Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Private Security Authority

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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279. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will engage with the Private Security Authority in relation to educating and training for licensed security professionals; and her views on the creation of a singular training and education course for a security licence which incorporates static guarding, door security, CCTV monitoring, conflict resolution and self-defence given that there is no current course offering a licence which covers all these skillsets. [17768/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Private Security Authority (PSA), an independent agency under the remit of my Department, is the regulatory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the private security industry in the State.

The Private Security Services Act 2004 (as amended) sets out the security services licensable by the Authority. I have no involvement in the day to day operations of the PSA.

The Private Security Authority currently regulates contractors across 12 different sectors of the security industry and employees across four sectors. Dates for the licensing of employees in the event security and private investigator sectors will be announced later this year.

The training requirements for each sector are quite specific and the requirements for those working as a security guard in a retail environment are significantly different from those required by a door supervisor or event security personnel.

Currently there are two separate level 4 minor QQI (Quality Qualifications Ireland) awards for security guarding skills and door security procedures. These can be combined by training providers and offered as a single course to participants who wish to be trained in both sectors. The combined course includes elements of CCTV monitoring, conflict resolution and self-defence relevant to the role of a PSA licensed security guard or door supervisor.

Following consultation with security employer and employee representatives and training providers, two new QQI courses which will replace the current awards are being developed and will be available from January 2022.

These new courses have revised and updated the current learner outcomes and also introduce additional outcomes to enhance the skills of the trainee. In addition, I am advised that the Authority is engaged with training providers on the development of a new physical intervention course which they plan to launch in 2022.

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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280. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if security companies will be made to provide their employees with stab vests and body CCTV cameras while working in the interest of safety and security. [17769/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Private Security Authority (PSA), an independent agency under the remit of my Department, is the regulatory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the private security industry in the State.

The Private Security Services Act 2004 (as amended) sets out the security services licensable by the Authority. I have no involvement in the day to day operations of the PSA.

I am informed by the Authority, that all contractors licensed by them are required to comply with prescribed standards.

In the case of contractors in the security guarding and door supervisor sectors the prescribed standard is PSA 28:2013, Standard For The Licensing Of Door Supervisors (Licensed Premises) And Security Guard (Static) Contractors. Under this standard contractors are required to undertake a risk assessment at all locations where a security service is being provided.

As part of the risk assessment, contractors must assess the risks that security personnel might face, including risks from violence and outline and implement risk mitigating measures to eliminate or significantly diminish any identified risks.

Risk mitigating measures may include the use of personal protective equipment or technology.

The Authority has advised me that where body CCTV cameras are used it is important that all statutory requirements under Data Protection legislation are met by the contractor as failure to do so may result in the Authority taking action against their licence.

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