File photo of a privately contracted armed guard.

File photo of a privately contracted armed guard.

MSS Global, as an accredited certification body recognized by the private security industry, has selected the first two Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) to undergo a pilot audit for ISO PAS 28007, a standard that hopes to provide some clarity for private security companies operating in the shipping industry.

The ISO Publically Available Specification 28007, as part of the broader supply chain security management system, ISO 28000, is a aimed at establishing internationally recognized guidelines for PMSCs providing private contracted armed security personnel on board ships. It covers everything from client engagement and risk perception, through company head office procedures and protocols, including selection and training of security teams, through to service delivery and post incident management.

MSS Global, under the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) Certification Pilot Programme, has selected Port2Port Maritime Security and Castor Vali Security Risk Management to undergo the audit assurance process in accordance with ISO 28000 and ISO PAS 28007 (maritime) beginning later this month. MSS Global says that the companies were selected because they would best capture the breadth of market demands so the certification model developed best fits the PMSC market that supports the commercial shipping industry.

Tony Chattin, the Managing Director of MSS Global said, “We are delighted to be working with Port2Port and Castor Valli through this UKAS sponsored pilot to deliver this important ISO which has been designed specifically for this emergent maritime security market. This process to date has taken much work, involving many others across the maritime security sector, such as the UK Security in Complex Environments Group (SCEG), the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) and BIMCO.”

Chattin continued, “This international standard will establish a clear capability benchmark, that will allow PMSCs to provide assurance to their clients through the impartial third party accredited certification regime for management systems, enshrined in the ISO framework.”

Andrew Varney, the Managing Director of Port 2 Port said, “We are very pleased to have been selected for the pilot ISO audit. Port2Port operates to extremely high standards and to be assessed against this globally recognized standard across all our processes is a benchmark we are keen to achieve.”

Russ Armstrong, the Managing Director of Castor Vali said, “This is great news for the industry; we have worked hard to manage the delivery of our service under a high degree of transparency. To have these processes examined and endorsed through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will prove the high standards we promote and endorse for our clients.”

The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) has been at the vanguard of the advancement of international maritime security standards and has played a key role in the development of ISO PAS 28007, which focusses on the maritime security aspect in the supply chain. SAMI believes that it is a pivotal, vital and significant development. Commenting on the launch of the MSS Global pilot audit, Peter Cook, Founder and Security Director of SAMI said, “The association is delighted that two of SAMI’s certified members have been selected to participate in this next stage of development for ISO PAS 28007 and fully support them in this process.”

Giles Noakes, the Chief Maritime Security Officer of BIMCO said, “It is excellent to see this pilot scheme kick off so soon after the introduction of ISO PAS 28007 – there have been a number of ‘doubting Thomas’s’. It confirms entirely our view that a PMSC’s professional credibility and safety standards need endorsing through a recognized, independent, third party audit system in an area where seafarers lives are at risk and there is no room for mistakes. We are confident this pilot will validate our involvement and support for the ISO PAS and the development and implementation of the GUARDCON contract now extensively in use with the industry.”

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