SIA Update 
SIA Update
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Licensing Matters
About this Newsletter
Welcome to the May edition of SIA Update. This edition features the latest information that will bring you up to date. In our SIA News section, we lead with the latest update from our Chief Executive, Ian Todd, and our most recent COVID-19 question and answer document. Please take the time to read the material available, and the transcript of the webinar that Ian recently took part in. Our public protection section focuses on the #SIAHeroes initiative, which is attracting widespread support from the industry and the media. Read about operatives who have been supporting a young mother, helping the elderly and vulnerable, and even rescuing a woman who leapt into the River Thames. Our licensing matters section provides important information on licensing checks. Finally, we have included an update on a review of the forthcoming events that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chief Executive's update 

Read the latest update from our chief executive, Ian Todd, to the private security industry.
The challenge presented by Coronavirus has been an unprecedented one. One with tragic consequences for many individuals and their families. We must never forget that behind every story is a human being.
We know that many security officers are working on the front line in the battle against this crisis. The recent report on COVID-19 related deaths by occupation in England and Wales, published by ONS (the Office for National Statistics), highlights what it can mean to take on these risks and dangers. On behalf of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), I wish to convey our sincere condolences to the family and friends of all who have died, and particularly to people working in the private security industry.
While we do not know all of the stories of the 63 people identified in the ONS report, we do know that they were part of a profession that protects the public on a daily basis, and responds to the challenges presented by the current pandemic.
The ONS has pointed out that these figures are not adjusted to take account of other characteristics that might make a person vulnerable to the virus, such as ethnicity, place of residence or low pay. The ONS also states that two-thirds of the working age people who have died are men. We know from our own work that approximately 90 per cent of SIA licence holders are men. While it might be too early to draw firm conclusions, these figures are a reminder of the importance of employers meeting their legal obligations to ensure the safety of their staff.
As you are all aware, the Prime Minister recently announced the beginnings of the removal of the lock down. More people will be moving around, and more of your employees will be returning to the workplace.

The Government is clear that the responsibility for undertaking a proper risk assessment, and implementing the necessary measures, rests with the employer. We agree with this approach, because only the employer can understand the specific details on the ground.  The Government has published a number of guides for those working in a variety of environments. They can be found here.
The guidance also refers to PPE (personal protection equipment) requirements. The current advice suggests that the added value from some measures is very limited outside of a clinical/medical setting. The guidance continues to highlight the overwhelming benefits of good hand hygiene, and the limited role of face coverings. We are not in a position to offer anything further to this advice, which is based on the latest available science.
As we begin to adjust to a “new normal” I believe that there are lessons we must learn from this pandemic. These are lessons for us as a regulator, and also for the industry that we regulate.  Now is clearly not the time to conduct a review like this. However, when the time is right, we will consider what we have learnt, and apply changes.  We will bring individuals and the industry – you – into our learning process. Your involvement, and your insights, are crucial. We will be listening.  In the meantime: stay alert, control the virus and save lives.
This update is supported by an updated question and answer document. Please review it regularly  (PDF Document: 17 pages, 305 KB).
Read all of our Chief Executive's updates here
Extension of implementation to new licence-linked qualifications until April 2021

We have decided to postpone the introduction of new licence-linked qualifications until April 2021.

We have spoken to industry, awarding organisations, and training providers who have outlined the difficulties they face during the current pandemic.

In view of these challenges the September 2020 launch date for the new qualifications is unachievable.

We have therefore set a revised target date of April 2021 for the introduction of the new licence-linked qualifications.

Remote training pilot extended for six months

We have worked with the industry, qualifications’ regulators and awarding organisations on a pilot to determine whether licence-linked training and assessment can be delivered remotely to the required standard.
Following a review we are extending the pilot for a further six months to allow more employers and training providers to deliver courses.
This is an initiative which has gained praise from many sections of the industry, and we are keen to allow more opportunity for remote training and assessment to be delivered and evaluated.

We will monitor progress to ensure the training continues to be delivered under carefully controlled conditions.

We would like to thank all those involved so far for making this possible. We look forward to its progress and reviewing the results. 

New changes to ACS concessions  
We introduced a number of temporary changes to the ACS to support approved contractors during the COVID-19 crisis.

From 01 June, we will be reversing two concessions:
  1. We will require approved contractors to revert to sub-contracting to other approved contractors only. Exceptions will only be considered where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated using the standard process. 
  2. Sub-contracting requests made to us between the period from 01 April to 31 May will be respected for the duration of the contractual agreement, subject to advising us if the contract is likely to run for more than three months from 01 June 2020.
If approved contractors wish to extend the scope of their ACS approval they will need to make a separate application.
We will continue to support approved contractors during this period and our decisions are based on the latest feedback we receive.  

Covid-19 webinar series: Security Matters
On Thursday 28 May, Security Matters magazine hosted a webinar chaired by Brian Sims. The expert panel that joined him included: 
  • Steve McCormick, our Director of Operations and Standards, who spoke about our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), licence-linked training, and the Skills Strategy.
  • Tony Cockcroft, Vice Chair, Industry Association;, Vice Chairman, BSIA Security Guarding Section
  • Jason Towse, Managing Director of Business Services, Mitie
The purpose of the webinar was to discuss the desired roadmap for guarding in the second half of 2020. It considered what the discipline of security guarding should be doing now, for example, safeguarding its future progression and development. 

With this premise in mind, the webinar touched on the following key issues including:
  • the changing nature of security services provision on the ground
  • the part played by regulation (ie. our Approved Contractor Scheme)
  • the core subject of training and skill sets (with a view towards meeting ever-changing buyer expectations) 
  • the perspective of those buyers of security and what they demand of security companies to suit their own business requirements. 
You will need to register first to view the webinar and presentation.
[Download: webinar 1.03 minutes long]
Listen to the webinar here

The Security Institute hosts our Chief Executive at a webinar
On Tuesday 28 April, Ian Todd gave a presentation to the members of The Security Institute via a webinar. The name of the webinar was: Protecting the Public and COVID-19 - A View from the Regulator, and was hosted by the chair of The Security Institute, Rick Mounfield. The webinar was joined by 153 members.
Prior to the webinar The Security Institute invited members to send in their questions, which were covered during the webinar. The questions broadly fell into a series of themes: 
  • Role of the regulator
  • ACS
  • SIA activities during COVID-19 crisis
  • New licence applicants
  • Licence renewals
  • Visiting a post office
  • Critical worker status
  • Skills and Qualifications Review
  • Online training pilot
  • Forthcoming licence-linked qualifications
  • Top-Up Training
  • SIA Corporate Plan
  • Personal Protection Equipment
  • Access to the security industry
  • Post COVID-19 crisis
During the webinar Ian paid tribute to colleagues in the SIA for the work being done to mitigate against the current COVID-19 crisis.
You will need to register your name and email address before you can access the recording. [Download: webinar 57.02 minutes long]
Listen to the webinar here

Trade press coverage

The Professional Security Officer e-zine published a special feature by Jackie Munn, our Head of Customer  Support, Intelligence and Risk Management, on how we have functioned through the COVID-19 pandemic; the feature is between pages 75 and 78 of the e-zine.

(PDF Document, 104 pages)  
Download and read the article here
Over the last few months, we have been sharing the stories of security operatives who have gone above and beyond to protect the public using the hashtag #SIAHeroes.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began the private security industry has responded quickly and many security operatives and businesses have been working as critical and key workers to protect the public and key infrastructure.
We want to recognise and publicise the role private security is playing during the #COVID19 pandemic and share examples on social media, in private security media and local press.  Many of you have sent us stories and some of these are featured here.
We will continue sharing these stories - send us your stories about the work you and your colleagues have been doing to respond to this emergency. Email us at and please get permission from anyone featured in your stories before submitting them to us.
Email us your #SIAHeroes Stories
Here are some of the most recent stories:

Eastbourne security operative answers SOS to deliver baby milk and emergency supplies to the vulnerable
An Eastbourne security operative has been using his initiative to find and deliver emergency supplies to vulnerable people in his area, including a sick baby.
Elmas Housein, trainee manager at AP Security based in Arundel, is a licensed door supervisor. He is being featured in our #SIAHeroes campaign. The campaign highlights the efforts security operatives are making to serve their communities across the UK during the COVID-19 crisis.
Elmas saw a post on Facebook in mid-March from a young mother in Eastbourne who needed some specialist baby milk. In desperation the young mother had put a post out on social media because stockpiling by others had meant this milk was not available. She could not get any locally, and her baby was unwell.
Elmas shared this request with his team, and they all rallied to find the milk. By coincidence Lisa Housein, his wife, had the specific milk in question. Elmas and his colleagues coordinated their security patrols so it could be delivered to the young mother.
The grandmother of the baby who needed the milk wrote to APS directors saying:
“I really can't thank you and your team enough for going around the county tonight to get my granddaughter some baby's milk. It's so nice to know there are such lovely people in the world in a time of need. Thank you again - you are amazing people and people like you deserve a medal for all you are doing to help people.”
Elmas, with the support of his colleagues Nigel Harman and Jamie Warner, has since responded to several appeals on social media for support. They have delivered special children’s milk, boxes of paracetamol, Calpol and other medicines as well as personal care items to people in need in towns across the South coast.
There are over 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK, and like Elmas, many continue to work as critical workers and keyworkers, guarding hospitals, sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets, and other essential operations.
Ian Todd, our Chief Executive, said:
“It’s important to remember that many in the security industry are working as critical and key workers during this emergency. Elmas’s story is testament to the fact that despite the challenges, many operatives and businesses are going the extra mile to serve their communities”.
We are promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. It is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

Gorton security guard goes the extra mile to help elderly shoppers
A Manchester door supervisor who has switched from clubs to supermarkets has been providing an extra service by helping out elderly and vulnerable shoppers.

Jessica Leigh, of Gorton, is a licensed door supervisor. Since bars and clubs closed at the beginning of the lockdown, Jessica has been helping members of the public to maintain social distancing at a local supermarket. Her employer got in touch with us to share her story.

At the beginning of March, near the start of lockdown, Jessica was working to help manage queues at the Tesco in Gorton. During the time slot set aside for pensioners and NHS staff, she noticed an elderly gentleman with limited mobility who was growing upset and panicked as he struggled to finish his shopping in time.

Jessica stepped in to lend a helping hand and found the remaining items on his shopping list for him. The man thanked Jessica, and left with everything he needed. When we asked Jessica about what happened she said:
“I used to work for a bar in Berry town centre but the work dried up. So I decided to work helping people and managing the queues at supermarkets. I don’t do it just because it’s a job, I do it because I like to look after people. I don’t like the bad impression that many people have of door supervisors. We are not all mean and tough doormen. If you’re polite it makes such a difference. And sometimes how you speak to someone can make their day.”
Jessica’s employers said:
“This is honestly typical of Jessica's selfless nature.”

G4S door supervisor saves a woman’s life at the NHS Nightingale Hospital London
Elizabeth George is a licensed door supervisor and a senior supervisor with G4S, which is guarding the NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London. Elizabeth’s role is managing the east entrance and the gates to the site, even though the NHS Nightingale Hospital is currently temporarily suspended. Elizabeth has been working at the site since the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital, which is the former ExCel Exhibition Centre.
On the morning of 15 May, Elizabeth was on patrol alongside the river and saw a woman who appeared to be distressed standing on the connecting footbridge over The Thames. The woman was too far away to engage with her, but Elizabeth saw the woman throw her bag into the fast flowing river before she then jumped in after it. Elizabeth quickly raised the alarm internally and also to the marine police unit, who swiftly responded and saved the woman’s life by pulling her out of the river. Elizabeth said that if she had been taken by the current the woman would have perished.
Elizabeth said of the rescue:
“It was part of my every day job and I did what I needed to do to help her to save her life.”
Elizabeth’s manager Chris Burr, Managing Director, G4S Events UK said:
Our fantastic senior security supervisor, Elizabeth George, joined G4S in 2007 as a security officer and has quickly progressed to her current role of senior supervisor."

Her infectious smile, positivity, and humour are an asset to our organisation. She brings a wealth of experience and energy to all deployments. Her most recent role with G4S is at the NHS Nightingale at Excel. She has been instrumental in the #clap for carers / key workers and every week arranges the security and stewards to line the steps at the hospital to clap the shift change over. This alone is an excellent example of her true professionalism, as well as her respect and integrity, which are two of our key values.
G4S is proud to have Elizabeth as part of our team. We believe she should be recognised for her actions across the industry. She is a lifesaver and an everyday #SIAhero.”

(In the October 2019 edition of SIA Update we profiled the training available to the private security industry.) To find out more and apply for the waterside training visit their website.
Read these stories and more on our #SIAHeroes page

ICTS support hard-pressed NHS staff

Security teams from ICTS UK & Ireland, which is an approved contractor, have been supporting Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust during the COVID-19 crisis. During the early weeks of the lockdown, the security team worked closely with the hospital operations team and helped to set up a ‘pop-up’ shop for the NHS staff working in the St Helier hospital.
Ashley Fernandes of ICTS said the security team really went above and beyond their duties.
"They were working in a sensitive environment, and they helped to give much needed reprieve to NHS staff by collecting donated food from local companies. The donated provisions enabled NHS staff to collect food to take home rather than queue in the shops or in the supermarkets. The pop-up shops and free food enabled hard-working NHS staff to collect fresh produce and other basic goods, free of charge, while they were on shift."
Another example of ICTS helping the community was to provide Croydon hospitals with iPads to enable vulnerable patients to speak to their loved ones directly.  

Grief Encounter: support if you need it

The registered charity Grief Encounter is offering free counselling to front line security who may require support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grief Encounter is a bereavement counselling charity, and usually offers counselling to children and young people.
Their ethos is while you support us, we are here to support you. Security staff can call their Grief Encounter helpline on 0808 802 0111 between 9am and 9pm. Or visit the website and/or send an email to: Grief Encounter.
Visit the Grief Encounter website

City of London Sheriffs' award for bravery

City livery company The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals has launched The Sheriffs' Award for Bravery. This annual award recognises individuals who, without thought to their own safety, have acted to confront danger to another person or property, and the award celebrates acts of selflessness as an inspiration to others.
This is a highly prestigious award with the recipient receiving a trophy, a framed certificate and a cheque for £2,500 from the Sheriffs. The names of the recipients of the Award are permanently inscribed on an Honours Board and in a Book of Honour, both of which are on permanent display at The Old Bailey in the City of London.
Nominations for the Sheriffs' Award for Bravery are sought from across the UK and are open to any person including members of the public, the Emergency Services, and the Armed Forces.
The City of London Corporation has two Sheriffs and they are based at The Old Bailey. The closing date for entries is 01 August 2020.
(Document PDF, 358 KB). 
Find more information about the award here
British Standards Institution consultation 
The British Standards Institution has launched a consultation on its revised draft version of BS 8406 Event stewarding code of practice. The consultation is open for your comments until 13 June 2020.  
  • You can view the consultation via the link. You will need to register and follow the steps below to have your say:
  • Use the search bar or browse by category to find the standard(s) relevant to your business or industry
  • Read and review the current standard and think about how it would affect you and your business
  • Comment on the draft standard and help shape its future.  
Have your say on the consultation here

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:
  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’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 identity documents.
  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. 
Use our licence application checker for more information
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many events have been postponed and cancelled. Here is an update on the events that we have previously promoted and the changes to their arrangements:
Women in Security Awards scheme event postponed  

The Professional Security magazine’s Women in Security Awards scheme 2020 is now open for entries. The closing date for entries is 07 August 2020 and the awards are scheduled to be presented on 10 February 2021 at a black tie event.

The outstanding work of women can be submitted into the following categories:
  • Security Manager
  • Front line
  • Business Manager
  • Technical
  • Contribution to the private security industry  
Find out more and submit your nominations here
2020 British Security Industry Awards

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has repurposed its 2020 British Security Awards, and these will now take place as an online broadcast.  

The British Security Awards will celebrate the achievements, acts of bravery and innovations made by members of the UK’s security industry.

Date: 01 July 2020 
Security events website  
We recommend that you monitor the All Security Events website

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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