We asked Richard Jenkins, Chief Executive, NSI to analyse the impact of 2020 and look forward to 2021:
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020 the security sector has demonstrated its readiness to adapt, often creatively, to the uncharted and challenging circumstances.
Given the need to adapt and respond to a sharply changing trading environment and maintain safety and requirements as set out in their insurance policies, risk assessment has sharply risen up the agenda for businesses keen to mitigate risks to staff and customers.
Guarding services providers demonstrated capability to rapidly adapt door supervision and front-of-house duties, taking on Covid- related safety duties to help keep communities safe during lockdown.
Equally, in the security and fire safety systems maintenance arena, making full use of remote monitoring and adopting Covid-secure working practices on site in the interests of systems users and staff has maintained the integrity of security and fire safety infrastructure.
Alarm Receiving Centre operators were quick to recognise where standards fit for the ‘old normal’ were found lacking in accommodating risk mitigation of remote working, and Key Worker status clarification sought to ensure ARC operations were not compromised but able to function in the midst of lockdown. NSI was wholly supportive of creative initiatives which were demonstrably in the spirit of, if not to the letter of, relevant standards.
Throughout the pandemic NSI’s role as the leading certification body has continued to focus on setting sector standards, including its involvement in various Standards working groups, so helping buyers address their risks.
More broadly ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ still rings true with wide adoption of digital collaboration technologies available for some time but only accepted widely in the midst of lockdown by people in all walks of life striving to keep things moving.
For further views on this topic, see related articles from our Police & Partnerships category:
David Ward, City Security Council on the recognising the importance of security officers
Robert Hall, Resilience First, on lessons learnt from 2020
Guy Mathias, Security Commonwealth on evolving the security response
Mike Reddington, BSIA, on dealing with the global pandemic