We began the skills and qualifications review at the beginning of September to review the criteria required for our licence-linked qualifications. We do this every five years so that the skills criteria are kept current.
This month, our Quality and Risk Manager, Tracey Lilley, discusses the skills and qualifications review and about the importance of this opportunity for the industry to share its views to ensure a robust assessment processes within the private security industry.
Our blog aims to discuss developments in the private security industry and to provide further insight and opinion on our work. We look forward to having an on-going discussion with you; please share your comments and opinions.
I’m a Quality & Risk Manager at the SIA. My role includes liaising with the awarding organisations on the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of the qualifications required for an SIA licence. We have contracts with all the awarding organisations who approve training providers to deliver licence-linked qualifications across the UK. Training providers are quality assured by the awarding organisations, who are themselves quality assured by the qualification regulators and by us.
A big part of my work has been the development of a comprehensive quality improvement plan designed to support both the awarding organisations and their training centres. This plan is designed to continually improve the way in which the qualifications required for an SIA licence are delivered and assessed.
Our relationship with the awarding organisations and training providers has developed a great deal over the last year. We now work more effectively together with improved identification, coordination and management of training malpractice.
A key component of the improvement plan involves the introduction of a new initiative of unannounced visits to training centres delivering qualifications required for an SIA licence. These visits will give us the opportunity to see training being delivered, speak to learners, and observe assessments. Visits will start from the beginning of 2019, so don’t be surprised to see me or my colleagues popping in to observe training and assessments being delivered.
Skills and Qualifications Review
As most of you will be aware, we have begun a wide-ranging review of the licence-linked qualifications needed for the private security industry. We have widened the scope of this work to consider not just the mandatory qualifications we require, but how to support the industry to address the skills and knowledge needed by operatives throughout their careers across the private security industry.
One key element of this review is to make sure that robust assessment processes exist to ensure the integrity of the qualifications achieved. This will further assure us of the integrity of the qualifications and help us to reduce instances of training malpractice.
We have set up expert working groups consisting of representatives from all the awarding organisations and subject matter specialists from the security sectors we regulate.
One group was designed to review the current assessment and quality assurance measures and look at ways of strengthening these to ensure they continue to meet the needs of their relevant sector, protect the public, and are future-proof for the next 5 years.
At our first meeting the following recommendations were discussed and are being considered:
- CCTV Practical – some short answer questions to ensure full knowledge of all elements if it is not possible to demonstrate them all fully
- Conflict Management – move away from multiple choice questions to practical assessment. This is better suited to the content and can also be a way of assessing a learner’s ability to speak English
- Working in the private security industry – some practical assessment around communication skills
- Working as a Door Supervisor – some practical assessment around searching and report writing
- Working as a Security Guard – some practical assessment around searching and report writing, plus use of radios
- English Language requirements – We discussed using a standardised pre-entry English language competency test, and all agreed this would be an option to pursue.
We have held further discussions with our experts to consider the findings from our first consultation on the specifications for learning and qualifications, along with the research we conducted to understand the current and future skills needs of the private security industry in the UK.
All of this invaluable feedback and opinion will feed into the next draft of our specifications for learning and qualifications. The expert working group will again provide valuable insight on this.
We will be consulting for a final time on the new specifications in January 2019. Please keep an eye out for this, as it will be your last opportunity to help shape the qualifications and to ensure they stay relevant for your industry in the years ahead.