Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

SSAIB are delighted to have been selected by Surveillance Camera Commissioner (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/surveillance-camera-commissioner) to provide a third party certification service that enables local authorities and those operating public space camera surveillance systems to demonstrate their conformance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 introduced regulation of public space surveillance cameras in England and Wales. As a result the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice was issued by the Secretary of State under Section 30 of the Act, to ensure that the use of cameras in public places is regulated and only used in pursuit of a specified purpose. The Code aims to balance the need for cameras in public places with individual’s right to privacy.

The Code applies to the use of surveillance camera systems that operate in public places in England and Wales, regardless of whether or not there is any live viewing, or recording of images or information or associated data.

The Code states that a ‘relevant authority’ must follow a duty to have regard to the guidance in the Code when, in exercising any of its functions, it considers that the future deployment or continued deployment of surveillance camera systems to observe public places may be appropriate. This can include the operation or use of any surveillance camera systems, or the use or processing of images or other information obtained through the system.

As part of the Commissioner’s role to raise standards, he has produced a Self- Assessment Tool, downloadable from the SCC website, which enables organisations to find out how well they comply with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. A downloadable copy of the Code of Practice is also available from the website.

Certification against the Code of Practice now takes this a step further. It enables organisations to be audited against the code by a third party with the view to receiving a certification mark and a certificate issued by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner. It is anticipated that this process will help to raise the standard in the industry and enable organisations to demonstrate their compliance with the code of practice.

How to achieve Certification:

There shall be a 2-step process towards gaining full certification:

  • Step 1 a desktop review conducted by SSAIB of the organisations completed Self-Assessment, which may require the provision of additional information relevant to the CCTV scheme. Successful completion of Step 1 will remain valid for a period of 12 months and be subject to certification issued by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner;
  • Step 2 an on-site audit (competed during the 12 month Step 1 period) undertaken by SSAIB. If Step 2 is successful then full certification by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner shall be issued and remain valid for a period of 5 years, unless otherwise revoked.

Following full certification the organisation will be required to undertake an Annual Review, which SSAIB will complete as a desktop exercise similar to the Step 1 process. 

At the end of the 5-year period, the organisation shall re-apply to SSAIB for full certification and complete the Step 2 process.

How to apply:

For further information on this certification scheme, details on our fees and an SSAIB application form please contact us as follows:

Telephone: 0191 2963242

Email: ssaib@ssaib.co.uk