A step toward improving the image problem for private security providers
WASHINGTON—On Jan. 21, ASIS International announced its intent to develop two American National Standards Institute directed toward improving business for private security service providers. “The industry has bit of an image problem and I think [these standards] will actually raise the whole level of professionalism in the industry and will, in the long run, help improve the image of the industry,” said Marc Siegel, commissioner of the ASIS International Global Standards Initiative.
The two standards will provide auditable criteria and guidance on the development of a management system for private security companies to assure quality of services and demonstrate accountability under the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, he said.
The first standard, the Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations, pertains to conformity of legalities and best practices related to operations of private military and security companies in conditions where the rule of law has been undermined by conflict or disaster.
The second standard, the Conformity Assessment and Auditing Management Systems for Quality of Private Security Company Operations, provides requirements for bodies providing auditing and third-party certification of private security company operations, including requirements and guidance on the management of audit programs, conduct of internal or external audits of the management system and PSC operations, as well as on competence and evaluation of auditors, according to an ASIS statement.
Together these two standards will make security companies more accountable, but are also intended improve their business. “We want this to make business sense and we want companies to have tools to demonstrate conformance with the Code of Conduct and … the quality of services they provide,” he said. Being able to conduct internal auditing procedures can be extremely beneficial to a business and having a standard in place can provide the guidance a company needs to evaluate its own performance.
Meeting these standards can also be very rewarding for companies. “There are lots of companies in this business who are excellent players with a good record and this can be the differentiator where they can demonstrate that they abide by human rights and are good players and provide a good product and service,” he said.
ASIS International has already gone through the 30-day waiting period and is currently forming the technical committee to develop the two standards. Siegel expects it will take about a year for the standards to be developed and approved.