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CCTV System - Assessment and Accreditation

Assessment and Accreditation

So. how good is your CCTV System really ?

As a manager of a Public Space CCTV Surveillance System, you are evidently concerned about 'Best Value' and 'Best Practice', but how would 'Your System' stand up to in-depth, detailed scrutiny by your peers?

We appreciate that a few other organisations provide an Assessment and Accreditation Service which attempt to measure how well you operate the system, but we don't believe any match up to the rigours of The CCTV User Group Assessment and Accreditation.

Most of these other Assessment Services, despite the hype, only measure compliance in respect of the British Standard Code of Practice for the Management and Operation of CCTV Control Rooms. We  don't honestly believe this is adequate as many believe and we agree (as our members had 7 places on the panel which developed it and we chaired two of the three  committees) that this BS  could be considered the lowest common denominator of the issues that need to be considered in any well run control room.

Our Assessment and Accreditation Process therefore takes compliance at this level merely as a 'Bronze Standard' , and this difference is reflected in the amount of time our Assessors spend both on site with you and your operators, and back at their base examining your documentation.

So you can imagine how rigorous the 'Gold Standard' is, and why we feel those managers whose systems reach this ultimate goal deserve to be featured on this Website.

Our Assessments in fact take 3 days by the Assessor, one on site with you and one back in the office examining the documentation, and one in administration of the awards.

We not only examine the Code of Practice and whether it equates to what we expect, but are the requirements in it actually observed?  Are copies really readily available from where you say they are? Are all operators aware of the contents of it and can you prove they are for disciplinary action should any incident occur?

What are the mechanics of the recording system? What is the 'refresh' rate between successive camera images on the timelapse tapes, or on digital systems? Are the recordings of adequate 'evidential' quality?

What management logs actually exist ? Can you trace where every recording is from opening the seal to disposal? Do you do regular recording audits?

How proactive are the operators, are they trained, professional and proficient?

What management information records are taken and how do you use them?

What is the technical quality of the system, is it capable of providing evidential quality images?

How good is the liaison with the Police and other partners of the system?

In total there are over 500 factors we examine, and if you just want a certificate to put on the wall to say you have passed an independent scrutiny, then probably our Assessment and Accreditation is not the one for you.

However, if you really want to be subject to the most gruelling test possible and then to revel in the fact that despite all we could throw at you, you and your system have still shown you could meet or excel in all the aspects, then the CCTV User Group Assessment is the one for you, and we invite you to fill in an application form.

• (92) By Peter Fry, 19 Jun 2008, 11:11

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