Wednesday 28 October 2020

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Given the unprecedented circumstances, to provide further support to NSI approved companies during the crisis regular updates regarding COVID-19 will be available here, via our social media channels (Twitter: @NSI_Approved, LinkedIn: search “NSI – National Security inspectorate”) and via Circular Letters accessible via the scheme pages in the approved company Login Area of the NSI website.

The security and fire safety sector is facing unparalleled challenges in this crisis and we recognise NSI approved companies are doing their utmost to protect the public, their customers’ people and property as well as their employees. 

The sector is critical in the protection of people, property and assets during the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the measures in place to help prevent the spread of the disease NSI approved companies are actively working to safeguard the interests of the public, in delivering essential services whilst respecting government guidance on social distancing.  Industry stakeholders including SIA, BSIA, FSA and SSAIB are wholly behind the professional private security sector at this time.

“Key Worker” Update:

NSI will continue to liaise with various government departments including the Home Office, the Department for Education, advocating alarm and fire detection system installers and various other expert workers in the sector are classed as “Key Workers” recognising their vital national role in support of the emergency services.

Recent NSI Communications:

“Key Worker” Government Definition:

Currently those companies providing a service to an institution or business classified as critical, e.g. hospitals, social care, supermarkets and the food supply chain, national infrastructure and utilities, and their employees are already designated “Key Workers” as the services they provide are required to enable these public spaces to continue to function safely.

See the full government list of designated critical workers.

“Key Workers” within our industry – NSI View as at 30th March 2020

“Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) Operators” facilitating Police response to intruder and hold-up alarms are included in the above definition.  “Key Worker” status is important to continuing the handling of alarm signals and notifications of confirmed alarms to the Police, ensuring the facilitation of Police response to intruder and hold-up alarms activations.

“Engineers” ensuring correct operation of fire detection and intruder alarm systems are also included in the above definition.  “Key Worker” status is important to enable attendance to critical and emergency calls-outs, ensuring essential work can be completed in the public safety interest. It is not a ‘carte blanche’ to conduct routine activity that might contradict government policy on social distancing.

Security Industry Authority (SIA) License Holders

On 26th March 2020 Ian Todd SIA Chief Executive confirmed: SIA license holder “roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, also meet the critical worker definition. This would include, amongst other areas, the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises; the monitoring of similar through CCTV or other remote means; and the provision of alarm response centres including mobile units.” Read the full update from the SIA

Fire Industry Association

On 30th March: NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher stated “the NFCC certainly sees colleagues in the private sector helping to FRSs going during this time as Key Workers” – More 

Fire Protection Association

On 30th March: Fire Safety Personnel Named as Key Workers

NSI Approved Company Circular Letters

These can be accessed via the scheme pages in the approved company Login Area of the NSI website:

NSI 011 20 (Rev 4.1): NSI Policy on COVID-19 (during government ‘Stay Alert Phase’)

NSI 024 20: Guidelines for Remote Auditing (EMS and H&S approved companies)

NSI 023 20: Guidelines for Remote Auditing (All ACS assessed companies)

NSI 022 20: Guidelines for Remote Auditing (for all Gold Services approved companies inc. those with Passport Specification)

NSI 021 20: Guidelines for Remote Auditing (for NSI NACOSS Gold and Gold Fire Safety approved companies)

NSI 020 20: Working Safely During COVID-19 (all NSI approved companies and applicants)

NSI 014 20: NSI Response to COVID-19: Suspension of Audits and Assessments in April and May 2020

NSI 013 20: Maintaining ACS Approval during the COVID-19 Pandemic

NSI 012 30: Corrective maintenance response times and preventive maintenance achievement rates in light of the COVID-19 situation

Industry information sources:

SIA: Latest News:








1/4/20 FPA Free Guide -Security and Arson Protection Advice for Building and Business Owners and Insurers

Fire Sector Federation

IFSEC Global

Professional Security

Government Information:

Please refer to GOV.UK Guidance for latest information and advice:

30th March – Advice for Employers Carrying out Right to Work Checks During the Coronavirus:

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