How They Got Started
The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the United Kingdom private security industry. An independent body reporting to the Home Secretary, under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
ARK & the SIA
Alarm Response and Keyholding Ltd currently holds Approved Contractor Status (ACS) for the provision of Keyholding and Security Guarding. To find out more about the SIA, you can visit the Security Industry Authority website and check our credentials here. All of ARK’s responding officer hold a valid SIA license. SIA licensing covers manned guarding (including security guarding, door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, and public space surveillance using CCTV), key holding and vehicle immobilising. Licensing ensures that private security operatives are ‘fit and proper’ persons who are properly trained and qualified to do their job.
It is an offence for a company to claim it is an approved contractor when it is not; this includes indirectly claiming to be an approved contractor by displaying the ACS accreditation mark. The penalty is a fine of up to £5,000.
The two main duties of the SIA are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities within the private security industry, and to manage the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme, which measures private security suppliers against independently assessed criteria. The objective of the SIA’s Approved Contractor scheme is to raise performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 requires the SIA to establish a “system of inspection for providers of security services, under which those organisations who satisfactorily meet the agreed standards may be registered as approved and may advertise themselves as such”. The Approved Contractor Scheme introduced a set of operational and performance standards for suppliers of private security services. Organisations that meet the required standards are awarded Approved Contractor status. This accreditation provides purchasers of private security services with independent proof of a contractor’s commitment to quality.
More About SIA
One of the main duties of the SIA is to manage the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), a voluntary quality assurance scheme that measures private security suppliers against independently assessed operational and performance standards. Organisations that meet these standards are awarded ‘Approved Contractor’ status.
The ACS is based upon widely recognised business improvement models: ISO9001 and the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model. The Scheme also references the British Standard codes of practice applicable to the private security industry and conformance to the relevant codes are built into the ACS requirements.
To read more about Security Industry Authority please visit their website.