Back in February this year, Skyguard were awarded the updated BS 8484: 2011 certification – the code of practice for the provision of lone worker device services. Skyguard’s service has been audited and approved against the original BS 8484 standard since 2010, but in early 2013, became one of the first suppliers to be successfully audited against the new regulations.
The new 2011 standard includes increased security in storing personal data, ensuring sensitive information is protected within set measures.
The new certification was granted after a thorough and demanding evaluation of Skyguard’s services by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) – only one of two organisations with the authority to grant the award.
BS 8484 First
In January 2010, Skyguard became the first company to be approved to BS 8484, which was created to ensure lone worker service providers met certain standards and key criteria of which they could be judged upon.
BS 8484 is made up of three components which apply to lone worker service providers:
As the industry’s only wholly owned, end-to-end provider, this has enabled Skyguard to be fully certified to all three parts of BS 8484. The standard is important as it adds legitimacy to the industry by ensuring only compliant companies can gain certification, and therefore the highest level of police response. Skyguard do this by using Unique Reference Numbers (URNs) for all the UK’s Police forces, giving us direct access to Police control rooms and bypassing the 999 service.
Of course, any code of practice has no legitimacy until organisations establish it as a requirement. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has stated that any organisation which supplies lone worker services must be certified to BS 8484 before URNs can be issued. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) also requires its Lone Worker section members to be fully certified.
Skyguard’s CEO, James Murray said, “We’ve been innovators in building legislation for better lone worker protection for many years. When dealing with such sensitive and critical matters, it’s vital service providers are up to the task of delivering fast and effective protection. Being audited and approved to BS 8484 gives organisations reassurance that their chosen solution is fit for purpose.”
Skyguard continues to work with ACPO, BSIA and the Lone Worker industry to help shape future iterations of BS 8484 and other applicable standards.