SSAIB to Host Online Open Forum Alongside BT on October 16

SSAIB to Host Online Open Forum Alongside BT on October 16

With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing SSAIB from travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland this year, the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries are embracing technology once again to bring an SSAIB Open Forum to the homes and offices of our 1850+ registered firms.

With our flagship Installer Forum at the BT Tower also missing from this year’s schedule, we have teamed up with the team at BT to present a virtual event on Microsoft Teams - on the morning of Friday October 16 - to ensure that firms are still able to keep up-to-date with the latest SSAIB and wider industry developments, despite the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

SSAIB’s field operations manager David Roscoe will provide a standards update, addressing some of the recent changes and those on the horizon, while presentations from BT Consumer and BT Openreach are also on the agenda – as the all IP programme continues to pick up pace, ahead of the planned 2025 switch over.

Starting at 9:30am with an introduction from SSAIB, the morning’s agenda will come to a close with a Q&A session. Attendees are encouraged to submit any questions in advance to, so that we can ensure that none are missed and we can answer as many as possible within the given time.

The full agenda is as follows:

9.30am: SSAIB Opening Address
9.40am: Standards update - Dave Roscoe
10.10am: BT Openreach update - Phil Laws
10.20am: BT Consumer update - Phil Cain
10.30am: Open Forum Q&A
11.00am: Close

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “Given the current climate, it has not been possible to make the usual journeys we make to catch up with our registered firms face-to-face. We’ve essentially had our full meeting schedule for 2020 come to nought, but this online forum at least allows us to update all of our firms on everything at SSAIB and the wider industry.

“As many of you know, we had great success with remote audits throughout lockdown and over the summer and we’ve also used Microsoft Teams for management meetings and our recent Auditors’ Meeting. Therefore, bringing an SSAIB regional meeting of sorts into an online forum was a logical step for us and I’m delighted that it’s allowed us to continue our working relationship with BT – after we were unable to host our usual annual event at the BT Tower.”

Phil Cain of BT Consumer added: “BT have been working with SSAIB for nearly two years on the all IP transformation and we are delighted to be invited to join this online event to update on the progress. Although COVID-19 has meant the way we do things has changed - in many aspects - the all IP programme hasn’t been affected and the 2025 date for all BT customers to be using IP for communications remains, so we need to make sure everyone has a plan in place.”

Should you wish to register your place, please log-in to your Registered Firms’ Portal on the SSAIB website and input your details on the Events page. An invite with a link to the meeting will then be sent to you prior to the day of the Open Forum.

Alternatively, please email or phone 0191 296 3242 and include your SSAIB registration number and the email address that you wish to access the Microsoft Teams meeting on.

Posted: 09/10/2020 more >

ECHO Appoints General Manager

ECHO Appoints General Manager

ECHO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Taylor as general manager, effective October 1, 2020.

With an initial focus on engaging alarm receiving centres (ARCs) and UK Police forces to facilitate their on-boarding, Mark will steer ECHO as it readies itself for the start of the national roll out that is now expected in early 2021.

On behalf of the ECHO board, Dave Wilkinson explained: “The ECHO journey - from drawing board of NPCC requirements to full service delivery - is soon to be realised, and Mark’s business management expertise will be a key catalyst for this leg of the journey and onwards.”

ECHO now approaches beta-testing of its automated alarms transmission service from ARCs to the Police.  Vanguard Police forces will be ECHO-connected from early 2021, when automated alarm signalling will be progressively rolled out.

More information about ECHO can be found at

Posted: 01/10/2020 more >

SSAIB Thanks Long-Serving Team Member Joan Denley for 25 Years of Service

SSAIB Thanks Long-Serving Team Member Joan Denley for 25 Years of Service

SSAIB have presented staff member Joan Denley with a commemorate watch, to mark her 25 years of service with the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries.

Joan began working at SSAIB on September 12, 1995 – which, incidentally, also saw her celebrating her birthday on her first day - meaning that she has worked for the organisation for all bar 10 months of its existence.

Because of the 50% rotation of staff policy that SSAIB has implemented to ensure a smooth transition back into head office this month, it was left to chief executive Alex Carmichael to visit Joan’s home to make a socially-distanced presentation on her doorstep earlier today.

Alex commented: “On behalf of everyone at SSAIB, I would like to congratulate Joan on reaching her 25th anniversary with the organisation and thank her for her many years of dedicated service.

“To have been at SSAIB for nearly all of the time that it has existed as an inspectorate should not be overlooked, which is why we could not let this milestone pass us by without commemorating it in some way.

“Joan is a very well-thought of member of the team and I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing her a very happy birthday this weekend as well.”

Posted: 11/09/2020 more >

Nominations Open for UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards 2021

Nominations Open for UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards 2021

The nominations are now open for SSAIB-registered firms to submit their selections for next year’s Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), which rewards proven outstanding performance across the security sector.

Celebrating their fifth year in 2021, the UK OSPAs – which form part of a global awards scheme currently running in eight countries - will take place in the first quarter of 2021. However, the deadline for nominations to be made is midnight on Thursday October 1, 2020.

With awards presented across 16 categories, nominations are open to anyone working within the security sector. The main criteria for entry is that a company, team or individual has performed at an exceptional level and nominees are eligible to be put forward for more than one category.

The categories for this year’s UK OSPAs include:

- Outstanding In-House Security Manager/Director

- Outstanding Contract Security Manager/Director

- Outstanding Security Team

- Outstanding Contract Security Company (Guarding)

- Outstanding Security Consultant

- Outstanding Customer Service Initiative

- Outstanding Security Training Initiative

- Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator

- Outstanding Event Security Team

- Outstanding Security Partnership

- Outstanding Security Equipment Manufacturer

- Outstanding New Security Product

- Outstanding Security Officer

- Outstanding Young Security Professional

- Outstanding Cyber Security Initiative

- Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Martin Gill, founder of the awards, said: “I encourage everyone working in the sector to submit at least one nomination; security too often operates under the radar and the OSPAs provide the opportunity to highlight and promote the pioneering work that is being carried out.”

Nominations are free to submit, but the person nominating is required to answer two questions on the nominee and why they should win the award. The judging panel for each category will then use these answers as part of their decision making when choosing a winner.

Full details on how to submit an nomination – and the categories available – can be found at

Posted: 08/09/2020 more >

SSAIB Reopens Doors to COVID-19 Secure Head Office

SSAIB Reopens Doors to COVID-19 Secure Head Office

SSAIB have reopened the doors of their West Monkseaton-based head office on a progressive return to the premises – after a number of changes were implemented to ensure the building is COVID-19 secure.

Having continued to work remotely throughout lockdown - and the gradual easing of those restrictions - the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries have now implemented a 50% rotation system for SSAIB headquarters. This has been achieved by splitting the office staff into two bubbles, with each alternatively working in the office one week and then remotely for a week.

Various sections of the office have been rearranged to ensure that social distancing is a lot easier to maintain, while Perspex sheets have been fitted to the tops of every workstation across the building to further enhance the protection of SSAIB staff while sat at their desks. Hand sanitiser is present throughout the building, to ensure that nothing is brought into the building from outside.

A number of legislations have also been implemented for communal areas to comply with the latest Government guidelines, which will continue to be monitored and acted upon as and when any amendments are made to them.

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “I am delighted to be able to welcome the SSAIB staff back into head office. We’ve devised a strategy that both works for the organisation, to allow us to create a ‘new normal’, while ensuring the safety of our work force isn’t sacrificed.

“The way SSAIB adapted to working remotely during lockdown was excellent, but we’re now at a point where we have to try and integrate ourselves back into an office environment once again. Our new rotation system allows us to have a constant physical office presence once more, without putting our staff at risk.”

SSAIB will continue to work in this new way until such time that any further changes are deemed necessary.

Posted: 07/09/2020 more >