encouraging businesses to open an SIA online business account.  As a result, there has been a rise in the number of registered businesses who are now enjoying the features and benefits of this convenient channel of communication into us.
Business enquiries made through an SIA online account using the ‘I want to make a business enquiry’ function are being answered within 48 hours.
If you have not yet created a business account, please do so through our online licensing site by selecting ‘Register for a Business Account’.  You will need to set this up as ‘Licence Pay Only’.
We have also made our phone line business-only. Individuals can still request a call-back from our customer support staff by raising a service request in their SIA online accounts.
Register for an online business account

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. In short, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 have 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.
  3. 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.

Read an example 'next steps' message
Upcoming Events

Security Twenty 18

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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