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The BSIA

How do I join the BSIA?

Membership of the British Security Industry Association is only available to companies that have a significant proportion of their business within the security industry and have been in business for two years. Before being admitted to membership, companies are required to demonstrate that they are financially sound, well-managed, fully-insured and professionally competent, in addition to satisfying other industry sector specific criteria, including independently inspected standards.

More information about joining the BSIA

How can I find a reputable security provider?

BSIA member companies adhere to the following criteria:

  • All members must be registered to the latest version of ISO 9001 with a UKAS accredited certification body
  • They must comply with relevant British and European Standards and Codes of Practice
  • They must provide two years trading accounts to prove that they are financially sound
  • They must prove that they are technically well informed and competent
  • They must provide evidence that their business is conducted in a professional manner
  • They must be committed to quality training and development

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How are companies inspected?

Members must be inspected by an independent, UKAS accredited certification body. Companies achieving approval through such inspectorates must comply with relevant British and European Standards as well as meeting the requirements of the police, fire authorities and the insurance industry.

There are a number of UKAS accredited certification bodies which specialise in inspecting security companies to the relevant standards. A comprehensive list of all UKAS certification bodies can be found at http://www.ukas.com.

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The Security Industry

Where can I find out about licensing?

Licensing is necessary for security officers and managers (including cash & valuables in transit officers and CCTV operators providing public space surveillance), door supervisors and wheel-clampers. It will be phased in for security consultants, private investigators and keyholders. The Security Industry Authority is the body responsible for implementing regulation and licensing for the security industry. They can provide information on how licensing will affect you and your business. For more information call 08702 430100 or visit the SIA website: http://www.the-sia.org.uk.

How can I get a job in the security industry?

There are a variety of careers available in the security industry from intruder alarm installers to security officers. A careers booklet entitled 'Why security?' is now available from the BSIA and Jobcentre Plus detailing career opportunities within the industry. Click here to visit the publications area and download a pdf of the careers booklet.

What do I need to start up my own security company?

At present there are no restrictions on starting up your own security company, although all security guarding companies do need licensed staff. Reputable companies will seek a QA inspection from a UKAS accredited certification body, will ensure that they have comprehensive insurance and will adhere to the British Standards that are relevant to them. A new company will also give consideration to joining a professional body such as the BSIA, although they will need to have been trading for two years.

Do I need a criminal record check to work in the security industry?

At present, to comply with BS 7858 vetting standards, prospective employers should be asking for a criminal record check for unspent convictions (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act). These should be available from your local police station. Under the SIA licensing regime, all licensable workers are checked to the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) 'Standard Disclosure' which includes both spent and unspent convictions. If there is a reason to get an 'Enhanced Disclosure' such as where a security officer is working in a care home, hospital etc, this will be obtained through the client (i.e. a local authority), or through a registered body of the CRB.

More information on the Criminal Record Bureau: http://www.crb.gov.uk.

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International

How do I get started in exporting?

For businesses looking to break into exporting there is a wealth of advice and information available. UK Trade & Investment has an excellent website which includes a Frequently Asked Questions page, a checklist to assess if your business is ready to export and much more. More information on UK Trade & Investment: http://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk.

The BSIA provides its members with an opportunity to join its Export Council and gain export support. Your local Business Link or Chambers of Commerce can also provide useful advice.

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Standards

Which British and European standards are relevant to which sector of the security industry?

The BSIA is committed to the maintenance of high standards within the security industry.

Search for standards by sector

From where do I order British Standards?

British Standards can be ordered by phoning the British Standards Institution on 020 8996 9001. Members can telephone the BSIA on 0845 389 3889 for advice on relevant standards.

What are the rules for the use and signage of CCTV cameras?

Following a landmark court case regarding the Data Protection Act and its relevance to CCTV, the Officer of the Information Commissioner, which oversees enforcement of the Act, has issued guidance for system users. The guidance can be downloaded from the website: http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

What is ACPO and what has it got to do with my alarm?

ACPO is the Association of Chief Police Officers. To gain a police response to an activated alarm, your alarm company must adhere to the policy set out by ACPO. Customers should always discuss compliance and monitoring with their alarm installation company before purchasing an alarm.

I have a complaint about a member company - what do I do?

All our companies are inspected to the latest version of ISO 9001 and therefore must follow their own complaints procedure. However, we will forward and follow up any complaint to the MD of the company for investigation if you put your complaint in writing to the Quality Manager, Kirkham House, John Comyn Drive, Worcester, WR3 7NS.

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General advice

Where can I get legal advice from?

Employers -
can make use of the BSIA legal helpline or may find further information via Business Link where practical advice for companies can be found.

Employees - can find practical advice and guidance on employment rights via Directgov  or via contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau.

ACAS provides information to both employers and employees.  Further details can be found via the ACAS website.  An ACAS helpline to answer employment questions is open 0800-1800 Mon-Fri, 08457 47 47 47.
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