Procedures: the Route to Security

However much is invested in security technology, critical decisions are still made by the operator. Installing software that checks compliance with procedures reduces human error when responding to both routine and emergency events.

Universal compliance with civic rules would be synonymous with security. In a utopia where all citizens would meet rules of ethics followed by the entire planet, video surveillance cameras and access control sensors wouldn’t be needed, and neither would the professions involved in protecting people and assets from wrongdoing perpetrated by others. In the world we know, which has little in common with that utopia, following procedures is the most direct route to achieving security.
Companies and organisations in most sectors aim to constantly improve their products and services so that they can offer the best quality possible to their customers and clients. In attempting to meet that objective, it is essential that all members of staff are aligned with the defined strategy and follow the same procedures.
In this environment, there are more and more companies interested in tools to control processes and in adopting Standard Operating Procedures, a management concept that is often referred to using the acronym SOP.
SOPs are designed to produce desirable results for every task by using standardised operating mechanisms and processes. In the security sector, they are the simplest and safest way for security professionals to carry out their duties when faced with an everyday event or an unforeseen emergency.
The right choice of security management software program can visibly reduce response times in any situation. AGORA therefore implements and makes it possible to audit the company/organisation’s security SOPs, enabling operators to make better decisions in a shorter space of time, however much the demands of an unexpected situation encourage them to lose their cool head.


Software that guides operators

One of the key characteristics of AGORA, as a piece of software for organisations’ security systems and electronic protection, is the fact that it guides operators through all their tasks step by step, from those that are repeated every day to unexpected tasks such as during emergencies.
Standardising procedures offers an invaluable range of advantages that have an impact on different groups of people: Operators increase precision and speed in their response to events, which logically helps increase the well-being of staff and visitors at the organisation involved; heads of security can prove to the client company’s management that the procedures established in advance are being met because AGORA creates reports including data that proves it.
AGORA allows security companies to adapt their services to each customer’s needs, however different the sector they operate in may be. The procedures adopted by a school or a hospital may be very different from those needed to operate security at a bank or shopping centre, but all of them fit into this system.
Personalising procedures means the client can see their organisation protected by services such as remote surveillance tours, supervised access control and alarm video verification. This multifunctionality is clear in AGORA’s Operator Guide, the panel on which the operator receives the SOPs.


How to set effective SOPs

Preparation of SOPs should ideally be dealt with by heads of security, since they are the ones who have an overall view of operations, legislation and other factors. Heads of security should ensure that all operators are trained to carry out their tasks so that there are no variations in working methods between shifts.
SOPs should be easy to understand by operators so they can become familiarised with all the steps to follow. So, even when there are new faces in charge of security or a new security company, effective responses are properly protected.
As well as routine indications, the procedures established in advance should cover the largest number of scenarios possible for any unexpected event so as not to compromise security.


Reducing error in critical decisions

Drawing up SOPs is a process that cannot be entirely copied, since every organisation has its own particular features and the procedures should be adapted to them. Poorly defined or imprecise SOPs not only reduce productivity and lead to operations failures but may place people and assets at risk.
The adaptation of procedures accelerates responses to routine events and reduces the likelihood of human error when reacting to an emergency. It also reduces costs arising from possible fines or penalties applied for not complying with legislation, as well as insurance costs.
However much is invested in technology, critical decisions are made by the operator. Installing software that ensures auditable procedures are implemented is the most direct route to achieving security.