THE Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA), as part of the process to amend the PSRA Act, will engage stakeholders in consultation today.
The proposed changes to the legislation aims to establish a local industry, which operates at internationally accepted standards.
In a recent interview with JIS News, Executive Director of the PSRA Roselyn Campbell said today’s discussions follow a consultative process in March 2014, through which the authority successfully revised the registration and licensing fees for security firms and individuals in a seamless manner.
“The objective of this consultation is to foster an alignment of the amendments to the Act with international best practices and develop a multi-sectoral approach to the standardising of training and certification of security guards. If they are certified and it is through a standardised process, this will develop the competencies and respect that the industry will garner,” she pointed out.
Campbell said it is important to establish a “verifiable process” regarding the training of security guards. Persons in the industry are able to access training in-house, through the HEART Trust/NTA, as well as City and Guilds.
“We are hoping that more companies will buy in to the necessity to develop a cadre of certified and evidence-based training for security guards,” she added.
The PSRA executive director told JIS News that the agency would also like to rid the industry of the belief that the public and private sector security companies operate in isolation.
“All across the world private security companies are being integrated into the nation security architecture and we can do no less than observe those best practices, especially if we are going to overcome this crime problem,” she said.
Chairman of the PSRA, retired assistant commissioner of police Derrick Cochrane said the move to amend the legislation is in recognition that the security industry is dynamic and ever-changing.
He said the consultation with the stakeholders is intended to bridge the divide in the industry “and to point them to the changes on the horizon, especially with the (opportunities from the development of the) logistics hub. We wish to highlight the challenges and opportunities that it will present, just to get them in that mindset,”
The consultation, which will be held at the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston and involves collaboration with the American Society for Industrial Security, will be addressed by security minister Peter Bunting.
Under the PSRA Act (1992), the authority has jurisdiction over the operations of contract security organisations, propriety security organisations, security trainers, private security guards and investigators.
It is also authorised to consider and determine applications for registration, licensing and renewal of licensing of individuals and organisations and is also empowered to grant, suspend or cancel licences or registration card.