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Raising standards

In March I had the privilege of attending the first of many meetings run by GOSS – an independent company bought in to improve standards across the Security Industry Authority (SIA), writes Paula Mathers, Assistant Director at Coverguard, an SIA approved contractor based in Milton Keynes and Maidenhead.

Each meeting aims to focus on a different area, with this meeting focusing on the SIA website. We were fortunate enough to have Alero Harrison (Deputy Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement for the SIA) present at this meeting.

A significant number of complaints have been noted – both direct to the SIA and through other forums such as social media and online chat rooms. As a result, they want to overhaul the entire system. Also present at the meeting was a representative from a facilities company and one from a security company local to Birmingham. The small group was perfect as it allowed everyone’s voice to be heard.

Among other things, we discussed what both we as management, and our staff had found both useful and frustrating with regards to the website. The general consensus was that the home page was too busy; it needed to have less information, and the key information needed to stand out more. Another aspect that was mutually agreed upon was the license checker. We all agreed that it should contain the electronic photograph of the individual license holder because there are a significant number of people with the same name.

When we moved on to other topics, I raised the issues I found with the door supervisor course being way too easy. This is one of the areas I have already been contacted by the SIA about, to help to make this more difficult. One of the meeting participants raised the question of an app being developed – there is an app for everything else, why not for applying for a license / using your SIA account…? Alero advised that this was actually spoken about within her team recently and is something they are looking into.

I came out of the meeting feeling really positive about the future. Being called upon to help the SIA to raise standards across the industry is a privilege, but it also helps me work towards fulfilling a promise I made to some colleagues when I left my previous employer; If I am ever in the position to do so, I will help improve standards, working conditions and pay for security officers across the industry as a whole. These people are, after all, there to protect our children, ourselves, our work places and our government buildings. Why wouldn’t we pay them accordingly?


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