Security officers protect people and property in a wide variety of environments – factories and warehouses, offices, shopping centres,hospitals, airports, concert and sports venues.
The growing responsibilities of these personnel, and their increasing public interface, intensified calls for government regulation of the sector which have been wholeheartedly supported by the BSIA. This culminated in the introduction of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, which in turn has led to licensing of security officers by the Security Industry Authority.
Security guarding has tended to be viewed as a ‘grudge purchase’, with many customers looking to purchase at the lowest cost and not necessarily considering how this will affect the calibre and retention of personnel, working conditions and a security company’s ability to provide a consistent quality of service.
The BSIA promotes ‘best value’ over ‘low cost’, stressing the importance of satisfactory pay levels and suitable training, as well as the benefits of recruiting and retaining quality personnel. It promotes the work of the modern-day professional security officer, for example through its Annual Security Officer Awards, and also highlights the many career development opportunities that are now available.
Another key issue which the section is addressing is the growing interface between security guarding and technology, and how this can be managed for maximum effectiveness.
The BSIA's successful Security Guarding Section HR Forum plays a key function in addressing employment and careers issues in the industry. The group meets regularly to discuss changes in employment law, share best practice and debate topical issues. To find out more about Security Guarding Section's HR Forum, email the BSIA's Stephen Lampett.