What is Safeguard?
The Safeguard Professional Code recognises and endorses contractors that meet the highest standards in the Victorian security industry. Safeguard is the only professional code for the Victorian security industry.
Safeguard-endorsed security contractors provide professional standards through a partnership approach with members of United Voice, the Security Union. Together, they have made a “commitment to a quality security industry, co-operation and respect for freedom of association” and jointly work to achieve continuous service improvements.
What makes a contractor Safeguard?
In contrast to rogue contractors, who are often in breach of workplace laws, Safeguard contractors have signed industry leading collective agreements with their staff.
These agreements provide above-Award wages and conditions, ensure continuous access to the best training and professional development and enable Safeguard contractors to attract and retain a stable, experienced and professional workforce.
If you choose a Safeguard endorsed security provider, you can rest easy knowing that your people and assets are protected by a reputable provider which is on the forefront of best-practice security provision and complies with or exceeds relevant training requirements and health, safety and workplace laws.
With such valuable assets at risk - your people, property, information & reputation - an informed choice about security is vitally important. Selecting a Safeguard security contractor provides you with peace of mind.
Case study: Why building owners choose safeguard (ISPT)
Over the last 10 years, clients have come to value Safeguard as the gold-standard endorsement for top-level security services.
Clients appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing the security staff in their buildings are highly trained and committed to their profession.
ISPT is one of Australia’s largest unlisted property fund managers, with over $9.7bn of funds under management. Fund Manager Mark Basset and Portfolio Facilities Manager, Christopher Chuah explain why they choose to tender to Safeguard endorsed security contractors:
“Security is a forward-facing service. They have day-to-day contact with the tenants and the visitors to our properties. As part of our commitment to service and quality for tenants we seek a polite, firm, fair and vigilant service. A stable workforce is a key thing we seek in a security profile.”
Mark Bassett, ISPT Fund Manager, Safeguard client.
“It is important to us that contractors are providing appropriate workplace conditions and treating their staff fairly. This gives them the ability to deliver the service that we are after. Professional security is important in retaining tenants. Providing a safe environment is essential."
Christopher Chuah, ISPT Portfolio Facilities Manager, Safeguard client.
“Professional standards are very important to us. We strive to meet these ourselves. We can’t afford for those that deal with our valued tenants to operate at a lower standard.”
Mark Bassett, ISPT Fund Manager, Safeguard client.
Risks of undercutting
Rogue contractors: a big risk
The private security industry has grown significantly over the last decade, particularly following the tragic events of September 11. This growth is forecasted to continue.
Smaller operators have flooded the market, setting off a ferocious price war. But with low margins, many contractors turn a profit by cutting corners. The result is crisis in security standards that has serious consequences for clients.
Research from multiple sources has identified widespread breaches of government rules and regulations (footnote, see below) These include:
Fair Work Ombudsman National
Security Industry Campaign 2009: Report and Recommendations March 2010, Fraser Duff “Economic considerations for the Australian security industry” Security Insider 2006, John Lawler, CEO Australian Crime Commission in a Media Response for United Voice Victoria Branch, 19th July 2010 and United Voice Security Industry Audit (see full report for details)
Well over a third of security officers surveyed for a 2010 industry audit conducted by the security union knew of contractors that cut corners on services that clients have paid for. This includes using unsafe staffing levels and/or imposing excessive workloads that are simply impossible to achieve.
Breaches of OH&S & workplace laws
Many contractors often breach government rules and regulations such as workplace and health and safety laws. Many companies use subcontractors of dubious repute to save money.
Staff untrained & high turnover
A well-trained, experienced workforce is vital to delivering professional standards. Yet many contractors fail to properly train their officers. High staff turnover due to low pay and insecure jobs also undermines service levels at among many contractors.
The Australian Crime Commission has found that organised crime and outlaw motorcycle clubs to have infiltrated the industry. The ACC noted that easy access to “a range of public and private assets” was a key factor behind this disturbing trend.
Risks from cut-price contractors
- Clients ripped-off
- Poor, unprofessional service standards
- Disruption to Business
- Dissatisfied tenants
- High turnover & lack of trained, experienced security presence
- Injuries & accidents
- Unsafe security staffing levels
- Financial collapse of security company
- Negative media & brand damage
- Theft, violence or association with organised crime
“We see compliance and enforcement across the country as the key issues. It’s very hard for reputable operators to compete because they’re competing with people who operate on a completely different business model, so you get that race to the bottom in terms of compliance and enforcement."
Brian de Caires, Chief Executive Officer at Australian Security Industry Association, Safeguard client.
Brian de Caires cited in Sally Neighbour, 5/9/2009 “Private police out of control”, The Australian
is your contractor safeguard?
The 2014 Safeguard Agreement (which protects the Safeguard Standard) is currently being re-negotiated. The following companies are signatories to the 2010 agreement and this list will be updated as present negotiations continue.