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NZSA CEO: Developments and Changes within the Security Industry

NZ Security Magazine, Aug/Sep 2017

Te Papa - venue for the 2017 NZSA Security Industry Awards Night (Detail from image by JShook)Te Papa - venue for the 2017 NZSA Security Industry Awards Night (Detail from image by JShook)


NZSA CEO Gary Morrison provides an update on New Zealand Security Association activities in this abridged version of his address in the July 2017 edition of the NZSA Connect Newsletter.


As I have been out meeting with our members, non-members and industry stakeholders, it has become very apparent this year that our industry is going through some significant developments and change – and for the better.


Focus on Margin versus Revenues

There has been a noticeable move by a number of companies (and in particular the larger players) to place a higher emphasis on achieving realist margins and, when necessary, walking away from contracts dictated by the lowest charge rates. 

Whilst in some cases, other providers have been happy to step in and maintain the same low charge rates, it will be interesting to see if service standards can be sustained. There has been evidence of customers accepting the need to recognise the costs associated with quality.


Growth in Alliance Partnerships

For some customers, and particularly multinationals and those with national networks, their security needs can be multifaceted, wide-ranging and outside of the service capability of any single provider. For such customers, this obviously raises risks around non-integrated service solutions and the need to deal with multiple organisations.

To address this issue, we are now seeing the development and introduction of Alliance Partnerships, bringing together security integrators, manpower services, data specialists and other specialist providers, such as investigators, and with the ability to provide an integrated service solution.


PSR – Protective Security Requirements

Whilst the introduction of PSR is still very much in its infancy, the mandatory approach to its implementation and measurement has seen a strong uptake within government agencies. This has in turn flowed through to tender documentation with many (admittedly not all) RFPs for government and local government agencies contracts issued this year including either PSR compliance and/or NZSA membership as a pre-requirement.

We have also seen a number of these agencies engaging with the NZSA (as the peak industry representative) prior to issuing their RFPs to ensure they understand the legislative and non-legislative requirements for security providers and the developments within industry training.


NZSA Audit Programme (Accredited Member status)

The new audit programme is up and running with four audits completed over May and June, and a further fourteen audits scheduled over the next three months. While the audits to date have focused on PSR and to a lesser degree, Health and Safety Capability, all codes of practice have been reviewed and updated. Upcoming audits include Alarm Monitoring and Electronic Security Systems.

It is also very pleasing to see those members who have undertaken the new audit process commenting how the audit has assisted them in defining their internal policies and documentation and provided a real point of difference when tendering for new contracts. Businesses that have successfully completed the NZSA audit programme and extended their accredited member status include Aotea Security, Armourguard Security, HSM Group Holdings Ltd, and Rhino Fire & Security.


Industry Training

In the Security Overview 2017 document prepared by Skills for inclusion within their Annual Report, Skills has identified their three key projects for 2017 as: Qualification and programme development of NZC Security; Qualification and programme development of NZC Electronic Security; and Programme development of NZC Contact Centre for Security Communication Centre

I am pleased to say that the NZSA has been instrumental in promoting these projects (and in particular via the Industry Forums held this year) and working with Skills and the industry to ensure that the qualifications and programmes being developed meet the needs of our industry workers and employers.

A key foundation in progressing the Electronic Security qualification is the linking of the programme to an industry apprenticeship scheme, and I am very confident that this will in turn generate a significant boost in the number of trainees enrolling for this qualification.


Workshop – Influencing Health and Safety Change

Following meetings between the CTU, NZSA and Worksafe to discuss recommendations included within the Coroner’s Report into the death of Security Officer Charanpreet Dhaliwal, Worksafe offered to host a workshop focused on influencing positive health and safety change and involving a number of security providers and stakeholders.

The workshop was held in late June and included owners/senior managers from security companies along with representatives from the Ministry of Justice, PSPLA, Worksafe, Skills, Unions (CTU, Unite and E tu) and the NZSA.

It was disappointing to see that five of the invited security providers failed to attend, portraying an image of apathy towards what is our highest priority – keeping our workers safe. Thankfully there was representation from Armourguard, Matrix Security, 24/7 Security and Watchdog Security, all of which provided balanced input and contributed to the success of the workshop.

All parties in attendance viewed the development of an Approved Code of Practice for the security industry as being a key element towards creating a positive health and safety change. Moving forward, the NZSA will project manage a number of initiatives involving industry stakeholders and focused on the collective development and implementation of an Approved Code of Practice that will provide enforceable standards.


Job Growth and Industry Resource

Meeting labour resource needs is the most significant issue facing the security industry. This is highlighted within the Skills Security Overview for 2017, which projects continued growth in required employee numbers at rates that are above national growth forecasts.

For many years the industry has been able to meet its labour needs from the large pool of migrants irrespective of how "fit for purpose" some of those candidates are. The current political landscape has however led to a tightening in the requirements for residency, and security providers are now having to consider differing strategies for attracting, recruiting and retaining staff in sufficient numbers.

A good example of this is Advanced Security Group, who recently featured within a NZ Herald article detailing how their 45 Auckland based staff receive an additional $2 per hour as a "special housing allowance" recognising the high cost of living in Auckland.

The NZSA is very mindful of the resource issue and will during this year launch a number of initiatives targeting new entrants to our industry and promoting security as a career pathway.  Those NZSA members that participated in the Workchoice days have already benefited from their interaction with potential employees, and we will be looking to extend our reach not only to school leavers but also to a wider audience.


Educational Seminars and Annual Awards

We are not too far away from what is one of the most important dates on the security diary with this year’s event to be held on Friday 25th August.

One question that was raised last year concerned the judging process and how those putting forward a nomination could be assured that the process is impartial. This year, we have three judges – Doug McCormick (Gallaghers and Chair of NZSA), Nick Dynon (Managing Editor, Defsec Media) and Gary Morrison (CEO, NZSA).

All nominations are pre-screened to ensure they met entry criteria and then recorded on standard template form with all reference to the employer (or any other distinguishing information) removed.

The judging panel then meets to review and grade the "template" nominations against the documented award criteria and with Doug holding the determining vote for any split decisions (which have yet to occur). This ensures that the decision is based on the attributes of the nominated party, and any possible influence or bias towards any employer is removed.


The Security Institute of New Zealand

Many of you will have seen the article in the NZ Security Magazine referring to the launch of this organisation. A statement issued by SINZ indicates they will focus on the professional and academic development of people working within security and they intend to become the “peak body for the NZ security industry”.

This has prompted some debate via social media, particularly around the cyclical nature of new organisations being created and the dangers of recreating the wheel, but as often happens on such sites, some comments also degenerated to becoming personality based.

It is not my intention to comment on the objectives of this organisation or the people behind it other than to say that the NZSA is very aware of the need to demonstrate value in membership and that we will remain focused on promoting the highest standards of efficiency, service and ethical behaviour of our members whilst enhancing the commercial success of businesses within the security sector.


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