Connexion2 is the first company to be audited and approved against the updated BS8484:2011 approval. The British Standard for lone worker security provision has been updated and now includes increased data protection for incident or Red Alert data and customer data. In order to achieve compliance, all data needs to now be stored either in an ISO 27001 approved environment or a BS5979 Cat II Alarm Receiving Centre to be compliant with the updated standard.
Benefits from the new standard include more stringent and robust processes around the secure storage of data, ensuring greater security for end user companies, knowing their information is stored safely.
BS8484 was originally introduced in 2009 for the purpose of improving the standard of lone worker provision and creating a clear benchmark against which lone worker solutions should be judged.
The standard comprises of many elements, however some key parts specifically relating to lone worker solutions include:
* Section 4: considers a supplier's quality standing (ISO9001), its financial stability and the appropriate insurances it should have in place.
* Section 5: focuses on the essential and desirable functionality of a lone worker device.
* Section 6: relates to the standard of the Alarm Receiving Centre element of a lone worker solution (Association of Chief Police Officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland also demand that an ARC meets BS5979 category II; another British Standard specific to ARC's).
The standard also affects the procedure with regards to how Police respond to lone worker alarms. Currently most ARCs escalate a lone worker alarm requiring a Police response through a 999 call. However once audited and approved against the relevant section of the standard, an ARC is able to apply for a Unique Reference Number (URN) from a Police force in order to escalate the incident directly at a regional level, ensuring a guaranteed Police response where appropriate. Only lone worker solutions that are fully compliant through audit against BS8484 will receive a URN for the organisation from the Police force.
ACPO Policy means that any supplier of lone worker solutions not approved against the relevant sections of BS8484 through audit cannot guarantee a Level 1 Police response to their users. A Level 1 response is the highest response available and is achieved through the URN system as Police operators have immediate access to the end users details and can despatch a response quickly without the need to ask questions regarding the incident.
ACPO state: “Through the URN system Police operators have immediate access to the end users details and can despatch a response quickly without the need to ask questions re the incident……..When a Police response is given to a Type ‘B’ alarm, experience shows that there is a significant time delay in despatching a police response due to the questions that need to asked to verify if it is a genuine alarm situation. This time lapse could be vital if a person is in immediate danger.”
Connexion2 was the first company to be successfully audited in 2012 by the NSI (National Security Inspectorate) against BS8484:2011. The company is positioned as a device vendor and solution provider incorporating an ARC, thus requiring conformance against sections 4, 5, and 6 of the standard.
In July 2011 ACPO reissued its 'Police Response to Security Systems' - (guidelines to Police Forces on how a lone worker alarm should be responded to), with a crucial amendment to Appendix V, section 4.2. No longer does the ability to guarantee an escalation to Police at a regional level via a URN hinge on a lone worker device in a given solution being judged as compliant in terms of its functionality. The guidelines now state that lone worker suppliers shall "Meet the requirements laid down in BS8484", and "be certified by a UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited certification body in accordance with the provisions of the ACPO requirements".
Patrick Dealtry, author of the British Standard BS8484, said: “Connexion2 has been a strong supporter of the standard from the start and it is encouraging that they are the first to take on the added demands of the revised standard, BS8484:2011.
Employers can be satisfied that any company which achieves the standard, will give them absolutely the best way of a) providing the best protection for their Lone Workers and b) for protecting the company from the effects of legislation.”
Craig Swallow, Managing Director at Connexion2 also commented, “We are delighted to be the first company to receive the updated BS8484:2011 approval. This shows the company’s dedication and commitment to providing a safe and guaranteed Police response to all Identicom users.”
The best way to feel assured that a company is supplying you with a BS8484 compliant solution is to ask to see their certificate - they will have one against the relevant section of the standard if they have been audited successfully. Any solution provider able to guarantee a Police escalation at a regional level will be compliant against sections 4, 5 and 6 of BS8484 through certification provided by a UKAS accredited body.