"..you must hire an expert who is working for YOU rather than themselves or a company selling a particular product."
So what’s the solution? Like everything in life it’s not simple but it comes down to the key area of protecting your investment while getting the best value and the system that’s right for you. And then there’s the thorny subject of Government supervision and licensing of this very important industry.
Protect Your Investment. In order to have maximum chance of achieving that and assuming you are not qualified to do this yourself, you should hire an expert who is working for YOU rather than themselves or a company selling a particular product. That’s where the Independent Consultant becomes a key figure. Considering the cost of most CCTV systems varies between €5,000 and €100,000, it makes sound business sense to acquire the services of a specialist consultant. That way, you’re guaranteed to get a system that meets your specific requirements and one that will work at full efficiency from date of purchase. The procedure should operate as follows: 1) C ontract an Independent Consultant and have a free
consultation to discuss your needs and requirements. 2) S ign a contract with the Consultant where they get paid only when you are satisfied with the purchase you have made. 3) H ave the consultant write out a specification to meet your needs and then approach the industry with a tender document for supply and installation of your agreed system. 4) H ave the consultant supervise the installation and sign off on same. 5) S ign a maintenance contract with Installation Company to be activated after year one. 6) Insist that a commissioning certificate is issued by the consultant and only then pay the final balance to the installation company. At this stage, you also pay your consultant.
Government Supervision and Licensing The Private Security Authority licences companies and staff to ensure their suitability to operate in the security
industry and the NSAI ensures that the installation meets with the relevant EN technical and safety standards. However neither body guarantees the purchaser a security system that's fit for purpose and which works properly. My belief is that a commissioning cert is the most important document in this whole area yet neither of the two bodies insists that same should be provided. There are reams of paper created by both bodies but none to protect you, the purchaser. This is a gap in the licensing bodies’ operations although they of all people should I believe have the responsibility to look after your interests. It’s a gap which is being exploited by unscrupulous installation companies.
Roger O‘Shea is a member of the security Institute of Ireland and has worked in the security industry since 1985. He now operates Merc Consulting a truly independent Consultancy business and details of same can be found on www.mercconsulting.ie
Spring 2010 edition of Risk Manager Magazine