The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has announced the resumption of all audit and assessment activity from 1 June 2020, in light of current Government “go to work if you are unable to work from home” guidance. Government guidance allows all employers to resume activity in the workplace where appropriate, including professional services that cannot be delivered remotely, such as NSI on-site audits. NSI will utilize a combination of remote audit and on-site audit capability in accordance with guidelines recently issued to the approved companies. Remote audit may be utilized at NSI’s discretion for assessing ‘Management System’ requirements, whilst on-site audits will gather evidence of compliance to technical product standards. Health and safety NSI recognizes all Government guidance regarding social distancing and health and safety during the pandemic, whilst delivering meaningful certification and approval, putting people first - including its staff, approved companies, and the public. All NSI approvals expiring between 1st March and 31st May 2020 were extended for a limited period unless evidence dictated otherwise. Adjustments to audit program will be made on a case by case basis as NSI works proactively with approved companies to ensure audit program are fulfilled in a timely fashion. Evidence of non-compliances that are COVID-19 related will be reported in “Auditor Notes” without recourse to raising Improvement Needs and Observations. Security and fire safety NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins stated: “As the UK continues its easing of lockdown measures the Security and Fire Safety sector is adapting to operate COVID safe environments in line with Government guidance, focusing on the protection and safety of staff, customers and the wider public. As such approved companies will now be in a position to provide NSI with suitable and sufficient evidence to award and maintain approval, through a combination of remote and on-site audits.” “It is clear approved companies are genuinely striving to maintain standards during the pandemic, which NSI will formally be recognizing when audits are delivered.” ‘COVID-secure’ sites The following NSI Circular Letters have been issued to approved companies and are available via the Company Login Area of its website: NSI 020 20 regarding ‘COVID-secure’ sites (all approved companies and applicants). NSI 021 20 – NSI 023 20 with remote audit guidelines (scheme specific and relevant to Gold companies only). As a matter of course, all NSI staff are working remotely in line with Government guidance, NSI’s Head Office building remaining closed until further notice.
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), the UK’s independent certification body specializing in the security and fire safety sectors, shared in the success of this year’s IFSEC and FIREX exhibitions as the integrated events proved important forums for approved companies and applicants, as well as key industry stakeholders, to engage face-to-face with NSI experts. The three-day events provided a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the valuable role of independent certification in enhancing the performance and operational effectiveness across the sectors. NSI’s continued support for the Show Me How feature was evident with a series of sessions on the NSI stand. The topics included updates on PD 6662 for the installation of alarm systems, the new Kitchen Fire Protection Systems scheme (SP206), NSI’s CCTV Code of Practice NCP104 and the latest modifications to the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme workbook. Fire risk assessments NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins presented the heat winners’ prizes at the end of the final day in the Keynote Arena NSI’s Head of Field Operations (Systems), John Davidson spoke at FIREX to a packed theatre on the importance of using competent, trained risk assessors to complete life safety fire risk assessments. Once again, NSI auditors judged the work of teams competing in the Engineers of Tomorrow Competition, a key attraction within IFSEC International. This year the competition not only showcased the skills and talent of apprentices but laid the foundations for becoming a part of the highly respected World Skills competition. NSI Chief Executive Richard Jenkins presented the heat winners’ prizes at the end of the final day in the Keynote Arena. The heat winners on day three were Matt Eminson and Ryan Harker from Chubb (Intruder Alarm competition) and Callum Tootle and Chris Lomax from EFT Systems (Fire competition). Enhancing public security Independent certification is recognized as an important framework for continual improvement" Richard Jenkins NSI Chief Executive commented: “Once again IFSEC and FIREX exemplified the benefits of industry coming together to enhance public security. Our stand welcomed a considerable number of enquiries from companies interested in engaging with NSI’s highly trained team of experts. “Independent certification is recognized as an important framework for continual improvement for businesses; one we are pleased to spearhead within the security and fire safety sectors. We employ the most highly trained professionals who help to drive up the performance of businesses of all sizes as part of the assessment for approval. “It was inspiring to see so many NSI approved companies attend this year’s event and we were proud to play our part in helping to shine a spotlight on new talent within the sector. It was also a pleasure to welcome so many invited guests to our VIP drinks reception celebrating our collective commitment to raising standards.”
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) has published industry research undertaken by Perpetuity Research into the benefits and challenges of automating confirmed alarm signaling from Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) to police control rooms. The independent research – done via an online survey and one-to-one interviews with a range of industry people including from Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) – assesses the pros and cons of automating signaling beyond current practice, the potential impact on ARCs, the police, owners of alarmed property, and other interested groups, besides the potential for development as technology evolves. ECHO The 58-page report reflects industry and stakeholder views at a time when ECHO – short for ‘Electronic Call Handling Operations Ltd’ – is developing the concept behind its strategy to deliver by 2020 a fully automated electronic call handling service, between all ARCS and police forces, in line with National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC, the former ACPO) aims. ECHO, recently formed by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and the Fire and Security Association as an independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, aims to improve standards and effectiveness in the deployment of police responders, through reducing time and improving accuracy in the handling of alarm signals. NSI Summit The research highlights the value of raising awareness of the ECHO initiative across the industry The study was aired at the NSI Summit at Birmingham in March and featured in the May 2018 print issue of Professional Security. It identifies a number of areas to be addressed in further automation of alarm signaling. These include the technical challenges and the funding mechanism to put such a service onto a sustainable footing. The research highlights the value of raising awareness of the ECHO initiative across the industry, full consultation with all parties in the design and development of an automated service to ensure the solution accommodates the diversity in police IT networks, and future-proofing. One significant finding is the extent to which the lack of awareness about aspirations to automate alarm signaling by the police is hindering industry’s ability to effectively develop its response. Recommendations Looking ahead the report recommends a series of steps which might further inform and strengthen industry’s approach, including: Raising awareness of the ECHO ‘project’ Assessing of police capability nationally to implement automation Considering future possible enhancements to the content of alarm signal transmission e.g. CCTV streaming, and signaling applications over and above intruder alarm signaling. At the middle day of IFSEC International on Wednesday, June 20, at 14.20 in the Future of Security Theatre NSI’s Head of Technical Services, Tony Weeks, will cover the research as part of a presentation, “Automating the Transfer of Alarms to Emergency Services: Maximising Public Benefits”. Delivering more effective security NSI’s Chief Executive, Richard Jenkins said, “Thanks are due to all those within the industry who have participated in this important research and to Martin Gill and his team at Perpetuity Research for gathering and consolidating the findings. Our hope is that this report will be a useful reference point in the debate about how best to introduce new technologies and ways of working to deliver more effective security for people and property in our communities.” “This is ultimately what the ECHO initiative aspires to. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the systems security industry and the police to bring a step-change in how we work together. The contributors to this research have highlighted the challenge and opportunity of raising standards of security through closer collaboration.”