Welcome to our May 2020 newsletter.
It is amazing how our world can change so dramatically and within such a short time span!
The Covid-19 crisis continues to have a major and long-lasting effect on almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives. People and businesses are hurting, and even though security providers are recognised as an essential service, our members have not been immune to the impacts and many security providers have experienced a significant downturn in business and profitability.
The focus for the NZSA during this time has been to support our members as far as possible, be it through working with government to ensure the best possible outcomes for our members, providing timely and effective communications and advice, or maintaining and establishing member benefit programmes that provide necessary support and value.
The good news for the security industry is that our businesses are in a far stronger position than many other industry sectors and we are well positioned to maximise business opportunities as the government works to kick-start the economy for the remainder of this year and years ahead.
It is also apparent that many of our members have taken the opportunity to review and tweak their way of doing business and how they can operate more smartly and effectively. For our training providers this will see the move to greater online delivery accessibility and capability and for the NZSA, a more permanent shift to working remotely and without the need for traditional office accommodation. These changes can only be viewed positively and will assist the industry going forward.
We appreciate that we have issued a significant number of member communications and updates over the last two months but hopefully this newsletter will provide a more general update on our activity and issues affecting our members.
Member survey into Covid-19 impact
Several weeks ago we surveyed our members on how Covid-19 had impacted onto their business and future expectations around staffing and revenues.
We received responses from over half of our members which is exceptional given that most surveys struggle to achieve rates above 20% and we thank those who took the time to complete the survey.
Key findings and outcomes include:
- Responding providers – sector representation
– 60% Electronic providers (including installers, distributors and monitoring)
– 20% Guards, patrols and cash in transit
– 7% Training providers
– 7% Security consultants
– 6% Other
- Immediate impact on revenue due to Covid-19
– 11% Consistent
– 79% Decreased
– 10% Increased
- Immediate impact on revenue in % terms
– 12% between 1% and 15%
– 16% between 16% and 30%
– 17% between 31% and 50%
– 55% in excess of 50%
- Expectation re impact on revenue next 1 to 2 years
– 15% Consistent
– 55% Decreased
– 30% Increased
- Expectations re impact on revenue next 1 to 2 years in % terms
– 21% between 1% to 15%
– 38% between 16% and 30%
– 28% between 31% and 50%
– 13% in excess of 50%
- Immediate impact on staff numbers due to Covid-19
– 75% No change
– 15% Decreased staff numbers
– 10% Increased staff numbers
Note: total staff numbers have increased due to large increases across several members
- Projected movement in staff numbers in next 1 to 2 years
– 42% No change
– 36% Decreased staff numbers
– 22% Increased staff numbers
Note: projected total staff numbers increased substantially due to large increases in numbers for a handful of members
- Wage subsidy claims
– 78% Claimed subsidies
– 22% Not claimed subsidies
- Confidence re business continuity
– 50% Very confident
– 45% Confident
– 5% Not very confident
– 0% No confidence
- Confidence that NZ economy will recover within next 1 to 2 years
– 16% Very confident
– 42% Confident
– 37% Not very confident
– 5% No confidence
- Value NZSA membership and would recommend to other parties
– 97% Yes
– 3% No
Business continuity support for NZSA members
As conveyed within earlier updates, the NZSA has formalised an agreement with leading financial advisors Smetric to provide Cash flow Management and Business Support services to its members free of charge under a government support package for business continuity.
Smetric will provide funded advice that covers:
– Actions to stabilise cash flow during lock-down and in following months
– Scenario planning for the business post lock-down and developing strategies
– Review of customer base to ensure customer retention
– Review operational and capacity requirements post lock-down
For more information please refer to the Smetric website or contact Warwick Russell on email@example.com.
Free PPE for NZSA members
Our friends at HIKVISION NZ have arranged for a consignment of PPE to be delivered from China and to be made available free of charge to New Zealand security providers on a first in first served basis.
HIKVISION NZ customers can place orders through their normal distributor National Fire and Security however the NZSA has 35 packs for distribution also, each including 20 face masks* and two eye protectors.
If you wish to order a pack please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org including your company name and delivery address for courier delivery. As noted, stocks are limited and orders will be on a first in first served basis so we apologise if we are unable to meet all order requests.
* Note: face masks are not N95 rated but are appropriate for most security applications.
Wage subsidy audit
Our Covid-19 survey indicates that approximately 80% of members accessed the Government Wage Subsidy payment scheme.
Whilst the survey responses confirm that most members have suffered a significant drop in their turnover consistent with the government criteria for accessing the subsidy payments, there have been anecdotal claims that several providers may in fact struggle to meet the claim threshold of 30% of turnover.
We remind members that the MSD is conducting data matching between various government agencies (including IRD GST returns) and will be conducting audits where apparent anomalies are identified.
Where it is found that an employer has not passed on the subsidy in its entirety there is the potential for criminal prosecutions under the Crimes Act 1961.
If any employer believes they may have over claimed, they must contact MBIE in the first instance to discuss reimbursement of the balance.
NZ Security Awards event
Unfortunately, we must advise that our annual Awards dinner scheduled for the Christchurch Town Hall on the 21st August has been cancelled however the awards will continue and with the winners announced via a live-streamed event on the evening of Friday 7th August. We have retained Te Radar as our MC and have some great entertainment and announcements planned to ensure that this remains a night to remember.
We will be providing more detail during the month, including the award categories and nomination process, but in the interim request that you lock in the evening of Friday 7th August in your calendars and start giving thought to worthy nominees within your respective organisations or organisations that you interact with.
NZSA Integrity “Speak Up” Line member benefit
Recent events have caused a slight delay in the launch of the Intergrity “Speak Up” Line member benefit programme however we are just finalising our printed materials and will be ready to distribute the member packs within the next week or two.
Whilst any decision on implementing the programme sits with our members, we remind them that the service is free to all participating NZSA members and provides access to a totally confidential service where staff can report issues such as bullying, sexual harassment, poor employment conditions, illegal practices such as theft or drug dealing and other matters of concern that may be occurring in the workplace and not being reported. The service is particularly valuable where employees may be reluctant to speak up or report matters due to fears that by doing so it may affect their employment or risk further victimisation. It is also important to note that such services meet Government Procurement requirements around providing “a voice” for staff.
The service is provided by CrimeStoppers who obviously have considerable experience in handling sensitive calls in a confidential manner.
MSD Skills for Industry Work Broker Programme
With the onset on Covid-19 and the impact onto the ongoing employment of many New Zealanders, our programme with MSD has been expanded to include not just those on the Job Seeker Benefit but also those who have been displaced from other industry sectors and who would in all probability move onto the benefit in the immediate future.
Andrea and Napat have been doing a fantastic job as supported by the fact that we have achieved our contract annual placement target of 150 candidates moving into full-time employment two months ahead of target.
We are pleased to advise that MSD will be renewing our contract in July and that we will continue to be able to source work ready candidates for our registered members.
Good Practice Guideline
We have recently received a response from WorkSafe advising that several modifications to the Good Practice Guideline are required before they can provide their endorsement.
The changes are relatively minor and we will be resubmitting the document within the next week with the expectation that we will this time receive the WorkSafe endorsement.
Once we receive approval the document will be recognised as an approved industry guideline and will be able to be accessed from the NZSA, Etu, WorkSafe and PSPLA websites.
Virtual reality training platform for delivery of CoA unit standards
As reported in our last newsletter this is an exciting development for the industry and will use leading edge technology to provide a training option that should address existing concerns around access to training, the quality of training materials, inconsistency of training delivery and literacy related difficulties with the current options.
The platform development is being sponsored jointly by NZSA and MSD and will be made available to those industry training providers who wish to utilise the service once we have conducted and complied with user acceptance testing requirements.
Whilst Covid-19 has created some challenges for the development team, we are confident that training delivery on the platform will commence late this year.
International Security Officers’ Day
Over recent years there has been significant growth in support for the 24th July (24/7) being recognised as International Security Officers’ Day.
We believe that this is particularly poignant given recent events and the tremendous efforts of our security officers as essential service providers.
The NZSA fully supports the initiative and the need to recognise the efforts and contribution of our Security Offcers and we have arranged for the production of celebratory badges, attached to a card, that can be presented and worn by you and your staff.
If you would like to order badges please email us and we will arrange production and delivery. The badges are $2.00 + gst each.
The 24th July will also be the date on which we will announce all finalists for the NZ Security Awards.
As always, we welcome all comments and feedback.
Covid-19 Guardian Awards
The NZSA has launched the Covid-19 Guardian Awards as a way to promote and recognise the fantastic efforts of security personnel during the lock-down period and as restrictions are gradually lifted.
Each week the NZSA team will screen the nominations received and determine the individual, or even a team, who have excelled in the performance of their duties. The award will be supported by a trophy that the recipients will keep and is open to all security personnel who hold a Certificate of Approval and not just those employed by NZSA members.
We have already received media interest in the award programme and we are hopeful that each weeks winner will be either interviewed or profiled by participating media agencies.
We welcome nominations from our readers but also seek your assistance in promoting the awards via your own networks and social media platforms. We have provided a template communication you can use to forward to your customers, suppliers and staff, to post on your social media or local community pages, and ask that you share the NZSA’s Facebook and LinkedIn posts with your contacts.
Nominations for the Covid-19 Guardian Award can be submitted via the NZSA website. The nomination process is easy to complete online and will only take a few minutes.
Security Training and Professional Development SIG
Submitted by Andy Gollings, Chairperson
The Special Interest Group for Training and Professional Development within the Security Industry was scheduled to meet on Friday 24 April. Due to the restrictions of the Level 4 lock-down we were unable to meet in person, however it was agreed that this meeting was still worthwhile as a virtual update and to continue the progress from previous meetings.
Alan Reynolds opened the meeting with a presentation updating us on the work that The Skills Organisation has underway for our industry. Alan has recently joined Skills as the Programme Manager – Security Health & Safety, Emergency Management, and has been working hard to understand the challenges facing our industry and what Skills may be able to do to support us.
Alan provided the following updates:
There has been a review of the training material underway for some time and despite delays they are confident that the updated materials will be available for use by early July.
National Certificate in Security Level 3
– The new Level 3 qualification has been approved and being delivered by a number of training providers.
– The Workplace Programme has been approved and being used by Registered Training Workplace providers for Alignment.
– Skills had not intended developing training materials however that decision is now under review. A decision is expected within the next two to three weeks.
– Skills are guiding providers on alignment with internal training delivery as a chargeable activity.
National Certificate in Security Level 4
This revised qualification for Senior Security Officers and Team Leaders has been approved however work is still required to define certain aspects of the delivery, especially the higher risk units such as defensive tactics.
Update from private training establishments
Private Training Establishment (PTE) members reported strong interest in training through this period. Like industry, PTE’s have all explored a shift to virtual training however take up and learner engagement has declined over this period as a result.
Concerns were raised regarding the Emergency Direction from the PSPLA and how this may weaken the industry. Gary Morrison advised that the Registrar has been asked to quantify numbers licensed under the Emergency Direction but at this time these are thought to be relatively low with a notable jump in licence holders adding the Property Guard category.
The inability to conduct face to face training during lock-down has meant that this aspect of the training has had to be delayed with delivery scheduled at a later date. Some providers are confident to get back underway in Alert Level 3 with others delaying until we enter Level 2.
Update from security providers
The impact of Covid-19 has been quite varied across the industry. This has been dependent on work streams with event, retail and hospitality providers as well as cash collection providers experiencing significant decline, with those providing services to critical infrastructure seeing a rapid increase in demand. It is worth noting how well companies appear to have worked together over this period, supporting each other where capacity or specialisation was needed.
Those experiencing increased demand have needed to recruit at a higher level than normal however they expect this to reduce as things settle down and ongoing requirements become clearer.
The service providers all expressed appreciation for the flexibility shown by training providers with online options for training becoming quickly available. In addition, Hard Target has made a conflict management training package available at no cost which has been widely appreciated, especially with the challenges of managing and developing staff remotely over this time.
Update on virtual reality COA training
Development of COA training, utilising virtual reality training techniques, is still ongoing. This immersive approach is thought to be a way to increase consistency and availability of training which continues to be a challenge for our industry. The NZSA will continue to work with the developers to ensure that this training is fit for purpose as a tool to support PTE’s in their delivery of quality training to our industry learners.
Comments from the Chairperson
While the challenges of this pandemic are very real, the opportunities that it presents for our industry are also tangible. Our industry has stepped up to protect critical infrastructure and provide screening and access control for retirement villages, hospitals and even supermarkets. In doing so a large number of them have worn their heart on their sleeve and made a real difference to the people they serve. In an industry that at times struggles to be valued by the public, a number of staff have demonstrated real value and this has been appreciated by the public.
As an industry we have an obligation and a responsibility to continue this by continuing to demonstrate value to our customers. We also have a responsibility to support our staff with real opportunities to develop their job into a career and security guards into security officers.
We are committed to raising industry standards and your feedback and input is essential. Please direct any questions or concerns that you have to the NZSA so that we can work together to ensure our customers and our staff are provided the quality support that they deserve.
NZSA HR Advisory Service
NZSA is partnering with Livewire HR to provide access to free HR advice, as well as templated key documents and policies.
Call HR LIVE (0800 475 483)
Livewire HR will provide an immediate response to enquiries received between the normal business hours of 8am to 6pm and will be able to provide best practice advice and personalised guidance on employment issues.
Where further support is required outside of these services, Livewire HR can provide these at preferential rates exclusive to NZSA members.
This is a fantastic offering for our members and their management staff, in particular those smaller companies who do not have access to in-house or contracted HR expertise. Please share this with your line managers, supervisors and staff who may have a need for this great HR service.
Services and documents available include:
- HR advice and guidance
- Employment Agreements – permanent, fixed term, casual
- Position Descriptions
- Policy documents
- Updates on legislation and best practice
Gary Morrison, CEO of the NZSA, conducts regional visits to meet with members and non-members. These are currently on hold due to travel restrictions however Gary is available for a chat any time via zoom or phone. Please email Gary at email@example.com to arrange a meeting.
We welcome the following new Corporate Members:
- Activate Training Centre Limited
- Net Alarms Limited trading as Ajax Alarms
- Sri Ramdoot Limited trading as Kiwi Security
And the following new Associate Individual members:
New Zealand Security Awards
7 August 2020
This year’s Awards ceremony will be live streamed on Friday 7 August with MC Te Radar. Make sure you save the date!