As revealed most recently by the BBCs Inside Out programme on their broadcast on Monday March 23rd, the problem of SIA accreditation still exists in the UK and it is important when liaising with your security company to make sure that their qualifications check out in full before engaging their services.
The SIA (Security Industry Authority) is an independent UK body which regulates the private security industry, reporting directly to the Home Secretary via the provisions established in the Security Industry Act 2001. An SIA licence is a guarantee of a certain level of training and expertise on the part of your officer, and is designed to increase standards across the board in the security industry.
However, this does not mean that you don’t need to ask the right questions to your security provider, as the BBC was able to uncover earlier this year. An undercover reporter claimed to have gained access to “fraudulent Security Industry Services cards”, which they were able to obtain from two colleges in East London. In addition, the reporter claimed to have applied and received an interview to work at Canary Wharf using this accreditation.
A Canary Wharf spokesperson was keen to stress that the reporter in question did not attend their interview or any of the assessments the organisation has in place to properly test and screen candidates, and was therefore “a long way from being employed as a security officer on this estate.” The spokesperson went on to say that every member of the security staff at Canary Wharf are “retested at interview on their SIA competencies” as well as additional training beyond SIA standards by their own in-house staff.
An SIA spokesperson made a statement in response, assuring the general public that they take all allegations of training malpractice very seriously and promising an investigation into the matter. Should the allegations be proven, The SIA also pledged to take action “against the licensed individuals concerned in order to protect public safety.”
The SIA also promised to pass on any relevant details and information to the appropriate licensing authorities.