Press release

Risks to private security industry qualifications: action taken

Ofqual today (31 January 2017) reports the actions it has taken about concerns of potential malpractice in this high-risk sector.

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The qualifications regulator for England examined how awarding organisations were managing risks in the delivery of security industry qualifications covering a range of occupations, including door supervision and close protection. It found that some awarding organisations had inadequate arrangements with the training providers (also called centres) delivering their qualifications. These deficiencies increased the risk of malpractice, and there was evidence of assessment malpractice occurring in some centres.

In response, the regulator has required awarding organisations offering security industry qualifications to tackle inadequate centre controls where identified. They have also been required to address any weaknesses found in their approaches to the design, delivery and award of qualifications that threatened future non-compliance with the regulator’s rules.

Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, said:

The public expect that those who gain qualifications to work in the private security industry have been rigorously trained and assessed. Our thorough review of this sector gave us a number of causes for concern. The actions we have taken re-emphasise the responsibilities awarding organisations have in qualification delivery. Those responsibilities should never be underestimated, and are especially important where the risks of failure could expose the public to potential harm.

Notes to Editors

  1. The report called ‘Licence-linked qualifications used in private security’ can be found on Ofqual’s website.
  2. This report reflects audits undertaken during 2015 and further work in 2016.
  3. A series of actions have been planned to check awarding organisations’ ongoing compliance with our rules.
  4. We have discussed our findings and actions with the Security Industry Authority and we will explore with them how we can strengthen centre controls further.
  5. We have liaised closely with the Home Office throughout the period of this review, and during the production of this report.
  6. We are reviewing whether there are other qualifications and sectors where there may be similar risks.
Published 31 January 2017