Thursday, 23 May 2013

Event Security Licensing: Will it happen and when?

Last year assurances were made by Minister Shatter that the licensing of the event security industry would be introduced.  We now find ourselves at the beginning of the busiest period in the annual calendar of events and licensing of this sector has yet to be introduced.  

You may be wondering, like we were, is licensing of the event security sector going to happen and if it is when is it likely to be introduced?  

The Chairman of the Irish Security Industry Association's (ISIA) event security division recently wrote to Minister Shatter to ask just that.  For a full update of the progress of event security licensing in Ireland, please read our most recent news story on the ISIA website available here

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Finding a Security Company: Taking the Hard Work Out of an Important Task

Finding a security company in Ireland can be a daunting task.  If you decided to take on this task tomorrow and you went onto the website of the Private Security Authority (PSA) you would find a lengthy list of licensed contractors providing a variety of security services ranging from security guarding services (static guards/door security), companies providing installation and maintenance of electronic security systems (alarms, CCTV and access control), not to mention the companies that monitor alarms, along with those providing cash-in-transit service.  We didn't count, but as of today the list is 62 pages long.  We estimate it could include over 700 companies! 

How can you narrow down your list of options without wading through that very long list and what do you need to make sure your prospective security supplier has in place?  

The Requirements
If you are securing the services of a security company they will need to hold a valid PSA license if they are providing you with any of the following:   
  • Static Guards
  • Door Security 
  • Alarm installation 
  • Alarm maintenance 
  • CCTV installation 
  • CCTV maintenance 
  • Access Control System installation 
  • Access Control System maintenance 
  • Remote monitoring of alarms 
  • Transport of Cash
In order for a company to obtain a license they must meet a number of requirements and they must be independently audited against the relevant standards for the area of private security that they are operating in.  For further information on standards and licensing requirements please click here

The employees working in Cash in Transit, from today 1st May, static guards and door security will also need to hold an individual license as an employee in that area.  

Getting a Short List of Suppliers
As we already mentioned, there is a lengthy list of companies you can select from, so we are sure you will want to make the task of selecting a security supplier that bit easier.  You may rely on word of mouth referrals from people you know and trust.  However, you should still always check that the company you are referred to holds a valid Private Security Authority (PSA) license, licensing may not have been a legal requirement when your contact dealt with this company.  So always check.  Many security companies will also have sought to demonstrate their standards by gaining certification to various international standards, so it might be worth asking them what standards they operate to.  In other words, try to find out how they differentiate themselves from the hundreds of security companies that are licensed.  However, don't let them blind you with a series of numbers that may just be the minimum required for licensing (refer back to the link on standards for licensing, all companies will have these). The standard they operate to may simply be the minimum standards that they have to meet to trade legally.  If you are looking for a company that stands out from the crowd, ask them if they have achieved any standards outside those required by licensing, such as ISO 9001 or the Irish Security Industry Association's (ISIA) quality requirement, Qualsec.  

If you are considering using members of the Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) as a supplier, all of the members of the Guarding Division, Electronic Security Division and Event Security Division will hold Qualsec, the ISIA's own quality scheme which is designed with the customer in mind.  Members of these three divisions must achieve Qulasec Silver at a minimum, but may progress to Qulasec Gold or Qulasec Platinum.  There is further information available on our website which you may access here.  We would also encourage you to always check the validity of a companies ISIA membership and Qulasec standard.  If you are not sure, just call us in the ISIA +353-(0)1-4847206.  

If you are still uncertain about where to start in the search to find a security company to supply the specific security services you need, we can help.  Simply submit the form, available here and we can do some of the hard work for you.