Success for ACT online learning at BCI Awards

We’re immensely proud to have been involved in the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) online learning development alongside Marks & Spencer on behalf of NaCTSO.

And we’re delighted that the ACT online learning took the Continuity and Resilience Innovation 2019 award at the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Awards last week.

Congrats to all involved!

So far, a quarter of a million people have completed the ACT online learning, which is completely FREE.

So, if you’d like to join them, go to to find out more.


Update to SIA ID requirements

Centres may have noticed that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has updated its ID requirements for i) first-time licence applicants, and ii) those that are renewing their licence.

We can confirm that the current ID requirements for qualification certification remain unchanged, however, there are likely to be changes in the future to align with the SIA’s ID requirements.

We will ensure that we provide centres with sufficient notice of any changes before they occur.

In the meantime, you can speak to your account manager for further clarification or go to the SIA’s website to view the updated licensing requirements:

PRESS RELEASE: Support for protective services on apprenticeships

Organisations working in protective services looking to make the most of their apprenticeship levy contributions will now have help from one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations.

Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the government to provide end-point assessment (EPA) services for the new Custody and Detention Officer Standard, and will be offering employers a full range of assessment services to help them achieve the most from their apprenticeship levy payments.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 means larger employers have to pay into a central fund that must be used for apprenticeship training, while smaller employers can claim 90 per cent of their apprenticeship costs from the government.

The changes also mean new apprenticeship standards like those in security now use EPA instead of continuous assessment, requiring individual apprentices to have their work and competence assessed towards the end of their learning against criteria established by groups of employers known as ‘trailblazers’.

Jason Sprenger, Highfield Chief Executive, said, ‘Many employers are coming to terms with the introduction of the new apprenticeship standards and in particular the apprenticeship levy, so we understand that it is a complex and changing training environment for many.

Highfield’s approach has been to do the hard work, so employers don’t have to. With our recognition as an end-point assessment organisation, we are in a position to provide specific assessment services for those businesses already taking on apprentices or considering it.

He added, ‘Apprentices are great for business and can provide a welcome boost to staff development and productivity when it is most needed, but it’s vital that organisations understand from day one how to make sure the changes are of benefit to them and their employees’.

For more information, go to

You can also contact Highfield at or by calling 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

Regular social media updates are available at and 

Notes to editors:

  1. Highfield Qualifications has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) for the Level 3 Custody and Detention Officer Standard. Highfield’s apprenticeship services are delivered through its Highfield Assessment brand.
  2. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s top five awarding organisations (AO). It is winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016 and Awarding Organisation of the Year in 2018.


Highfield Products – 5 top tips for effective training delivery


effective training delivery5 top tips for effective training delivery

At Highfield we’ve been helping tutors and trainers to maximise their classroom sessions for four decades. Initially we focused on food safety training, utilising our chairman Richard Sprenger’s extensive knowledge of the subject to provide leading resources for enforcement officers, food safety trainers and, of course, learners.

Over time our range of training materials has evolved, as has the range of subjects we cover. We now offer books, training presentations, revision cards, DVDs and e-learning in subjects as diverse as food safety, health and safety, security, first aid and customer service.

Yet, despite this growth, at the heart of our product development has always been this question:  ‘What do our customers want?’ We pride ourselves on providing products that answer this question, giving exactly what the trainer and learner wants and needs from a specific resource.

A key tool that we find trainers and learners both engage with is a well-designed training presentation. An effectively designed training presentation should provide the content to engage, educate and inspire, as well as save the tutor time by covering all the required learning outcomes. But, of course, a presentation is only a single piece of the training mix.  

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for getting the most from your classroom session.

1)      The five P’s

Proper preparation prevents poor performance! It’s an old adage but it’s true. Before you deliver any training always take the time to prepare. Know your subject and take the time to ensure the information within your presentation is accurate and relevant to the learners you are teaching.

2)      Be credible

Linked to the proper preparation, ensure that the information you provide is up to date, is based on the latest technical information available, reflects the latest legislation and accounts for industry best practice.

If you’re delivering training using a Highfield training presentation, check that the edition you’re using is up to date. We review our presentations regularly and share product update documents, which detail any changes, on our website.

We design our presentations in PowerPoint to allow our trainers to edit and adapt them to suit their preferred style. Adding relevant and up-to-date news articles and video footage can be the difference between a good training session and a great one!

3)      Motivate and inspire

Know your audience! It’s important that you understand your class and the type of learner that you’re dealing with. What is the background of the class? What industry do they work in? What do they care about?

Once you can answer these simple questions it should allow you to keep a class engaged and inspired. Keep the content relevant, skim over information that isn’t relevant or adapt it to suit the group you’re teaching. Use the correct level of language – can everyone in the group speak English?

Will learners go back to the workplace and implement what you have taught? Ensure information sticks by making use of relevant interactive and group exercises. Allow your learners to share their experiences as well as listen to your anecdotes.  

4)      Time management

Practise, rehearse and practise again! Stay aware of the time so that you don’t need to rush through your training. Don’t linger on the same topic for too long or allow too many distractions, try to control the number of questions a group can ask.

Keep introductions short – especially for large groups – and have a plan for late arrivals or equipment malfunctions. Can you convert group exercises to class questions, reduce the number of stories you tell, or provide homework?

If you are using a Highfield training presentation, make sure you study it before use. We often provide more exercises than you will need, so decide which ones are essential for your learners and which can be optional.

5)      Go the extra mile!

Nobody wants to endure death by PowerPoint! You’re not narrating an audiobook – you’ve got a live audience. Vary your training and don’t rely solely on the training presentation for your content. Tell relevant and interesting stories that share your experience, involve the class and ask them to share their own stories. Make your session memorable. If your session is memorable, the information you share is more likely be retained. Remember to make use of your speaker/presenter notes, and interactivity. Recap the learning regularly, and make use of formative assessment, such as Highfield ABCD cards at the end of each module. Ensure your learners understand what they have been taught so that there are no nasty surprises by the time they sit their assessment.

Highfield offers training presentations in a wide range of subjects including first aid, food safety and HACCP, health and safety, fire safety, allergens, security and more.

If you think our professionally designed, time-saving training presentations might help your training delivery, take a look at our range of training presentations on or call 0845 226 0350/01302 363277.

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.


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.