This month Simon Banks talks to James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the trade association for the private security industry in the UK.
What key values can be sought from BSIA membership?
BSIA membership is all about providing our industry with a representative voice to the stakeholders that matter, which can range from police and Parliamentarians to industry customers and overseas buyers. Representing the interests of our industry in the development of British, European and International standards is also a key function of the BSIA, and membership of our Association enables organisations to make a real impact on the future of our industry – while remaining one step ahead of the competition – through influencing Codes of Practice, legislation and regulation. Positioning our members for new business opportunities is important for the BSIA, and we work hard to promote the BSIA logo as a hallmark of quality recognised by buyers and specifiers around the world. Expanding our members’ reach into overseas markets is an important part of this, and we provide support through our Export Council, a dedicated forum for international working relationships to be forged and cultivated. In addition to these core benefits, there are a range of added value benefits, including discounts on products and business services and agreat deal of advice and guidance.
How important is it to have a common suite of European standards as opposed to documents?
The BSIA actively supports the need for a common framework of standards as opposed to individual Codes of Practice and organisational documents, which may only serve a select or specific market sector. The European Commission is supportive of harmonisation across Europe and this is very relevant to the security sector. Good examples of these are the EN 50131 suite of Intruder & Hold-up alarm standards and, more recently, the emergence of the international CCTV standards, which are being published in the UK as we speak. Having harmonised standards allows a common benchmark for manufacturers and service providers to develop and deliver their services to their customers not only in the UK but further afield into Europe and other markets.
Do you think that solid standards encourage professionalism and discourage cowboys?
Yes – As part of the standards-setting process, contributions from reputable organisations like the BSIA provide valuable input based on the experience and expertise of our members to ensure they deliver a usable standard. Through its public affairs activities, the BSIA actively lobbies Government and influential stakeholders to raise awareness and promote standards to ensure that, wherever possible, the private security industry is not disadvantaged by the unregulated market.
How can Security Installers benefit from membership?
The BSIA is proud to have dedicated and experienced staff who are tuned in to the needs of installers, especially in their understanding of the complex standards environment. We are able to provide guidance on technical matters and get this message out through tailored events and targeted marketing campaigns. We have a dedicated section of membership for installers, which provides strategic and technical direction to ensure members maximise their return on investment of membership.
What future steps are being taken to increase the appeal of a trade body?
Our industry has been impacted by a number of regulatory and legislative changes in recent years, most notably the development and implementation of a new regulatory regime for the guarding sector and the publication of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice in the CCTV arena, each of which have seen high levels of input from the BSIA. Both of these examples have demonstrated the crucial role played by an active trade association in providing an independent industry voice. With future changes expected – on these issues and more – the work of the BSIA to influence the future industry landscape to the benefit of its members, and the industry as a whole, will continue to demonstrate the true value of BSIA membership. Providing a valuable link between security providers and their customers also looks set to enhance the appeal of BSIA membership in the coming year, as the Association continues to develop a dedicated section of membership for buyers and industry stakeholders. Providing a forum where members and customers can come together to exchange best practice will ultimately enable the industry to better serve the needs of buyers, with the BSIA remaining at the heart of this closer collaboration.
You Said It!
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