Crowd Management Academy offers drone surveillance training

drone surveillance trainingAn innovative new drone surveillance training course for organisations intending to use drones for public space surveillance has been launched by Belfast-based Crowd Management Academy.

Linking up with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved commercial drone operator Crowded Space Drones, the tailored drone surveillance training course allows candidates to complete the HABC Level 2 Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry (QCF), which in turn allows them to obtain an SIA Public Space Surveillance (PSS) licence.

An SIA licence must be obtained for any organisation operating cameras in public spaces for the purposes of protection of people and property, public safety, security, crime prevention or crime detection.

Under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 any person who undertakes surveillance of public space for the purposes of security, crime detection of crime prevention under contract must hold an SIA PSS licence. Those who are using existing fixed cameras to protect their own property or employer’s property are exempt.

Andrew McQuillan, a CAA approved Drone Pilot, said, ‘Unmanned Aircraft, aka drones, are becoming more widespread in their use across the United Kingdom and indeed globally. There are so many different tasks that drones are able to do safer, cheaper and more reliably. When a drone pilot is flying they for the purposes of security, public safety or crime prevention and detection for a client, they should recognise that the cameras attached to their drone turn it into a form of CCTV camera. This is a really positive thing as it means pilots can replace existing CCTV cameras which are geographically and height restricted by where they are mounted’.

He added, ‘This joint drone surveillance training course has been designed to ensure drone pilots comply with the Private Security Industry Act and other important legislation covering these types of flights such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and Air Navigation Order. It should also make them much more competitive in this business as they can specifically target organisations who require such services such as private investigators and public authorities’.

The first course took place in early May at DronePort, Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland’s dedicated drone airport and the former site of RAF Ballykelly.

For more information, go to 


Important changes to the SIA application process

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is launching a new self-service website, aiming to simplify the licence application process and introducing the new ways of applying for licences and managing your licensing requirements.


From spring 2016, all licence applications and renewals will be completed through the new self-service website via your personal or business account. Your new online account will give you greater control of the application process, acting as a central hub for all information regarding your licence.

It is important that applicants and businesses are aware of these changes and confident with the new procedures. To clarify how the new self-service website will work, and introduce some of the key functions they have added to make the application process quicker and easier, the SIA has produced a series of video tutorials to help you understand what it will be like to use the new system.

To ensure that you are sufficiently prepared for the upcoming changes, we encourage you to use these videos for both your own instruction and to communicate the changes to your colleagues/learners.

Further advice and information regarding the new self-service website is available on the SIA website:

SIA announces changes to security licence applications

security licence applicationsThe Security Industry Authority (SIA) has announced a series of changes aimed to simply and improve the security licence applications process.

The changes, which are due to be implemented this spring, are part of a ‘digital by default’ approach that will see applications and renewals completed entirely online.

The key changes include:

  • New services for approved contractors (Licence Management and Licence Assist), which will provide businesses with greater control of the licensing of their employees, along with special permissions to carry out certain tasks
  • Allowing other businesses to pay for licence applications with the SIA’s Licence Pay Only service, as well as create customised ‘watch lists’ on their improved Licence Status Checker to monitor the licence status of the individuals they are interested in
  • Removing bulk paper applications and telephone renewals
  • Managing the majority of their queries online, with a call handling centre for complex queries
  • Licence applications and renewals to be completed entirely online.

A full presentation outlining the changes is available here.

There is also a suite of information concerning the changes on the SIA’s website (

SIA clarifies identification requirements after DVLA changes

DVLAThe Security Industry Authority (SIA) has clarified its identification requirements for licence applications after changes introduced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The clarification comes after the DVLA stopped issuing paper counterparts to the driving-licence photocard this June in England, Scotland and Wales, causing some confusion amongst Centres as to what would be accepted as part of the SIA’s Group A and Group B identification requirements.

After enquiries to HABC from Centres, the SIA has confirmed that it will accept:

  • A driving licence photocard and its paper counterpart as a valid Group A document regardless of whether they were issued by the DVLA in Great Britain or the DVA in Northern Ireland
  • Just the photocard as a valid Group A document if it was issued by the DVLA in Great Britain. However, it will not accept it as a valid Group A document if it was issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland
  • A Northern Ireland DVA photocard on its own as a valid Group B document
  • A paper counterpart on its own as a Group B document, regardless of whether it was issues by the DVLA in Great Britain or the DVA in Northern Ireland.

The SIA will not accept a two-part driving licence as both a Group A and Group B document.

For further information, click here.

SIA requests Centres double-check learners’ details

sia-logoThe Security Industry Authority (SIA) has requested that Centres take extra care when uploading the details of learners sitting assessments for licence-linked qualifications.

Currently, the SIA is experiencing increased failure rates for licence applications because learners’ details are recorded incorrectly – something that has an impact on the SIA, training Centres and of course learners.

HABC is asking that all its Approved Centres double-check and accurately record learners’ full names exactly as shown on their identity documents to avoid unnecessary delays, as names that do not match identity documents will be returned.

If you have any queries about any stage of the process, please contact your HABC account manager.

Safeguarding learning – dealing with fraud and malpractice

Safeguarding learningAs part of an ongoing series, HABC Strategic Director Chris Daniel looks at the various issues affecting the training sector, helping you to make sense of the numerous rules and regulations whilst providing tips and guidance.

In this article, Chris looks at the issue of fraud and malpractice, and how Awarding Organisations such as HABC safeguard learning and qualifications.

You may well have seen the recent BBC Inside Out programme regarding fraud and malpractice within the private security industry. The programme highlights some of the issues and practices of unscrupulous centres whose understanding or implementation of requirements is sacrificed for short-term gain.

HABC has always stated our upmost commitment towards preventing, finding and dealing with malpractice or fraud. Our strategy has always been to eradicate these practices in order to secure a long-term confidence in the qualifications that we offer. To achieve this, HABC has the most rigorous and stringent risk-management safeguards in place. Our objective for these safeguards is to protect the interests of learners and the validity and integrity of all of our qualifications.

HABC has one of the largest quality assurance department’s of all approved Awarding Organisations in relation to the number of qualifications awarded. The teams in the department work tirelessly to prevent malpractice and conduct thorough investigations if we have the slightest suspicion a misdemeanour has been committed. A good example of how this works in practice can be demonstrated by the fact that warning generators created by HABC’s system previously alerted us to one of the centres referred to in the BBC investigation featured on the Inside-Out programme. This led to HABC refusing an application for centre approval from this organisation in 2013.

HABC does not rest on its laurels, and are well aware that the potential for fraud and malpractice can never be entirely eliminated. To address this issue, HABC has many comprehensive and robust procedures and processes in place to help prevent, identify and address these serious concerns above and beyond those undertaken by some other Awarding Organisations approved to award licence-linked security qualifications. These include having a separate approval process for tutors, placing undercover mystery shoppers on full courses, undertaking regular unannounced audits and operating a policy that every single piece of assessment documentation is scrutinised via a 10-stage checking process.

With our strategy and commitment towards world-class customer service, HABC’s approach towards malpractice is one of honesty and transparency. We realise that sometimes issues can arise in centres. In these instances we will work alongside a centre to correct these issues. However, centres cannot become complacent because a zero-tolerance policy is applied if HABC find evidence of deliberate or sustained malpractice. Be assured, centre and/or tutor approval will be removed from guilty parties along with the matter being reported to relevant authorities and Awarding Organisations. If evidence of criminal activity is found this will also be reported to the police.

HABC is regularly inspected and audited by the relevant regulators and the feedback is consistently that HABC’s practices, policies and procedures in place are extremely strong and adhere to regulatory requirements. Additionally, we are often approached for guidance in dealing with matters involving malpractice and fraud. HABC has also given formal presentations setting out our robust approach to other Awarding Organisations operating in the security sector and to our regulators.

So in summary, HABC will not hesitate to take action against any centre or person found to be actively involved in malpractice or fraud, and has done so on numerous occasions in the past. When this has happened we ensure that we inform our regulators and other Awarding Organisations in accordance with our regulatory requirements. Our zero-tolerance approach also dictates that we will not approve any company or person known to have a history of malpractice/fraud.

If you have any questions or issues you would like addressed by Chris, please leave a response in the comments section and we’ll contact you directly.

New qualification to help learners meet event security requirements

A new qualification has been launched that will help learners take their first steps in event security and provide employers with the well-trained event stewarding staff they require.

The HABC Level 2 Certificate in Event Security Operations (QCF) will give learners an understanding of what employers need them to know in order to do the job effectively and safely, combined with knowledge of health and safety and customer service.

event security requirementsDeveloped by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) with input from the UK Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), the Level 2 Certificate is a knowledge-based qualification supported by elements of practical demonstration of performance. The qualification will allow employees to work at events including festivals and shows, and is supported by the SGSA, meaning it also satisfies the minimum level of training required for stewards to work independently within a sports ground environment.

AUSSE photo3 (resized)Chris Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘The HABC Level 2 Certificate in Event Security Operations (QCF) covers all the areas that employers have told us they require staff to know such as crowd management, health and safety and customer service, along with optional but vital subjects like how to use radios properly and safeguarding children and young people. It can also be used to go on and achieve other relevant qualifications in the sector such as the HABC Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Spectator Safety (QCF), helping learners to build their portfolio of transferrable skills so that they can contribute even more to their organisations’.

For more information on the qualification, click here.

Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations, offering over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.
2. The UKCMA represent the interests of key commercial organisations whose primary business is providing crowd management and event security services, with a particular focus on promoting the use of competent, professional and safe crowd management suppliers at events requiring crowd management skills.
3. The SGSA is a government body that took over the responsibilities of the Football Licensing Authority and the critical role it played in transforming spectator safety at football grounds in the UK. The SGSA carries out a range of statutory functions in relation to football in England and Wales, and advisory functions in relation to other sports within the UK and internationally.
4. The minimum level of training required for stewards to work independently within a sports ground environment is recommend by the SGSA’s Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds (Green Guide).
Media Contact: Mark Phillips, Communications Manager
Tel: 0845 2260350 ~ Email:

HABC approved provider takes centre court for Andy Murray wedding

Andy Murray Core Training and Security Ltd and its learners found themselves centre court this spring after being chosen to provide security for the wedding on the tennis champ Andy Murray.

The Lanarkshire-based training provider, which was established earlier this year by director Tony Hendry, was asked to step in for Scotland’s wedding of the year between Wimbledon-winner and London Olympics gold medallist Andy Murray and long-term partner Kim Sears.

Tony Hendry said, ‘ As a successful HABC approved centre specialising in security qualifications, I decided that instead of passing my students onto other security suppliers I would set up my own security company. I’ve been working within the industry many years so had many contacts.

Which is why earlier this year in January I started trading as Core Training and Security Ltd, formerly GTS Training, and hit the ground running by taking over the security contracts in the West of Scotland from my previous employer.

At the end of February, my office got a call from a hotel in Perthshire asking if I could supply security staff for an event they were holding in April, and if I could join them for a meeting. I went to the hotel along with one of my senior colleagues. I delivered a presentation on what we do, and they seemed impressed by our experience in the industry, how we trained our own staff and the obvious quality of my team.

At first, they were very coy about what the event was and told me that if I was engaged to carry out the job, I would be entrusted to keep quiet about the event’.

He continued, ‘Having worked on the proposal and tendered for it, I received an email to say it been successful and I was invited back to the hotel to go over details with the client.

You can imagine my shock when I walked into the meeting and met with Miss Kim Sears , her family , wedding planners and representatives of world famous tennis star, Andy Murray. I realised that this was no ordinary job.

Many weeks of planning went it the wedding from our side. It started off supplying management and staff at the Cromlix hotel, the wedding venue, but as the event grew, so did the security demand. It ended up a four-day job, at various locations, including Dunblane Cathedral, from the Thursday through to the Sunday, involving a total of 52 staff for the full event.

The event was a major success and the plaudits from the client and the families are still ringing in our ears. We’ve received many letters of thanks and congratulations from parties associated with the event for our efforts in ensuring the security of the wedding and the safety of the families was prioritised’.

For more information on Core Training and Security Ltd, go to

PRESS RELEASE: New security qualifications launched for Scotland

SecurityA new suite of security qualifications specific to Scotland has been launched by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) for learners hoping to become licensed security operatives.

The introduction of the new qualifications comes after one of the largest ever reviews into learning in the sector by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), followed by the introduction of similarly updated qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in January 2015.

The review affected security licence-linked units, meaning that qualifications containing these have now been withdrawn and replaced.

The new qualifications are:

HABC Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry (Public Space Surveillance) (Scotland) at SCQF Level 6;
HABC Award for Working as a Door Supervisor within the Private Security Industry (Scotland) at SCQF Level 6;
HABC Award for Working as a Security Officer within the Private Security Industry (Scotland) at SCQF Level 6; and
HABC Award for Upskilling a Door Supervisor within the Private Security Industry (Scotland) at SCQF Level 6.

As the new qualifications contain updated content, deliverers of them must ensure their training programmes are revised to meet the new learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Schemes of work and lesson plans must also be updated to reflect the changes.

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘As a result of the SIA review, we have introduced a completely new suite of qualifications that will continue to provide employers with the skilled staff they require. HABC was actively involved in the development work alongside other SIA-approved Awarding Organisations, helping to create the new units that make up the qualifications and working with our Centres to ensure their views were reflected throughout’.

A number of new learning materials have also been launched to support the qualifications, including the Working as a Door Supervisor, Working as a Security Officer and Working as a CCTV Operator books and training presentations, written by security experts Andy Walker and Gordon Tyerman.

For more information on the changes or to offer the qualifications, click here, call 0845 226 0350 or email


PRESS RELEASE: New learning materials for updated security qualifications

A new range of learning resources has been launched by to help educators and learners with recently updated security qualifications.

The new qualifications were launched after a review into learning in the sector in 2014 by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) which affected licence-linked security units, and resulted in qualifications containing these being withdrawn and replaced with immediate effect on 1 January 2015.

The materials – which have been written by security experts Andy Walker and Gordon Tyerman (CCTV only) – support the updated Level 2 qualifications launched on 1 January 2015 by awarding organisations, including Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC), currently the largest provider of SIA licence-linked qualifications.

They include:

Working as a Door Supervisor Coursebook
Working as a Door Supervisor Presentation
Working as a Security Officer Coursebook
Working as a Security Officer Presentation
Working as a CCTV Operator Coursebook
Working as a CCTV Operator Presentation

Chris Sprenger, Managing Director, said, ‘The new security qualifications have been updated to create a completely new suite of qualifications that meet the needs of learners and employers, and better reflect the requirements of those organisations operating in the sector.

The materials we have created are an absolutely vital resource in helping learners, educators and training providers move across to the new Level 2 security qualifications whilst ensuring they have all the necessary information and knowledge required for success.

In Andy Walker and Gordon Tyerman we have two of the most respected and authoritative experts in the field, and who have been able to explain concisely and coherently the changes and the wider content of the Level 2 qualifications’.

Each book comes in a 100-page plus, A4, firmback and gloss-finish format with full colour illustrations and photos. The presentations, which are available as a PC CD-ROM and can be viewed using Microsoft PowerPoint, complement the books and are ideal for group learning.

Prices start at £9.95 for each of the books and £175 for each of the presentations (exclusive of VAT and postage and packing) with discounts available for multiple orders.

To order, call on 0845 2260350, email or click here.