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SIA Update, Conference Special

Welcome to this special edition of SIA Update, which focuses specifically on the 'Commitment to Regulation' conference that was held on 12 October 2011. We hope you find it informative and useful.

CONFERENCE NEWS
Our Chairman's Keynote Speech
The Government View
Proposals for the Future
Discussion Groups
Afternoon Sessions
Final Word from our Chief Executive
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Conference News
Our Chairman's Keynote Speech
Photograph of Ruth Henig The second Security Industry Authority conference of the year was opened and chaired by Dave Humphries, Director of Compliance, Intelligence and Communication, who welcomed delegates to the Sheffield venue. He stressed the importance of industry input as we develop plans for the future of regulation for the private security industry.

The audience then heard from SIA Chairman Baroness Ruth Henig, whose keynote speech outlined the achievements of the SIA so far - such as compliance and enforcement activity and excluding unfit individuals from the industry, and the success of the Appoved Contractor scheme - and gave an overview of intentions for the future.

She told delegates:

"We must ensure that together we build upon previous achievements in regulation, and develop a regime suitable for an evolving industry. We know that regulation needs to change and adapt to remain relevant in years to come. This will mean a lighter touch for compliant businesses and individuals, a lower cost approach, focussed on business licensing with businesses taking primary responsibility for checking and registering their employees, and the industry taking increased responsibility for driving up standards."

She called upon delegates to share with the SIA what they saw as the priorities, and to work together to ensure adequate and appropriate regulation for the future.

Read the complete speech - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 25kb)
 
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The Government View
Photograph of Lynne Featherstone Ruth's comments were reinforced by Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone, who in a video message said that the conference presented "a fantastic opportunity for you, the members of the private security industry, to come together to discuss the challenges, and contribute to the shaping of, the future of, your industry." She said:

"There are important developments occurring within the private security sector. The Government hopes that these developments will lead to better regulation of the industry across the UK, ensuring that the private security industry continues to flourish whilst maintaining the high standards it has previously achieved, in helping to secure public protection."

Watch Lynne's message online - this link opens in a new window

Read the message - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 21kb)
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Proposals for the Future
An overview of plans for the transition was delivered by Hazel Russell, SIA Director of Transition, in her presentation 'SIA Proposals for the Future'. She explained the key components of future regulation: a new regulatory body outside government, the licensing of businesses, and a register of individuals who are fit and proper to work in the private security industry, underpinned by effective compliance and enforcement.

Stephen McCormick, SIA Director of Service Delivery, then spoke on 'Designing Services Fit for the Future'. He said that with future regulation being developed to be business focussed and to achieve reduced burden and cost, there would need to be changes and improvements to service delivery. He described current plans to continue to improve the licensing and customer service, such as website improvements, a better bulk application process, and electronic contact and payment methods.

View Hazel's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 52kb)

View Stephen's presentation - this link opens in a new window (PDF, download size: 259kb)
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Discussion Groups
The morning concluded with two discussion groups on the development of key operational functions.

'The Approved Contractor Scheme and the Future of the Hallmark' was chaired by ACS Assistant Director Andrew Shephard and Quality Assurance Manager Jody Parker. They set out plans for approved contractors to automatically qualify for the new business licence, and for the current Approved Contractor Scheme to continue at least until compulsory business licensing is established. Delegates at the session agreed that the continuation of a hallmark scheme was crucial, in order to differentiate between the quality mark and the compulsory business licence. They called for acknowledgement of ACS membership within business licensing criteria, a continued licence dispensation scheme, and for all public sector contracts to be awarded to ACS contractors.

'Individual Applications, the Challenge for Employers' was delivered by Assistant Director of Customer Service and Quality Improvement Christy Hopkins. He explained that individual applications would be primarily the responsibility of businesses, with applications submitted through an employer or 'Mediated Access Partner', being e-enabled to ensure reduced burden and duplication. Applications would only be for new entrants, renewals would be replaced by a regular subscription, and a revocation and suspension process would remain in place. In feedback, delegates stressed the importance of maintaining public safety through regular criminal record checks. They also said that as plans developed they would want clarification on how the qualifications upload and checking process would work.
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Afternoon Sessions
James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and Chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance, introduced the Security Alliance's new name: the Security Regulation Alliance. He talked about the history of the Security Regulation Alliance, its aims and objectives, its members and the organisation's strategic principles. James told delegates about the progress the Alliance has made to date and what it hopes to achieve in the future.

Alastair Thomas, CCTV Policy Lead at the Home Office, discussed surveillance camera systems and the regulations affecting them. Alastair discussed the need for regulation and what is proposed for the future.

Ian Thomas, Head of Security and Resilience at the London Organising Committee for Olympic Games (LOCOG), discussed security requirements for the Olympics and Paralympics Games in London 2012. Ian spoke about the key elements of LOCOG's security strategy.

Paul Evans from KPMG, previously Director of Interventions at the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), discussed organised crime. Paul talked about the diversity of organised crime, from narcotics to mass-marketing fraud initiatives. He also spoke about techniques that can be used to tackle organised crime, and how SOCA can share data with other government agencies.
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Final Word from our Chief Executive
Photograph of Bill Butler SIA Chief Executive Bill Butler closed the conference by thanking all of the speakers and reflecting on the day's key messages.

Bill told delegates that now is the time for regulation to move on - from a position of strength, when regulation is working. The risks the industry and the regulator face are very different to those that the SIA was originally created to address. He said that the proposed changes are in the interests of the industry: they reduce costs and allow the regulator to focus on the standards of businesses within the industry, particularly those businesses that do not comply.

Bill welcomed colleagues from the Scottish and Northern Ireland governments, who are a key part of the thinking and discussions to date, and encouraged delegates who work across boundaries within the UK to engage with the various governments to make sure their views are reflected in the decisions being made.

Bill closed the conference by reflecting on the passion and interest in the industry to get regulation of the private security industry right. He said:

"I am conscious of the rapid progress and many changes that have been made throughout the past year. But, now that we are in the position of having a clear commitment from Government, and a clear framework for the future of regulation, this will mean a considered pace of change. We will take the time to make sure we get the details right, and that you in the industry have the time to give the necessary input and of course to adapt to the new regulatory regime."
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