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Stamping out stereotype

We are living in a world, writes Paul Ritchie, pictured, MD at Nottingham-based security company Foremost Security, where there is currently, and historically, a heavy stereotype hanging over the security industry.

This dates back to the times of old nightwatchmen, falling asleep on the job and ultimately being very careless about their duties. Today, we have connotations tied up with door supervisors or ‘bouncers’ as they are more commonly known, and often the reputation associated with these roles has been portrayed as a negative one throughout the years.

So, for a professional security company, it can be challenging to build up a reputable image and maintain it to a high standard. It’s something that my company and I have been working on for years, and it comes as no surprise that we, and many others, have faced some hurdles along the way.

For a new client, who has little-to-no experience with security companies, they can find it difficult to put their trust in the hands of a business in the industry, and it’s something that can be hard to shake at first. It’s all about generating an all-round image of your organisation, not only by what you look like, but what you do, how you act and how you perform. In effect, you need to be able to say what you are going to do, do it, and prove that you can do it properly.

Most customers new to the security scene may be unsure what to look for, to find themselves the right team for the job. Firstly, I would advise that they look out for the ‘Approved Contractor Scheme’ which is run by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Businesses in the sector don’t necessarily have to be a member of the scheme, but what it does do is tell people that you work to certain standards, perform tasks in the correct way and that procedures are in place that follow the best guidelines and practice on how you should be working in the industry.

Those seeking security services can also look for an ISO 9001 accreditation. This is a quality procedure that will be indicative of a decent and reputable company and is for organisations who want to prove their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs of their customers and other relevant stakeholders.

Some companies are also enrolled in memberships of certain security organisations. These include, the IPSA (International Professional Security Association), BSIA (British Security Industry Association) and the Security Institute. These organisations all promote and endorse high standards in the industry.

Unfortunately, in some instances, companies have falsely associated accreditations with their brand, adding logos to their websites and suchlike, and in many cases, the SIA have prosecuted for this. There is a large fine involved, where organisations have seen to be abusing this to their advantage, but it doesn’t go unnoticed.

The SIA website also holds a register of approved contractors online. You can trust that these are working to best practice, and are truly genuine.

In terms of the consequences of using an unapproved or untrustworthy security provider, this is something that really needs to be highlighted to the public. By leaving your business’ security in the hands of a provider who isn’t working to best practice, you really could be putting you and your business at high risk.

With something so crucial as keeping your company and workforce safe, can you really afford to not consider security as a priority?

Not only will selecting the right company reduce your risk of being a target to criminals and thieves, but it will also save you the hassle of having to worry about your premises when you’re not around.

With security companies playing a key role in the majority of today’s organisations, it really is imperative that you get it right. With several key attributes setting apart quality security companies and stereotypical ones, it’s important for these businesses to portray themselves in the best light, and also for the client to do all the necessary checks before settling on a provider.

About the company

Foremost is ACS-approved in guarding and key-holding. Visit, email


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