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May I See Your License?

Mar 01, 20051 min
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

British CSOs are coming to grips with a new piece of legislation

the Private Security Industry Act, which received Royal assent in 2001. The act brought into being a new government-backed agency, the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which opened its doors 18 months ago and is now making its presence felt.

The role of the authority, explains Assistant Director Mary Hennessy, is to regulate security companies in order to make them more effective as well as more professional in some of their recruitment and employment practices. While industry has yet to feel the full force of the authority’s strictures, some of its requirements are already being rolled out across parts of Britainthe requirement for security employees to be licensed, for example, which involves assessing employees’ basic competencies, criminal record and proof of identity.

Licensing began last March, and as of April it will be an offense to employ nonlicensed door supervisors. By early 2006, every one of the nation’s 90,000 security guards must be licensed too. More SIA-inspired changes lie ahead.