As Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner launched a third party certification scheme last November; we asked our in-house CCTV expert what it’s all about….
An example of the logo for those organisations
who have reached full compliance.
In his role to encourage CCTV scheme operators to comply with the CCTV code of practice, Tony Porter has launched a certification scheme where large CCTV scheme operators looking after public space CCTV can apply to be certified as “Surveillance Camera Code Compliant”.
Designed to raise industry standards and promote good practice amongst CCTV scheme operators, this is one step further than the self-assessment form that was available in 2014 and brings in 2 inspection bodies, the NSI and the SSAIB to administer this formal certification.
Scheme operators can takes 2 steps towards certification with the first, assuming they already follow the basic principles of the CCTV Code of Practice being relatively easy to obtain. This is called desk-top certification where the operator will need to complete the self-certification tool and submit it to one of the 2 inspectorates along with supporting evidence of their adherence to it in the following documentation:
• Completed self-assessment tool
• Organisations code of practice
• Information sharing agreements
• Details on number of cameras the scheme has
• Procedures Manual
• Privacy Impact Assessments (if available)
• Operational Requirement (If available)
If passed this gives the operator a year to prepare themselves for stage 2 which is full certification. Valid for 5 years, to attain this certification the operator must be fully audited by the certification to ensure they are fully compliant with the code.
In my opinion, this third party certification seems like a great exercise in making all personnel involved in public space CCTV monitoring more aware of the overriding principals of data protection. Striving for certification itself should take most operators through a great learning curve of what represents good CCTV practices.
Finally if you’re interested in going for this certification, you can find out more at www.gov.uk or if you are simply a CCTV system owner who would like to become more aware of what good CCTV practice actually is then check out one of the off-the-shelf compliance kits such as that by WhoIsWatchingMe.org (Order code DPA100).