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SIA opens consultation on a code of conduct for private security operatives

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has launched a six-week consultation on a draft code of conduct for SIA licence holders and applicants for SIA licences.

The SIA is inviting the industry, licence holders, and anyone with an interest in private security, to have its say on the draft code of conduct by taking part in a survey.

The idea of the draft code of conduct is to improve standards and public safety by setting out the standards of conduct and behaviour that the SIA expects people to uphold if they are entrusted with protecting the public, premises, and property. It would give a clear, consistent and positive message to service users, businesses, and employers about what they should expect from licence holders. The SIA also wants it to help licence holders understand what to do when they face challenging situations at work.

According to the SIA “the majority of licence holders uphold the standards of behaviour that the SIA, their employers and the public expect of them, however, there are incidents in which some licence holders do not behave in this way. This minority lower the standard of service the public receives, harm public safety, and bring themselves and the rest of the private security industry into disrepute”.

The SIA is suggesting that there are six broad behaviours that licence holders and applicants should follow. These form the framework for the draft code of conduct, and are called The Six Commitments.  The intention is that the Code of Conduct would apply to all licensed security operatives, and to applicants.  A small number of additional requirements would apply to the ‘controlling minds’ of private security providers (e.g. directors). The draft builds on the Standards of Behaviour for Security Professionals published last year.

The SIA’s plan is to make the code of conduct mandatory by putting it into the licensing criteria published in Get Licensed.  This would mean that a licence holder who does not behave in the ways set out in the code of conduct might have their licence suspended and/or revoked.  Putting a code of conduct into criteria would ultimately need the approval of Home Office Ministers.

Ian Todd, SIA Chief Executive, said: “The draft code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour which we believe are required of a licence holder, taking into account the challenges faced by security professionals. This draft is based on our years of licensing experience, refined by engagement with key individuals working in the industry. However, we need your input to develop a code of conduct that really works for licence holders, private security businesses, and us. It is therefore imperative that as many licensed security professionals as possible take part in this consultation; we want to hear from you.”

Once the consultation ends the SIA will analyse the results and publish a report on its website. The SIA will then use the comments it has received to write a final version of the code of conduct.  The introduction of a code of conduct will be subject to final approval by Home Office Ministers.

The consultation will close on 23 February 2020.

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