SSAIB Suspends Face-to-Face Auditing for Safety of Firms and Staff Amid Coronavirus Spike

SSAIB Suspends Face-to-Face Auditing for Safety of Firms and Staff Amid Coronavirus Spike

Following the announcement of another national lockdown, SSAIB has moved to suspend all face-to-face auditing with immediate effect – as we look to ensure the safety of both our staff and all of our registered firms, amid the current rise in coronavirus numbers.

After successfully implementing new technology to ensure the continuation of certification to both established and new SSAIB companies during the first lockdown back in March 2020, the leading certification body for the fire and security industries will once again migrate over to remote auditing until February 22, 2021.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep all registered firms updated, should there be any further developments during this time. If you require any further information, please contact us on 0191 296 3242.

Posted: 06/01/2021 more >

SSAIB CEO Salutes All Industry Personnel in Christmas Message to Registered Firms

SSAIB CEO Salutes All Industry Personnel in Christmas Message to Registered Firms

I am sure all of you are going to remember 2020, but not for the reasons you may have wished for beforehand.

2020 came in with the usual hope, excitement and anticipation of the challenges and new opportunities ahead that a new year brings. We had our usual calendar of industry events – such as IFSEC, the Women in Security Awards, the SECURITY TWENTY20 regional events and the Security Industry Awards etc – and we all looked forward to seeing what new and innovative technical innovations were being introduced. Unfortunately, all bar one of those events – the Birmingham SECURITY TWENTY20 event in February – fell foul to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Lots of amazing people work in the security industry, performing vital roles which keep citizens and property safe. The important work done by these people is rarely recognized and – particularly in 2020 – their efforts have gone above and beyond the call of duty. In the eyes of SSAIB, all industry personnel are key workers and – for all your hard work and dedication – we at SSAIB salute you.

2020 has been very different for SSAIB as well. The year started well but, when the coronavirus appeared and spread, we noted the impact of COVID-19 and planned accordingly.  By early March, we had put the groundwork down for changing our processes, procedures and policies to deal with the possible effects of the coronavirus.

Following on from that, we worked on preparations to enable staff to be able to work from home. When the orders from the Government came on the evening of Monday March 23 to lock down, staff moved to home working.

At the same time, we updated our auditing guidelines and carried out auditor training remotely. We also developed the processes registered firms needed to complete to enable audits to be carried out remotely.

2020 was a tough, challenging and difficult year, however, we did not close. We adapted, we amended our processes and procedures and developed new ones as necessary.

We continued to support our customers and communicated what we were doing – and how we were doing it – to scheme holders.  Our aim, throughout, was to ensure that we continued to support our registered firms – as key workers – by providing a first-class certification service in very trying circumstances.

We believe that we more than achieved our aim, ensuring our registered firms could carry on serving their clients in as normal a manner as was possible in the circumstances.

You can be assured that SSAIB will continue offer the best certification service in the industry – as we fully recognise the needs of both existing and new clients. SSAIB will also champion the needs our registered firms when we attend standards committees and sit on scheme holders’ committees – as well as talking to specifiers, customers and other relevant bodies.

The commitment of our registered firms to work to high standards is essential in demonstrating the professionalism in the industry, which they have shown in abundance throughout the last 12 months. As we – hopefully – come out the other side of this pandemic, SSAIB companies will have played their part in the security and safety of the country and you should all be very proud of that.

On behalf of the board, auditors and staff at the SSAIB, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for what we hope is a much better 2021 for us all.

Alex Carmichael
Chief Executive

Posted: 23/12/2020 more >

SSAIB System Upgrade Means Servers Unavailable on Monday December 21

SSAIB System Upgrade Means Servers Unavailable on Monday December 21

Some online SSAIB services will be unavailable on the morning of Monday December 21 - as the leading certification body for the fire and security industries carry out planned work to improve our network.

Registered firms will be unable to access their online portal during this time, while the planned upgrades might also prevent SSAIB staff members from accessing various aspects of the internal network needed to assist with enquiries.

The system should be up and running again by Monday afternoon, but we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this planned upgrade has on our registered firms.

Posted: 15/12/2020 more >

Surveillance Camera Commissioner Releases Guidance for Police on Use of Live Facial Recognition

Surveillance Camera Commissioner Releases Guidance for Police on Use of Live Facial Recognition

Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC), has issued best practice guidance, ‘Facing the Camera’, to all Police forces in England and Wales today. It is for forces to follow when considering the deployment of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) surveillance camera technology.

It is the first guidance to be released since the Court of Appeal handed down its judgement on Bridges v South Wales Police earlier this year – the SCC was an intervener in the case and a key contributor.

The High Court ruled that South Wales Police’s use of LFR was in accordance with the law, but this was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The SCC is the independent regulator of the overt use and public operation of surveillance camera systems by the police in England and Wales. This includes systems incorporating LFR. He supports the police having legitimate recourse to surveillance camera systems including LFR where they are necessary to keep us safe and secure, within the clear provisions of the law. Transparency of lawful use is essential to public trust and confidence in such matters.

Tony Porter said: “Over the 7 years I have been Commissioner I have continually said that the police should be able to use technology to keep us safe and secure but this must be balanced against our civil liberties and the law.

"The High Court ruled that the deployment of LFR in South Wales was not in accordance with the law.

"The guidance I’ve issued today will help forces who want to use LFR identify how to do so, in accordance with the current legal framework. Where there is a proportionate need to deploy intrusive technology, it is right that the Police have the guidance to do that – Facing the Camera will go some way to help them before decisions are made to deploy.”

Posted: 03/12/2020 more >

SSAIB Enhance Scope of Certification by Adding BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems

SSAIB Enhance Scope of Certification by Adding BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems

SSAIB are delighted to officially announce that we have further added to our wide array of certification schemes with BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems.

This scheme – created by the British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE) – provides competency for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency lighting systems. The scheme has been split into these four modules to ensure that companies only gain registration for the modules for which they are competent to work.

As the show’s official installer partner, the leading certification body for the fire and security industries had initially planned to unveil our latest addition to our scope of certification at IFSEC/FIREX in June 2020 – having first been able to offer the scheme in May 2020. However, this unveiling was then pushed back until September 2020 once the shows were rearranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the rearranged dates now having been pushed back until next year, SSAIB have taken the decision to officially launch the scheme with an online presentation with Future Fire Systems Limited virtually, through the use of Microsoft Teams later this month – after the Essex-based organisation were the first to successfully navigate the application process for SSAIB’s latest scheme.

SSAIB utilised technology ahead of the national lockdown back in March to ensure that the certification needs of both existing and prospective SSAIB firms could be met throughout deeply uncertain times. Online forum events for registered firms and auditors’ meetings have also been a huge success for the organisation, so the decision has been taken to use the Microsoft Teams platform to recognise the achievements of the first SSAIB-registered firm to achieve certification for BAFE SP203-4.

Future Fire Systems Limited are a new SSAIB-registered firm, having achieved maintenance-only certification for both SP203-1 and SP203-4 following their audit in July 2020 – after SSAIB’s decision to carry on working throughout lockdown allowed new companies to achieve certification during the on-going COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

SSAIB chief executive Alex Carmichael commented: “It gives me great pleasure to say that SSAIB are now officially able to certificate companies looking for SP203-4 certification for emergency lighting systems.

“A lot of work went in behind the scenes to get this latest component of our fire certification schemes up and running in May of this year, which we had looked forward to celebrating properly at the premier security and fire events in the industry at IFSEC and FIREX a month later.

“However, with two failed attempts at being able to officially launch the scheme in this way due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we looked at how we could successfully incorporate technology once again – in keeping with the rest of 2020 for SSAIB – and we decided that would celebrate the achievements of Future Fire Systems Limited as being the inaugural firm to achieve SP203-4 certification through SSAIB.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Future Fire Systems Limited for achieving SP203-4 certification and I hope they are the first of many SSAIB firms to successfully navigate themselves through this process.”

BAFE chief executive Stephen Adams added: “BAFE are delighted that SSAIB have added the SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems Scheme to their scope of assessment. SSAIB has seen considerable growth in the fire safety market and this addition will provide further access for the industry to become third-party certificated to offer safe and competent work for emergency lighting systems.

“It is especially crucial that these systems are not overlooked during this unprecedented time, with COVID-19, and are maintained appropriately to keep people safe in the event of any emergency. Only by specifying third-party certificated providers can you be sure of their evidential competency to deliver a compliant and well maintained system.”

For more information on BAFE SP203-4 Emergency Lighting Systems and how to apply for certification through SSAIB, please visit

Posted: 02/12/2020 more >