The remarkable post-Revolution story of its fire and security markets' growth
ARTS in Romania, which hosted this year's General Assembly meeting in Bucharest, provides an insight into 20 years of post-Revolution market development and the Association's ongoing role helping companies improve their training, service, products and profits.
Fire and security technology is a relatively new market in Romania, dating back some 20 years, with tentative business start-ups during the first years after the 1989 Revolution and strong growth after 2002.
In Romania, professional fire and security projects have always been the responsibility of technical companies, the majority of whom are members of ARTS (Romanian Association for Security Technique) and have consistently driven development in leading technologies. That's why ARTS feels comfortable as a member of Euralarm, since its goals are similar to those of Euralarm at the European level.
In Romania, fire safety is regulated and controlled through IGSU (Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, part of the Romanian Interior Ministry). Since joining the EU, equipment that is compliant to EN54 harmonised standards and bears the mark CE can be freely used. These requirements are regulated by a commission for market surveillance, part of the IGSU. Specialized service providers (for design, installation, service and maintenance of fire detection systems) must be certified by IGSU for each category of service.
There are procedures and requirements for the certification of each type of service and similar arrangements for fire extinguishing services. Three certifications can be issued for fire detection installation-related services and three for fire extinguishing. So you need six different certificates to in the Romanian fire safety market! You must provide evidence of sufficient human resources with specific competencies, material base, work and quality procedures, and specific tools for each one.
The country's security sector, ie intrusion alarms, access control, CCTV and intercom equipment, as well as technical services including design, installation, service and maintenance, are regulated under a law issued in 2003 and are under the control of the Police department. From 2010 it is recommended that security equipment fulfils the requirements of EN50130 standards.
Technical services companies wishing to operate in this sector must obtain a licence for one or more services (design, installation, service & maintenance). Licensing procedures stipulate that companies must prove specific professional competence, experience, and have the technical means to execute the services etc.
For manned guarding services, intervention and transport of valuables, a different type of licence is issued. These services are currently considered outside the European Services Directive (ESD).
Meanwhile, for monitored alarm receiving centres (MARC), the law does not yet stipulate any special licensing procedures. So, MARC could, in theory, be organised by customers, by technical companies or by guarding companies. ARTS hopes to influence and convince the authorities that MARC is a discipline that must be within the ESD.
According to the ESD, companies which perform security services between EU countries may perform the same services in Romania if they have an equivalent license issued by the controlling authority in their own countries. If the company does not hold such licence, it can initiate a licensing procedure in accordance with Romanian legislation.
All about ARTS…
ARTS is the national organization which supports the development of, and synergies between, the fire and security industry in Romania. It lobbies for new laws harmonized with the current requirements of a modern European market, attracting insurance companies and other players such as ARB (the Romanian Banking Association), customers and other professional associations and authorities within a strong partnership.
ARTS' urrent activities include professional training of service providers, as well as safety and security systems users, ongoing dialogue with legislative and certification authorities, educational campaigns, the organisation of exhibition (such as Expo Security and the Romanian Security Fair), the drafting of rules and occupational standards, and the evaluation of professional competencies.
The certification of services in fire as well as security relies on the professional competence of industry employees, and one of ARTS' main goals has been to raise the professional level of companies active in these fields.
Since its foundation, one of the priority objectives of the Romanian Association for Security Technique has been training and raising the professional level of staff in firms carrying out the design, implementation and maintenance of security systems. The first step towards achieving this objective was the development of detailed occupational analysis that aimed to identify specific occupations within companies that offer such services on the market, followed by their inclusion in Romania Occupations Code - COR.
Following this analysis the following occupations were identified and placed in the COR:
• Technician for detection systems, video surveillance, access control
• Security systems engineer
• Security system designer
• Dispatcher for MARCs
• Risk Assessor (burglary)
• Risk Assessor (fire)
ARTS' second step was to quantify and obtain approvals from the National Council for Adult Training (NCAT) for occupational standards in these areas, which define the minimum knowledge and skills of technical personnel engaged in the field. To date, occupational standards have been created for: technicians in intrusion detection systems, video surveillance, access control; security systems engineers; dispatchers for MARCs; and security systems designers.
Parallel with the activities of developing and approving these occupational standards, ARTS has established the ARTS-Training Centre(CFP-ARTS) which, since September 2005, has organized courses for technicians in detection systems, video surveillance, access control, and (since June 2008) security systems engineers. From March 2011 a course for security system designers and also been organised.
CFP-ARTS now has 20 certified trainers, lecturers from industry specialists with experience in security systems, and specialists from regulatory and backgrounds.
It's already trained 1576 students on its course for technicians and 1168 students as security systems engineers.
ARTS is currently in the process of establishing a Workforce Assessment Centre, helping to provide companies operating in the security systems market with full service training and assessment skills for employees, designed to result in better quality of services rendered and increased profitability for those involved.
Bulgaria's protection services
Pictured: Sofia, capital of Bulgaria
NAFOTS, the Bulgarian Association of Equipment-based Security Companies, provides an overview on the country's formative market developments.
The Bulgarian protection services industry only began relatively recently in 1994. Ten years later, in 2004, a new law governing the the private guarding sector came into effect which defined private guarding as: 'An activity related to the guarding of sites, events and persons, their rights and legal interests, against illegal encroachment.'
It also decreed that: 'Private guarding activity shall only be carried out by entrepreneurs registered under Bulgarian commercial law, by a written contract or by self-defence units of sole entrepreneurs and corporate bodies'.
Licenses and their controls are regulated by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry. Although Bulgarian commercial law applies to all companies there isn't, at present, any formal public control on the activities of private guarding companies.
The current law defines 'protective activity' that shall be carried out under this law as:
1. Personal guarding of individuals;
2. Guarding of the property of individuals or corporate bodies;
3. Guarding of events;
4. Guarding of valuable consignments and cargo;
5. Self protection.
Personal guarding of individuals may also be carried out using technical security systems and auxiliary devices – defined by this law as: 'Guarding, using technical security systems, is an activity of surveillance and control by technical devices at the guarded sites and checking the obtained results.'
The legislation adds that: 'Private guarding activity shall be carried out only upon obtaining a licence or registration and these licences shall be issued without a fixed term. Such licences may be issued for operating across the whole country or individual regions and the cost (Stamp Duty) of the issued licences is related to the size of operation as determined by as determined by the Council of Ministers.'
Signal Protective Activity
Technical security systems are very popular in Bulgaria and are usually described as as 'Signal Protective Activity' (SPA) which covers the following activities:
• They have a licence for private security guarding;
• They have special liveried vehicles (with SPA + company + phone numbers);
• They have guards;
• They have built a monitored alarm receiving centre (MARC) – in Bulgaria this term is becoming better known, but in most cases they are still called Central Stations;
• They have departments for designing and installing security, video-surveillance and fire systems;
• They have a maintenance/service department;
• They have full 24 hour coverage;
• They have all the departments necessary to operate as a proper Trading Company.
There are currently no licenses, standards or laid-down requirements for MARCs in Bulgaria and they are considered only as an accessory activity to guarding duties.
Bulgarian Association of the Companies For Security & Electronic Security services
Ukraine's fire and security market
Revising the role of the State
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Olexander Krasnopiorov, Editor-in-Chief of Security.UA magazine and Anatolii Dolynnyi of the Ukranian Security Industry Federation (USIF) provide an inside look at the evolving nature of Ukraine's security and fire sectors.
Ukraine is an independent Eastern European country with a population of 46m and emerged after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Ukraine equals France by area and its GDP per capita is approximately $6,500 (US) with an average income figure of about $300. The country's economy is still on its way from a command to market type and depends on international financial institutions, as its foreign debt estimated figure is 93.5% of GDP.
The international financial crisis that began in 2008 led to a 15% GDP reduction in 2009 and alongside with the unfavourable conditions listed above this reduced direct foreign investments figure from $9 billion in 2008 to $5 billion in 2009 and $4 billion in 2010. The infrastructure build-up for the UEFA Euro 2012 championship that was previously expected to attract 80% of the necessary investment had now become 85% state-sponsored.
2010 saw the beginning of the state's investment policy revision that calls for the change of the entire government system. The creation of a State Agency for Investment and National Projects Management that currently spans the development of 11 national projects marks the beginning of this shift. For further information on this move see this PDF file at ukrproject.gov.ua and for more about Ukraine on Wikipedia.
Defining the sectors
The principal segments of Ukraine's security industry are: fire safety and technological security; guarding services; and alarm systems. Each segment has its own internal organization as well as ways of regulation. The market for fire safety and technological security is among the most well-organised segments within the framework of security industry. It is regulated by the Ministry of Emergencies with the support of the leading professional union, Ukrainian Union Fire and Technological Safety (UUFTS) and other public organizations.
During the last seven years many EU harmonised standards have been adopted, particularly EN 54 standard series. Ukraine is expected to introduce new State building codes by 2011. Entitled 'Engineering equipment of the buildings: fire safety systems', these codes will regulate design, installation, operation and maintenance of fire and technological security systems.
This segment's influential feature is a de-facto monopolistic Ministry of Emergencies State certification centre. In Ukraine, certification is obligatory for fire detectors, fire alarm and alert systems and their components, fire control and indicating equipment, control devices, monitoring and alarm receiving centres and other fire-prevention products. Complete product list with respective standards (in Ukrainian).
In 2011 the TC 25 technical committee of standardisation is likely to share its responsibility for the development and implementation of new fire and technological security standards and regulations with TC 165, the latter being supported by USIF and UUFTS.
In Ukraine, fire-prevention services are subject to licensing. Depending on the facility's fire risk category – high, medium or low – businesses are provided with various licence types. It should be noted that insurance companies in Ukraine do not regulate the fire-prevention market as well as the adjacent markets in a proper manner. Economic methods of security management are not developed either and the majority of business activities are consequently regulated by administrative measures.
Currently, there is no existing marketing research to illustrate Ukraine's fire safety market. However, its size can be indirectly demonstrated by the following official figures from the Ministry of Emergencies:
1. Number of licensed companies working in the field of fire-prevention – around 1900.
2. As of 2009, 360 000 facilities were equipped with fire automation systems, 30-40% of which were in service, with 7% of the facilities under central fire monitoring control.
3. 12,277 facilities were equipped with fire automation systems in 2010, 9,440 of them on monitoring and alarm receiving centres.
With the fire control average cost at 25€/month, the potential annual market size of the monitoring service itself equals 110 million euros. The total fire safety market size is therefore estimated to be 12-15 billion euros.
2010 saw a steady trend of regulative fire and security technology merging. For instance, the former head of the Fire Safety Department was put in charge of the newly created State inspection measures for security technology. The first step here was the creation of a central fire control system as an element of System 112, a preparation measure for UEFA Euro-2012. Similar arrangements have applied to the regulative and technical issues relating to monitoring technology.
Guarding service market
The guarding market in Ukraine has developed until recently without appropriate legislative provision. The obvious reason for this has been the role played by the Ministry of the Interior, which continues to provide the population with a paid guarding service. The overall size of the guarding service in 2009 was estimated at 0.72 billion euros, with the Ministry of the Interior's element reaching 33% of this.
This market's structure is determined by the fact that 15% of companies with annual income up to 15 million euros hold 80% of the market, with the remaining 75% of companies earning 100,000 to 1 million euros per year.
Licensing is now being introduced in the guarding market, in the form of a Basic Guarding Business Law – at the end of 2010 the Ministry of the Interior and market participants agreed to hand the duties of the licensing authority to Public Security Department of Ministry of the Interior. However, these duties are still being carried out by State Guarding Service of the Ministry of the Interior State Guarding Service of the Ministry of the Interior. The major public organization within the guarding market is the Ukrainian Federation of Professional Security.
Alarm systems sector
This segment of the Ukrainian security industry has received fresh impetus to its development as a result of standards development carried out since 2007 by the Ukrainian Security Industry Federation (USIF) and, since 2009, by TC-165 (the secretariat of which is performed by USIF). Dozens of EU harmonized standards of series EN 50131, 50132, 50133, 50136, 50518, and CEN/EN 14383 'Prevention of crime' are currently being planned or developed as a result (for details see ufib.com.ua/eng/ and tc165.com.ua/en/).
There are several alarm systems licensing centres in Ukraine providing product certification (which has been obligatory). But from 1st January 2011 Technical Regulation 2009/785/UA relating to EMC, confirmed by the Ukrainian government (implementation of Directive 2004/108/EC) means the technical regulation system has began to shift towards voluntary certification and greater commonality with philosophy common in the EU.
The above mentioned Basic Guarding Business Law foresees the introduction of licensing for design, installation and maintenance means of security activities on specific facilities. But this measure is strongly rejected by the vast majority of the professional community due to its inability to improve market regulation under the existing levels of corruption.
There is no systematic or reliable information on the size or structure of the alarm systems market available in Ukraine at the moment. By its activities category the market structure comprises around 20 security manufacturers, about 20 distributors, up to 10 major system integrators and one to two thousand small installation companies.
Security industry infrastructure
In Ukraine, the security industry infrastructure embraces trade associations, exhibitions, forums and core media. Trade associations considered the most influential are:
Ukrainian Union Fire and Technological Safety (UUFTS)
Ukrainian Security Industry Federation (USIF)
Ukrainian Federation of Security Specialists (UFSS)
Ukrainian Federation of Professional Security (UFPS)
Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE)
Altogether there are about 30 regional and national public organizations in the security industry of Ukraine. For the past 15 years the country's biggest exhibition has been the 'Bezpeka' ('Security') event. But this year a new show, KIPS – Protection, Security & Fire Safety was inaugurated in Kiev (organized by the UK's ITE Group Plc).
One annual forum that has been running for six years is 'Live issues of fire and technological security in Ukraine; International Yalta conference’. It is traditionally held at the beginning of October in Crimea and organized by UUFTS in cooperation with the Ministry of Emergencies.
The most influential Ukrainian security industry media include the magazines SECURITY.UA and F+S: fire prevention and security technologies. SECURITY.UA magazine is a part of the information and publishing group of the same name, which also includes SECURITY.UA Information agency, Construction and security magazine and their E-release email digest.