Standards development – leading the way
Over the past twelve months, there have been a number of changes take place affecting the UK’s private security industry, from the impact of a new Government and changing legislation to developments in standards and best practice. James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association – the trade body representing the UK’s private security industry – discusses some of the standards that the BSIA have contributed to and looks to what the future holds in the standards arena.
The British Security Industry Association and our members have led the way on the development of a number of these new standards and best practice guidelines. In fact, the Association has contributed to the development and review of no less than 26 standards throughout 2014/15 and we continue to expand our influence in the development of British and European standards.
While the Association actively encourages its members to become involved in standards development by nominating working group experts, the Association itself takes pride in its ability to lead by example when it comes to committee involvement, chairing a number of standards committees and working groups.
The BSIA represents its members on more than 30 different British Standards Institute (BSI) committees, either as a member or as chair, and is a key sector influence in intruder, access control, CCTV, lone worker, guarding, consultancy, vacant property protection, risk, resilience and management committees.
Further afield, the Association continues to participate in the main decision-making committees internationally, including the International Standards Body (IEC TC 79), the Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and European Standards Body (CENELEC). The BSIA has also secured the Vice Chair position for the Security Systems section of Euralarm, as well as a place on Euralarm’s Board, which positions the BSIA as a leading voice within the European standards arena.
Whilst there has been a huge amount of activity within the standards arena over the past twelve months, there has been some particularly notable work completed that has been driven by the BSIA and our members. Firstly, the Association has succeeded in driving the acceptance of the use of mobile technology into the UK framework for intruder alarm standards, while leading on the amendment to BS8243:2010+A1 2014 and contributing to the European Data Centre standard EN50600-2-5. The Association has also helped to create the BS16000 Security Management standard and contributed to sector-specific standards such as BSEN 16747 for maritime and port security services.
Recognising the impact of new technology in the telecommunications field, the BSIA has worked in consultation with OFCOM regarding the proposals for Sky and Virgin Media to move entirely to Voice over IP (VOIP) transmission and has led the way in securing direct engagement from the companies themselves. The BSIA’s Security Systems Section discussed the impact of these changes on the security industry with Virgin Media earlier this year, and the Association has been involved in an initial testing phase.
The past year has seen the BSIA chair a number of committees including the review of BS4737 Part 3.30 alarm cable standard which has been submitted to Europe for development, the review of BS7958 relating to CCTV management and operation as well as BS7948 Part 1 relating to keyholder and response services. The Association has also chaired a review of BS8418 – the standard for detector-activated, remotely monitored CCTV and contributed to the development and UK adoption of the BSEN 62676-4 CCTV standard as part of the wider suite of CCTV international standards.
Alongside developing standards, the Association has produced a wide variety of end-user publications which provide impartial information about the private security industry and guidance on procuring security goods and services. These publications present industry standards and guidelines in an easy to understand format and help end-users to avoid the pitfalls of procuring goods and services with a limited knowledge of the industry. The BSIA also offers guidance to security companies on the increasingly complicated regulation landscape – particularly within the European directives and UK regulations – were regulations and standards often differ in their approach or content.
Looking to the future, there are a number of standards currently in development and we are expecting a number of them to be published in the remainder of 2015 and early 2016. One such standard that we expect to be published before the close of the year is EN16763 which specifies minimum requirements for service providers as well as the competencies, knowledge and skills of their involved staff charged with the planning, design, installation, commissioning, verification, handover or maintenance of fire safety systems and/or security systems. This particular standard has been prepared to meet the requirements of Article 26-5 of the European Directive 2006/123/EC “Services in the internal market”.
Also expected for 2015 is BS8584 Vacant Property Protection – Code of Practice which will be the first time there has been a standard for this sector of the industry. For mid 2016, we should expect to see new standards in the EN 300 220 series for radio equipment short range devices, which affects the signalling between wireless components in security systems.
In the slightly longer term, the update to the PD 6662 scheme for intruder and hold-up alarm systems is expected to have a significant impact on the industry. Expected for late 2016, the update will introduce a number of changes brought in by the updated EN 50131 standards and is likely to include changes to the standards applicable to alarm transmission systems. Whilst the publication of an updated PD 6662 will undoubtedly bring about some issues, there will be a dual running period – for perhaps 12-18 months – to allow the industry to update equipment and prepare for any necessary changes to designs and installation methods.
The security industry is one of the most dynamic, fastest-moving industries in the UK and new technology is constantly being developed and adopted. The BSIA therefore recognises the importance of maintaining a strong presence in the arena of standards development to ensure that the interests of the UK are represented at the core decision making levels. Representing our members – and the wider private security industry – throughout the various stages of standards development remains one of the most important functions of the Association.