The HELP team is fully supportive of national and multilateral initiatives to raise standards for companies operating in hostile environments. We recognise that accredited certification, for one of the three international standards of direct relevance to operations in hostile environments, demonstrates that a company has been subjected to a rigorous third-party accredited certification audit against that standard.
The three security standards, of direct relevance to operations in hostile environments and recognised by the International Code of Conduct Association, are:
PSC.1 – U.S. standard for companies providing security services on land.
ISO 18788 – International standard for companies providing security services on land.
ISO 28007 – International standard for companies providing maritime security services in the High-Risk Area.
As a HELP policy holder, you may be eligible for assistance with the process of gaining accredited certification. This may include accessing appropriate certification bodies and a contribution towards the cost of certification. Your broker will be able to provide you with further details.
HELP policy holders are expected to be compliant with evolving human rights legislation, regulations, and principles as relevant and applicable to security in complex environments. These include the UN Global Compact, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, the Modern Slavery Act, and the Montreux Document.
When assessing the insurance requirements for companies the HELP team will take full account of membership of relevant associations that demonstrate a commitment to human rights and compliance notably the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) and the Security in Complex Environments Group (SCEG).
International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA)
The ICoCA’s mission is to raise private security industry standards and practices that respect human rights and international humanitarian law and to engage with key stakeholders to achieve widespread adherence to its Code globally.
The HELP team is fully supportive of the work being undertaken by the ICoCA to build the capacity of private security companies to implement the Code of Conduct and become certified Members of ICoCA.
In assessing insurance coverages required by a company the Insurers will take full account of ICoCA membership and will differentiate between an Affilate, a Transitional and a Certified Member. ICoCA Certification is recognised as the ‘gold standard’ for the provision of responsible security.
“ICoCA Certification demonstrates a commitment by companies to the provision of responsible security that respects human rights and humanitarian law”
Jamie Williamson Executive Director of ICoCA
From experience Private Security Companies and their supply chain buy independent evaluations either through choice (to reduce the risk) or as a consequence of legal requirements. Selecting an accredited Certification Body to carry out the audit is an essential tool for decision-making and risk management:
Organisations can save time and money by selecting an Accredited Certification Body and therefore a competent supplier. Using an accredited body to carry out an independent evaluation helps demonstrate due diligence in the event of legal action.
Accreditation to internationally recognised standards can provide a competitive advantage and facilitate access to export markets internationally. For example, full membership of the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) requires accredited certification.
Certification to PSC1, ISO18788 or ISO28007 must be carried out by an accredited Certification Body. These standards are important and clients considering contracting with a security company often ask for evidence of certification which has been produced by an internationally accredited certification body.
There are currently three Certification Bodies accredited under the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Forum (IAF MLA) by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Those CBs are authorised to issue accredited certification to security companies who have successfully completed a rigorous third-party audit process which covers from Board level out to the physical point of service delivery – often in austere and challenging environments, covering policy, procedures, and practice, and encompassing human rights obligations.
The HELP team are supportive of the ICoCA’s board decision to explore additional pathways to Certification. Subject to relevant National Accreditation Body rules and national regulations ICoCA intend to accept evidence of certification to ICoCA recognised standards – PSC1, ISO 18788 and ISO 28007 from independent certification bodies that have achieved accreditation to ISO 17021.
As a HELP policy, you may be eligible for assistance with the process of gaining accredited certification this may include accessing appropriate certification bodies and a contribution towards the cost of certification. Your broker will be able to provide you with further details.
UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies for PSC1, ISO 18788 and ISO 28007