As a UK security provider, you’ll no doubt be aware of the voluntary scheme offered by the Security Industry Authority.
But is it really necessary? After all, if you’re in business legally you’ll have already undertaken the compulsory licensing. The Private Security Act of 2001, Sections 3 and Schedule 2, define the types of firms that would need to apply for licensing. The latest online data summarizes licensable activities as relating, in part, to:
1. Vehicle Immobilisation
2. Door Supervision
3. Public Space Surveillance
4. Key Holding
If you are in any doubt you should seek further advice – because if you conduct business without a license, you will be committing a criminal offence, you will not only be fined up to £5,000 but could also face a six month jail sentence.
Here are some good reasons why your security company needs the ACS in order to operate successfully in today’s increasingly competitive security industry:
Clients Expect Customized Services
It’s not enough to just put a few guards or door staff to a contract and expect them to do a great job without being able to deliver the specific service the client wants. The ACS assessment process shows you how to customize your services precisely to client requirements and do the job they need done. When your staff know exactly how to adapt to your clients’ needs, repeat business becomes much more likely.
Ensure you Avoid Sticky Situations
Compulsory licensing is effective, but it only guarantees a certain level of staff competence. It only takes one incident to spiral out of control, or one member of security personnel having an off-day to land your company in hot water. Why take the risk? The ACS scheme is a way of tightening up your business, plugging leaks and ensuring that your company hires only the very best personnel and gives them the thorough training that clients require.
Increasing Client Demand for Approved Contractors
Increasingly, clients are looking specifically for security providers who have been certified under the Approved Contractor Scheme. As time goes by, clients that have used security services in the past are well aware of the benefits of hiring an Approved Contractor. Clients that have experienced the difference between approved and non-approved companies are quick to voice their preference for the former. And new clients quickly wise up to the fact that approved contractors offer significantly better services.
The fact is, although it’s technically a voluntary scheme, the SIA ACS is rapidly becoming a necessary requirement for security providers that want to compete and win the best security contracts.