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Published 8 August 2022

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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sia-business-plan-2022-to-2023/sia-business-plan-2022-to-2023
As we launch this year’s business plan, the third under this corporate plan, the Authority members, the executive and I are determined in our conviction and commitment to driving forward delivery on the strategic direction we have set for the SIA.
Public protection will be at the heart of everything we do, as we licence security officers and deploy this year a significantly more visible presence and proactive approach to our work improving standards and enforcing compliance right across the UK. These changes will have a positive and sustainable impact on supporting public confidence in the private security industry and their role in protecting the public.
We are committed to delivering lasting impact in each of the four objectives in the corporate plan. We have made good progress on efficiency and effectiveness in our core statutory functions, but there is still more we can and want to do. Building on some of the positive changes we made during COVID–19, we will continue making improvements in our digital licensing services to benefit our customers. We will also look ahead to ensure the licensing system remains fit for the future.
We will continue with energy and tenacity our work on public protection where private security has a key role to play. We will work with the industry and partners on effectively preventing and responding to violence, particularly against women and girls. We will continue to support the Home Office and private security to take forward the learning from the Manchester Arena Inquiry findings and recommendations to deal with the threat to the security of the UK from terrorist activities.
The value and importance the public places on private security, their skill and professionalism, will drive and inform us and our work. It is from these foundations that we will push ahead with our plans with vigour and determination but remain agile to adapt to changing expectations.
I am grateful to all the teams in the SIA for helping shape and deliver these plans. Heather Baily (the SIA Chair), the Authority members, the executive and I have every confidence in our teams realising our ambitions. We are committed to realising longer lasting outcomes for the benefit of public protection and enhancing public trust and confidence in the private security industry.
The SIA set out its strategic direction in our published 3-year corporate plan for 2020-23. This business plan sets out what we plan to do in 2022-23 to deliver on that corporate plan, the resources that will be deployed to do that, the performance indicators and measures we will use to monitor progress and the key strategic risks we need to manage. It covers the third and final of the 3 financial years of the corporate plan.
Our absolute priority is always delivery of our statutory responsibilities and core functions: licensing individuals, setting standards and ensuring compliance with the regulatory regime set out in the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Our commitment and drive are to continually improve how we do so for the benefit of our customers and ultimately to improve the contribution private security can make to public protection outcomes. This is reflected in the theme for this year’s business plan which is implementing the suite of strategies which underpin our corporate direction.
We will deliver the commitments embodied in those strategies (developed during 2021-22) resulting in tangible and sustainable progress against our corporate plan objectives. These include:
Our plans for 2022-23 will result in:
We are conscious that as we adjust to living after and around COVID-19, this will present continued challenges to the health and welfare of those who work in the industry, as well as financial and capacity pressures on security businesses. The pandemic has shone a light on the importance and professionalism of those who work in private security protecting property, premises and people across the UK.
As an arms’ length body of the Home Office, our work directly contributes to its overarching work to prioritise keeping people safe, reducing crime and the risk from terrorism to the UK. Our work with the private security industry within the remit of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 supports and makes important contributions to all of these.
Our plan for 2022-23 includes work taking robust action against those who supply unlicensed security and profit from their crimes, reducing violence against women and girls, and taking action on the learning from the Manchester Arena Inquiry and working with the industry on improving security at publicly accessible locations.
In addition to our increased enforcement work to ensure those who profit from supplying unlicensed security are stopped, our strong partnerships with a number of agencies such as the police, local authorities, GLAA, and HMRC ensure we are working smartly and effectively together with all the tools available to disrupt and tackle criminal activity. Alongside this, the private security industry has a clear role in deterring and disrupting crime, as they guard premises and property across the UK and our work with the police’s National Business Crime Centre supports their work to reduce business crime.
Effectively preventing, deterring and responding to acts of violence against women and girls, including spiking, requires joined-up, widespread and sustained effort by all, including the security industry. As the private security industry operates in so many physical locations across the UK it must play its part in both deterring and disrupting perpetrators and in supporting victims and all those – male or female – who find themselves in vulnerable situations. Success is dependent on good awareness, disruptive actions and continued vigilance. We will continue to raise awareness with licence holders, supporting security operatives working in the night-time economy and events, on transport, in streets, higher education and other workplaces by reminding licence holders of their training and responsibilities. We will also work to support other partners including the police, by improved intelligence sharing.
Similarly, the private security industry has a specific role to play in preventing, deterring and disrupting suspicious behaviour which could be a sign of terrorist activity. Our work in this area supports the government’s counter-terrorism strategy and the priority to reduce the risk from terrorism to the UK. We will work closely with national and regional counter-terrorism policing and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, both of which recognise that private security is key to fighting terrorism. We will promote ACT e-learning and the use of the ACT app. We will act as a conduit between the private security industry and policing through our communications channels and facilitating the establishment and maintenance of productive working relationships.
We will continue to work closely with and support the Home Office with its consideration of the findings of the Manchester Arena Inquiry’s report in June 2021. This includes the two recommended changes to the licensing regime in the areas of CCTV licensed security and business licensing during 2022-23. We will support the Home Office in its considerations and decision-making. We will continue with our own actions on training, public assurance of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) and increased, visible enforcement. In 2022-23, we will also support the government and industry to implement requirements affecting security which may result from the expected new Protect Duty.
The breadth of work across our core statutory functions, corporate objectives and wider government priorities will positively impact on public protection.
Our values, developed by our staff, are our guiding force in how we deliver our work.
We are confident in our approach, integrity and independence. We enforce proportionately without fear or favour. We are not afraid to challenge.
We listen, and we continually strive to improve.
We deliver increasing value for money every year. We recognise and enjoy success; we are brave by recognising poor performance or failure. We put it right, share the learning and move on to the next success.
We are one team working with a common purpose. Everyone has value.
Licensing individuals is a key primary function. The number of active licences now stands at over 445,000. Last year saw the highest ever number of applications received and processed since the SIA was established. In the third year in the cycle, the number of licence renewals is always lower than in the previous 2 years. In 2022­23, we predict a total of 140,000 applications for individual licences will be received, around 10,000 higher than experienced in the corresponding year of the preceding 3-year licensing cycle. We are planning to support over 230,000 individual service requests and 60,000 telephone calls in support of applications.
We will continue to make improvements to our core licensing systems and processes to enhance the user experience and the efficiency with which we deliver that experience.
These improvements have been identified by teams within the SIA and from customer feedback including the annual customer satisfaction surveys conducted with individuals and businesses. They typically fall into 3 categories: data and reporting, operational, and system based. These improvements will enable us to better manage our dependency on third parties and will result in a slicker and smoother user experience for more customers. It will also enable us to focus our resource on those complicated cases which require greater consideration and careful judgement in protecting the public.
We will prioritise the timeliness of our decision-making. We are keeping our stretching targets of completing 90% of simple decisions within 5 working days and 85% of complex decisions within 25 working days. We recognise that these will not be easy targets as the application process depends heavily on the actions of third parties.
Towards the end of 2021-22, a new contact strategy was developed to deliver our aim of reducing avoidable customer contact by 20%. It recognises our two main customer bases – private security businesses and individual operatives. The first phase of implementation focuses on better addressing the underlying reasons for customer contact. The second phase focuses on maximising the effective use of different contact channels to manage the contact we want, need or is necessary. During 2022-23, we will be improving the updates and notifications to individual customers during the licensing process; developing tools to facilitate self-service to support customers in making and tracking their application; and changing the way we support and deal with issues specific to businesses.
Our aim to ensure we better understand the nature of the licensed community we regulate forms part of our corporate approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. In 2022-23 we will improve and seek to publish more demographic data on those who apply for licences. Analysis of that data will inform whether changes are necessary to ensure equality of treatment in the SIA’s regulatory actions and licence decision making.
A strategic priority in our current corporate plan is improving standards, including a keen focus on individual standards. The deliverables for 2022-23 (set out in section F) are fulfilling the skills strategy developed in 2019. We will continue our work on apprenticeships to finalise and roll out a scheme for security control room operatives. This will pave the way for apprenticeships in other sectors of the private security industry and contribute towards a legacy encouraging professionalisation and careers in the industry.
Recognising that some areas of the industry face difficulties in recruiting enough security operatives, we will continue to work with industry representatives to share data that will assist in identifying labour market trends and help inform future recruitment decisions.
We will protect the integrity of the new standards and refreshed framework of licence-linked qualifications launched in 2021-22. We will be working to new contractual arrangements with awarding organisations to monitor delivery of the licence-linked qualifications.
Working with Ofqual and awarding organisations to ensure qualification training is delivered to the standard set is one way in which our work contributes towards public safety and the government strategies on violence against women and girls and spiking. Training for door supervisors includes how to recognise and deal with predatory behaviour and those possessing drugs that may be used to facilitate sexual assault, and how to safely support those that may be in situations that leave them vulnerable.
We will be taking further steps to identify and guard against training malpractice by reviewing the quality monitoring of training provision and increased visits to training providers, informed by intelligence and risk assessment. This latter commitment is in response to the findings and observations of the Manchester Arena Inquiry report, beyond the two monitored recommendations.
Running the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme is a key function of the SIA. It is a quality-based scheme through which we promote good practice and improvements in industry standards. In 2022-23, we will be taking steps to ensure continued public assurance in the ACS. The importance of public assurance of the scheme was highlighted in the Manchester Arena Inquiry. Steps this year will include undertaking new assurance visits to 15% of approved contractors (of which there are around 840) and conducting assurance visits for every ACS assessor. We will also continue to make improvements to the current scheme, looking at the application process as well as refining current ACS assessment and quality assurance practices.
In 2022-23, to ensure the ACS remains relevant, attractive and fit for the future, we will finalise a new strategy for the scheme, following engagement and consultation with key stakeholders, the public and industry. Work will begin on its implementation including a review of the entire process covering approval, renewal, assessment and quality assurance.
We will maintain the integrity of the scheme by removing businesses that are no longer eligible or no longer meet the standard. For businesses within the scheme, we will expand our engagement programme through network events, exhibitions and webinars. We will support the private security industry’s own efforts to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in the industry.
Having agreed our new compliance, supervision and enforcement strategy in 2021-22, we will focus on its implementation this year. We will increase our resources significantly in this area which will result in better visibility and proactivity of our inspections and enforcement work across the UK. We will improve the consistency of our approach, take robust action and ensure we are deploying those resources to manage the greatest public protection risks. This will be an important part of our contribution to reducing violence against women and girls, tackling terrorism and ensuring compliance on our licensing standards.
We will achieve this through an increase to our intelligence-led work, including risk and intelligence-led field inspection checks and feeding in detected intelligence for analysis. We will increase the number of investigators we have across the UK and the uptake of local authority partner organisations using delegated powers. This will enable us to increase the number of inspections we carry out and to focus on large event arenas, major outdoor events, shopping complexes, larger sports grounds and licensed premises.
We will consolidate our experience from high-profile events in 2021-22 (including festivals, COP26 and the G7 Summit) to support delivery of successful and safe events in 2022-23. This will involve working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Organising Committee for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the organisers of the Rugby League World Cup to ensure full compliance by private security contractors at both events. This work is focussed on delivering public protection outcomes.
In 2022-23, we will consolidate our drive to detect, identify and assess emerging and changing regulatory risks. We will continue to make operational improvements to increase our effectiveness in processing intelligence reports in a timely manner. We will produce more proactively identified intelligence products and increase the number of Government Agency Intelligence Network referrals and tactical assessments we use. These steps will ensure our activities are directed towards dealing with the greatest threat, risk and harm and will shift our approach from responding to events to proactively seeking out potential and actual non­compliance.
We will carry out more work with law enforcement partners on issues of mutual interest affecting public protection, including counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime. This will support us in taking disruptive actions to protect the public, premises and property, as well as support Home Office strategic priorities. Smarter partnership working will be progressed by better use and sharing of data and relevant intelligence information. Key to this is our strategic threat assessment which we will refresh and disseminate the findings of appropriately.
The more proactive we are and the greater number of inspections we carry out, the more non-compliance we are likely to detect and need to deal with. We are therefore planning for and anticipating a higher criminal investigation caseload in 2022-23. Our priority will continue to be on those that pose a serious risk or harm to the public and/or damage public confidence in the regulatory regime – whether through deliberate or careless non-compliance – and we will work to deal with these cases swiftly and robustly.
We will use the operational improvements we made in 2021-22 in our criminal casework, the disclosure process and agile resourcing, to manage the caseload increase. The actions needed to deliver the compliance, supervision and enforcement strategy include developing ways to enable our decision makers to assess the most appropriate action to take or sanction to apply, seeking the expanded use of sanctions and the availability of investigatory powers to protect the public from the actions of those who do not comply.
We will review confiscation orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure the effectiveness and deterrence effect is maximised. We will identify and implement a measure to gauge the success of our activity on harm reduction.
In summary, our deliverables for our core regulatory functions and services are to:
A range of corporate services facilitate and enable the delivery of our regulatory functions and services. These functions include people, legal, technology, finance, project management, knowledge and information management, data analysis, assurance, governance, policy, strategy and communications. These ensure the effective operation of the organisation and compliance with statutory requirements.
During 2021-22, we signed a new Framework Agreement (the document which sets out governance arrangements between the Home Office and SIA) which was refreshed in line with the new guidance issued by HM Treasury in Managing Public Money. We will continue to work to high standards and adhere to government guidance through compliance with our public sector duties and the implementation of government functional standards, proportionate to the size and operations of the SIA.
We will support the government’s identification and management of cyber security and data risks by working collaboratively with them on several measures, including those recognised in light of tensions in Eastern Europe. We will review our processes and policies related to information management and insider threats. This will result in a clear and concise set of policy documents and guidance which are readily understood by all staff, not just those with a technical background, and help us better manage these risks.
We will be held accountable for effective financial management through regular reporting to the Home Office and to the public by delivery of the annual report and accounts on time, by summer recess, with no audit recommendations.
We will maintain our sharp focus on economy, efficiency and effectiveness in all we do, to ensure we are able to set an appropriate licence fee that covers cost, conscious that the licence fee is paid by or for those on low wages and of the financial pressures faced by the private security industry. We will look for ways to reduce our overheads. We will keep making efficiencies in our running costs where possible and keep developing our own systems and processes to ensure technology supports us in our efficiency and effectiveness – a central objective of our data and digital strategy.
We will explore, for example, the benefits of using the Home Office corporate service systems where this brings clear benefits, rather than maintaining our own. We will also be reviewing our office space needs as we embed new ways of working following COVID-19 and make a contribution to the levelling up agenda in line with Home Office direction. Our continued collaboration with other public sector bodies to learn from best practice and develop more effective models of service delivery will be a valuable source of insight.
During 2021-22, we developed a stakeholder strategy and started work to implement the associated plan. In 2022-23, we will establish some new special interest groups including a forum focussing on engagement with frontline licence holders, to improve strategic discussions with the industry and gain a greater level of insight from licence holders. This will be of great value as we develop the next 3-to-5-year corporate strategy, informed also by research on public trust and confidence in the industry and its regulator.
We will consolidate work undertaken during 2021-22 on improving our recruitment, induction and training to optimise how we attract and retain talent and develop and motivate our staff. This will provide the capacity and capability to deliver our statutory duties and strategic priorities, including our contribution to wider government issues, and to do so to an excellent standard.
This is a snapshot of some of the volumes we forecast for 2022-23: the forecast volumes for 2021-22 are in brackets. Some figures are lower than last year – for example, reflecting the 3-year cycle where year 3 has the lowest level of applications. Other figures are higher – for example, reflecting our plans to increase efforts on compliance, inspection and enforcement.
This section covers the 4 strategic priorities in the Corporate Plan 2020-23. It provides a brief overview of what we have achieved in 2021-22 and what we intend to do in 2022-23 to deliver against the plan.
During 2021-22, this strategic priority has been addressed through the launch of new licence-linked qualifications and top-up training in April 2021 and the establishment of an industry-led skills board. Progress has been made on developing career pathways and establishing centres of excellence. The skills strategy was revised; a new compliance, supervision and enforcement strategy was agreed, and work initiated on a strategy for the future of the voluntary approval scheme.
In 2022-23, we are committed to:
We will also work on:
Our focus in 2021-22 was on continuing to support staff in their welfare and in working effectively in the remote environment necessitated by COVID-19. We developed and implemented a new leadership training package. We launched new staff-led networks under our corporate equality, diversity and inclusion work. We made significant improvements to our recruitment process, reducing the level of vacancies to its lowest in years. We consolidated our revised approach to induction and training new employees which has received excellent feedback at all levels and across all areas of the organisation. We held a virtual national conference with the industry and agreed a new Framework Agreement with the Home Office.
In 2022-23, we are committed to:
We will also work on:
During 2021-22, we developed and agreed a 3-year data and digital strategy. We secured the necessary approvals from the Home Office and the Government Digital Service for it. We implemented improvements to our core licensing and operating systems, including an essential upgrade of the existing database and system used for our compliance work. We secured funding from the Regulator’s Pioneer Fund and used this to deliver a pilot for a web service on our main licensing platform. We also dealt with unexpected but essential changes to our digital interfaces with Post Office systems. We improved our data analysis and reporting capability and completed our implementation of Police National Database Confidential to ensure its effective use with a full audit facility.
In 2022-23, we are committed to:
We will also work on:
Some of this work is dependent on the capital allocation approved by the Home Office.
During 2021-22, we worked closely with partners on counter-terrorism matters through a secondment to the National Counter Terrorism Security Office. We also helped with industry awareness on prevention, deterrence and response through promotion of training material to front line operatives. We worked with the police and law enforcement agencies to run simulated exercises for security operatives to test this in practice. We delivered public protection campaigns on violence reduction, safety for women and girls and safe restraint. We engaged with buyers through the publication of guidance and attended events and spoke at numerous industry events on public protection.
In 2022-23, we are committed to:
We will also work on:
We have developed this business plan and deliverables under it based on assumptions about the availability and deployment of resources from our income. Our funding is generated from fees from licence applications and the Approved Contractor Scheme, except for a grant from the Home Office for capital related spend.
The assumptions underpinning our budget for 2022-23 take into account:
We expect to receive 140,000 licence applications in 2022-23 generating £27.8m. We expect to receive a further £2m in relation to the ACS scheme fees.
We expect our expenditure in 2022-23 to be £32m of which £2.6m will relate to depreciation charges.
We expect a deficit of £2.2m to be generated in 2022-23 which is in line with our £190 fee model. A section 102 agreement is in place which enables us to break even over a 3-year funding cycle.
Our planned staffing figures for 2022-23 are set out below.
Achievement of the plan and deliverables against the 3-year corporate plan is the collective responsibility of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This is made up of the chief executive, the executive directors and heads of 13 functional areas. Progress of specific deliverables will be monitored by the relevant heads of function and individual directors and material updates provided to the Executive Directors Meetings (EDM), chaired by the chief executive. In addition, progress against the plan is collectively scrutinised, monitored and tracked at quarterly SLT meetings.
Performance against the plan will also be reported quarterly at board meetings. In addition, we will be held to account on this business plan and our performance by the Home Office, our sponsoring department, through regular engagement with the senior policy sponsor (director level), and quarterly meetings with the Home Office Sponsorship Unit. Our performance is reported to Parliament by the minister responsible for the SIA, the Minister for Safeguarding.
We have established a set of key performance indicators to track progress against each strategic priority in the Corporate Plan 2020-23 and monitor key performance in our core functional activity and service delivery. These ensure we are on track with our plan and help us make informed decisions where those plans may need to be updated or refreshed.
Our key performance indicators have remained consciously consistent across the period of our corporate plan, in line with good practice. We have made a couple of minor adjustments to presentation and reporting measurements to improve transparency and accuracy of reporting.
The management of our corporate risks is a key process which underpins the successful achievement of our priorities and outcomes. We maintain active oversight, management and tracking of key risks in line with our risk assurance framework and the risk appetite statement set by the board. Our risk register operates at functional, directorate and corporate levels to support this, as well as capturing risks related to key projects and initiatives.
Last year, many of our corporate and strategic risks related to managing the impact that COVID-19 has had on both our statutory functions and delivery of our strategic outcomes. This affected our core activities, including enforcement and field activities, licensing demand and in turn the SIA’s income and expenditure and other risks arising from third party dependencies to provide our services to customers. This year, many of these are more contained as we, the industry and public all adapt to living amongst COVID-19.
We will continue to prioritise our staff’s welfare, as we adhere to government guidance about COVID-19 and as we deliver our plans. Our business continuity plans will be kept under review: these proved sound in our responsiveness last year. We will work with our people to ensure we adjust smoothly as an organisation to the more medium- and long-term changes to the way we live and work, recognising these changes will be unsettling for some. We will ensure we continue to manage these risks through clear communication, good employee engagement and ensuring our mental health and wellbeing services continue to provide appropriate support.
Over the last year we managed some unexpected risks to our service delivery (due to third party actions beyond our control) and put the right mitigations in place through effective risk management by identifying the risks ahead of time and creating strong controls as part of our action plans.
As we move into 2022-23, the main strategic risks we face and are managing centre on different aspects of threats to business continuity and operational delivery due to capacity and implementing findings and recommendations from the Manchester Arena Inquiry, to the containment of staff turnover levels and the challenges with accurately predicting future licensing demand levels and consequently income.
Alongside these there are a collection of risks that continue from 2021-22 and remain a risk with significant consequences but where there are limited further controls or actions the SIA can take and are dependent on Home Office action. These include risks relating to potential gaps in the regulatory framework and oversight, capacity at board level due to continued vacancies and the time taken to appoint Authority members, and the decisions to be made by the Home Office on the Manchester Arena Inquiry recommendations.
We are also alert to heightened risks around security and cyber security across government and society. Alongside this, there are several other corporate but more routine functional and directorate risks we are managing around operational delivery, reputation, security, data, ICT, and health and safety.
All our corporate strategic risks are and will continue to be regularly reviewed and actively managed, with a range of mitigations in place. Each is managed by the register lead, with the Risk and Assurance function continuing to monitor their management and quarterly scrutiny collectively by the Senior Leadership Team continuing into 2022-23.
In the latter half of 2021-22 we assessed ourselves against all of the government’s functional standards and are striving for compliance not just in the mandatory areas, but also in the advisory areas. We identified that we already have a high level of compliance, exceeding the minimum standard in many areas. For those areas where there is still some work to do, we have developed plans to achieve the required level of compliance during 2022-23 with targets set for June, September and March. Those plans will be included in our second line assurance checks this year, enhancing and fortifying our risk management approach. Whilst not complacent, our risk management processes are aligned to supporting us to be efficient and effective in achieving our goals.
Throughout 2022-23 we will continue to review the risks identified across all business areas, being alert to identifying new risks where they emerge, compliance-checking validity of mitigations and by reporting independent findings from the Risk and Assurance function to our chief executive, Authority members and through ARAC (the board’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee). These will be highlighted in the new management assurance framework created by the Risk and Assurance function and will work as a compliance checklist for all areas of the business.
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