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Standard of the month: AS/NZS 4421 setting the standard for security services

Much like standards, security guards and patrols are often the unsung heroes of safety, compliance and protection. With 24 July marking International Security Officer’s Day, what better standard for Standard of the Month than AS/NZS 4421:2011 Guard and patrol security services.

Security personnel provide an essential role – big crowd control at events, crucial airport safety, emergency evacuation support. They are both deterrent and response acting as a first line of defence. So, what role does AS/NZS 4421 provide?

Security work is not without risks as personnel are at the frontline so ensuring planning, set up and ongoing practice is right requires good guidance. This is provided, including checklists, to select the most appropriate capabilities with considerations given to employment procedures and range of training. One key aspect of any security work is a thorough site review, standard operating procedures and understanding risks.

While not all security personnel are visible, there is advice given on requirements to help identify personnel which in itself provides assurance and a deterrent. Other advice touches on establishing an operations site, effective communications, key holding, patrolling and intruder alarm systems, vehicles, monitoring and response times and agreed terminology and determining client contracts. A small section on firearms is included for the few occasions they apply in an Aotearoa context.

AS/NZS 4421 is designed to be used alongside other specialist informative and normative good practice for a holistic and integrated approach, including:

  • AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 – Risk Management Principles and Guidelines
  • AS/NZS IEC 60839 series on Alarm and Electronic Security Systems, Part 11.1-3.
  • AS/NZS 2201 series on Intruder Alarm Systems

AS/NZS 4421 isn’t just designed to assist security to protect premises and property, but also for personal safety. The industry is not without accounts of harm or fatality in New Zealand and risk needs to be managed accordingly. The standard was developed by representatives from 10 organisations across Australia and New Zealand, including police forces and New Zealand’s Security Association.

So, take a moment to offer thanks to those helping safeguard our lives and property, and know there are standards available to ensure practice can be built on expert advice so everyone and everything is kept safe.