For those that don’t know, the NSI is the regulatory body that oversees the security industry, in the old days they were only interested in Intruder alarms and to be fair the regulation they imposed and enforced rigorously with member companies was very helpful to the industry. It meant standards were good amongst members and insurance companies would only insure those clients who had their intruder alarm installed to a “NACOSS standard”. In a way this was jobs for the boys. If you were in the club then it would exclude electricians from poaching your business just because they could do it cheaper and were not burdened with the paperwork that goes with a properly installed intruder alarm system.
The NSI went further though, if you were a company that wanted to embrace other disciplines within your portfolio such as CCTV and access control, the NSI insisted that if you wanted to display the NSI logo on your company paperwork or vans, then you also had to install CCTV and access control to their standards and pay for and issue certificates accordingly. OK this was just about bearable and the additional costs could be absorbed. However insurance companies did not drive end users to use NSI approved installers for CCTV and access control in the same way they did for Intruder alarms therefore the commercial advantage was not so great to be a member of the NSI club.
Further standards were introduced though such BS8418 for monitored CCTV in order to involve insurance companies and the Police and it was hoped they would then insist all monitored CCTV could only be done by the NSI members. All in all though this initiative failed, the insurers either did not care or found it was of no advantage to them to insist on BS8418 systems to be installed, the Police were overcome with apathy.
Now though we have a whole new ball game. IP CCTV is changing everything. Security companies are competing with IT integrators and the IT boys are totally unburdened with regulation.The playing field is not fair anymore and security companies are being weighed down by the NSI.
We need changes and we need them fast. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So NSI, either the IT integrators must be forced to issue certificates and install to the same high standards that is expected of security companies or CCTV must be deregulated to mean a company that installs both intruder alarms and CCTV does not have suffer the overheads that the NSI brings with it.