National Association of Security Dog Users
Advice to members on latest Covid 19 government statements
NASDU alongside everyone else can only make suggestions and recommendations on our interpretation of government advice. Therefore, we strongly recommend that our members read the available government instructions/advice to ensure compliance to suit their own individual circumstances.
If you are in the vulnerable category you should continue to take all the shielding advice with no change. If you think you have Covid 19 or someone in your household has symptoms you should self-isolate and follow government guidelines.
The government has stated that all those that cannot carry out there work from home should go to work, that 2 people from different house holds can meet outside as long as social distancing and infection control methods are followed and travel is allowed. Broadly speaking the advice is not greatly different in the devolved government areas of the United Kingdom but companies operating in these areas need to check on there individual advice from the devolved authorities.
With this in mind NASDU recommends that continuation training for operational general purpose security dog teams should recommence as normal to ensure the continuation of safety and quality delivered by our members. We do understand that training will have to be adjusted to allow for handlers and trainers to remain safe, if any exercises on the assessments are deemed by trainer/handler to increase risk of infection they can be changed during this period as long as it is noted and justified on the assessment forms.
NASDU particularly wants trainers, security companies and handlers supplying dogs to make sure animal welfare standards and safe handling/control of dogs is being ensured. To this end annual and quarterly assessments should be conducted in person unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Detection dog teams that are not working and are not expecting to work for several months due to the current situation are not expected to keep current with formal training at present. However they are expected to keep personal training records up to date and if they have a break in formal training for over three months should complete a full annual assessment before returning to work. Again training for detection dogs can be adapted to be safe as long as deviations and reasons are notated on any assessment forms.
NASDU would like to remind all members that normal workplace legislation including health and safety regulations are still in place so it is imperative that although it is difficult best practice should still be followed otherwise employers/handlers could find themselves in legal difficulties. It is unlikely that if there is a serious incident on site that covid-19 will be excepted as an excuse for not following best practise and ensuring duty of care.
Companies carrying out training and deploying dog handlers should carry out a written covid-19 risk assessment and follow government advice, to do this they should go to the government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 and follow the instructions for construction and other outdoor work and possibly offices and contact centres.
NASDU is very proud of its members who have continued to work during this emergency providing a important service to there clients and we have also heard of many of our members that have volunteered in their communities or have been assisting the NHS and other organisations. We hope that by following the advice from government and being proactive our members will help the effort to battle the virus and to restart the economy.
Other sources of information
Key Worker Status
The following is taken from the SIA website and is the best guidance we can offer at the moment. Some dog handlers have been challenged by the police whilst driving to work I would suggest that if they are unsure of your status take a copy of this advice from the SIA website with you to show anyone who asks. Most dog handlers will fall into the description given in paragraph 4. Read the statement in full to ensure you fall into the key worker status.
If you are stopped by the police please do not get into an argument, explain what you are doing then please follow any instructions they give you.
The following is the statement put out by the SIA
26 March 2020
On Monday, 23 March the Prime Minister announced further instructions to the British public to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). His announcement can be viewed here . It places further restrictions on when people can leave their homes and limits travel for work to essential roles only.
I am able to confirm that the current definition of critical worker DOES include regulated (licence holding) security professionals, essential to national infrastructure, operating in roles under the 8 broad headings listed . This status is only directly relevant to the ability to access the school and childcare systems at this time. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
To prioritise pressure on the schools system, it does NOT extend to all licence holders. It is role dependent. The list may change over time.
Government advice is to stay at home whenever possible. It is to keep your children at home whenever possible – even if you are a critical worker. If, and only if, you are undertaking an essential role, supporting the nation’s COVID-19 response, which you can only do by accessing the school or childcare systems, should you do so as a critical worker.
This definition covers, amongst other areas, security provision in hospitals; schools; social care; courts; government estate; supermarkets and the food supply chain; the transport network; national infrastructure and utilities. If you are providing essential security to a service which itself remains critical and functioning, which attracts critical worker status, then you are likely to be covered. If in doubt, check with whoever contracts for your services.
Roles essential to supporting law and order, with the potential to reduce demand on policing, also meet the critical worker definition. This would include, amongst other areas, the guarding of empty or closed commercial, retail or office premises; the monitoring of similar through CCTV or other remote means; and the provision of alarm response centres including mobile units.
If your role does not clearly fall under the headings above then you may still travel to work, if that work absolutely cannot be done from home. Your aim should be to stay at home whenever possible. If this is not viable then assess whether you can deliver more services remotely e.g. through CCTV. If a physical presence is required then you should seek to minimise the number of staff deployed to the lowest safe level and ensure social distancing is applied.
Note that in any circumstance, critical worker or otherwise, the Prime Minister has been very clear that ensuring social distancing remains the responsibility of the employer.
These are difficult questions in unprecedented times. They are not easy and no-one else can answer them for you. You will need to apply judgement, with the aim of minimising social contact where possible. The words to focus on are ‘necessary’, ‘critical’ and ‘essential’, otherwise please stay at home and minimise the transmission risks for the benefit of your health, your families, the general public and the NHS.
Chief Executive Security Industry Authority
To stay up to date on SIA statements go to https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
At this time of unprecedented worry and uncertainty for all of us, I want to remind and reassure you that head office is remaining open and if we can help in any way we shall endeavour to do so. There is a large network of handlers and trainers and whilst many of our members are used to working alone, many would be willing to help others who are struggling.
If you need help:
Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask especially if you are concerned about the welfare needs of your dogs. For example, there may be handlers close by that would be willing to assist if you are unable to care for your dogs due to illness.
We don’t want to replace support networks that are already there, and we can’t provide services that the statutory agencies can, but there’s probably a few things that we can do amongst ourselves.
What can you do to help?
If you feel able to offer a bit of help or support to a colleague in need let us know, preferably by e-mail letting us have your phone contact number and geographical location. Requests for help may be practical, for example doing a bit of dog walking or just contacting somebody local to you who may be struggling.
Similarly let us know of a dog handler/trainer you think may be in difficulty.
Of course, you can do any of these things without involving us if you are in contact with somebody you think might need looking out for, pick up the phone. It will probably mean more than you can imagine.
The government is offering financial support and details of this and other advice can be found by visiting the following web address https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Be careful when using information from social media and internet as there is a lot of ‘false news’ try to verify all information using government /NHS/council websites.
It is still current advice that dogs do not transmit coronavirus (covid-19) but there is a remote chance infection could be transmitted on there coats. You may have heard of reports of dogs contracting coronavirus which they do and have done for years but this is not the (covid-19) strain that effects people.
Please continue to act in a professional and safe manner and keep yourselves as safe as possible.
NASDU Coronavirus update
We continue to recommend that all companies/trainers continue to follow government coronavirus advice.
We recommend that any companies/trainers think very carefully about any training they deliver.
We recommend training is only carried out where there is a need to ensure operational safety or animal welfare.
We recommend that initial training of handlers is suspended unless there is an urgent operational need to supply dog handlers. Training for this can be tailored to a safe handler type (level 1) course being taught outside, hours done used as APL towards full certification once normality returns.
If there is a need for extra security and deployment of dog teams we would recommend companies think carefully about who they are deploying. It will not help the situation if we have untrained dogs and handlers deployed potentially causing more injuries for the NHS to deal with.
Although we can make justified departures from British Standards it is important to remember that companies deploying dog teams still need to make sure they are working within the health and safety at work act.
All training is done following all the advice set out by the Government ensuring social distancing and sound hygienic practises.
NASDU again asks all its members to use common sense and hopes everybody stays safe during this difficult time
Using I.T. for theory teaching
One of our trainers is using skype to deliver theory lessons and where suitable this is a good idea and can be done. However, trainers must deliver this type of training live (not recorded lessons) and students must have the opportunity to interact with the trainer.
You can give students theory work to do at home that can be counted as accredited learning, but this must be verified by oral question and answer sessions again this could be achieved using skype/video link messenger or similar technology.
No teaching or assessing of theory work should be done over a voice only phone as it cannot be verified that it is the correct learner on the other end of the line.
If using any form of distance learning accredited hours can only be awarded if the trainer can show that the learner completed this and actually understood the subject matter covered.
If you are planning to use this type of training, you must ensure you do not disadvantage any students.
This means if you have a student who struggles with reading it would not be suitable just to send written text to learn or if one member of your course does not have internet access or good I.T. skills charge them for lessons that they do not get the benefit off. Students who don’t have good spoken English language or deafness may also find lessons difficult and this should be taken into account when offering this type of learning.
Unfortunately, no end point assessments/ testing or practical work can be done at distance due to the type of work and animal welfare requirements we are certifying.
Any accredited hours given should be written up on the Attendance record using wording such as :-
A skype lesson on Food and feeding assessed by oral questions at end of session.
All paperwork must be signed off by trainer, assessor and learner as normal at end of course.
It is the view of NASDU that dog handling requires direct trainer to student teaching and the measures we have outlined above will be suitable during the current situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
We are asking trainers to use common sense ensure they and their students do all that they can to ensure that they help prevent the spread of coronavirus but do there best to ensure that animal welfare and the operational safety of teams is maintained.
NASDU can only offer the same advice as disseminated by the government, we would re iterate that anyone with a temperature or persistent new cough (or member of their home family) should self-isolate for at least 14 days. Everyone should practice social distancing and follow good hygiene practices.
We recommend training providers consider what services they continue to deliver and understand that some companies will have their own procedures in place. We recommend that if any company/handlers procedures mean departing from British standards that a note is made of the reason in training records.
We believe that it is important that dog teams continue to perform at a high standard as a prolonged shut down with many people suffering financial difficulties may lead to a heightened crime rate or an extra need for security at closed premises.
At present are suggesting that security dog teams continue to complete quarterly and annual training to ensure compliance with British Standards. However, we do recommend the following: –
If a handler or trainer is unwell or a member of their immediate home family is unwell, they should not attend training.
We would suggest that handlers should not be forced to train if they don’t wish to, however if there are genuine concerns about the operational safety or animal welfare concerns of a team that is not willing to train, they should not be deployed.
If there is a justified break in training records trainers/ handlers should notate this in their training records. Dog teams should then complete a full assessment to ensure operational competency on return to normality.
Handlers and trainers keep a safe distance apart. (the normal safe distance for security dogs is a good guide)
Handlers take their own refreshments (Flask, sandwiches etc) and avoid the use of rest rooms/classrooms for breaks.
NASDU also recommends handlers do not allow their dogs or equipment to come into contact with other dogs and equipment during training sessions.
Trainers ensure that all students are made aware of good hygiene practices before and during training sessions.
Whilst it is believed that dogs do not transmit the disease directly (not Zoonotic) they can carry the virus on their coats from human contact and transfer it that way.
Handlers should not allow their dogs to come into contact with other dogs and trainers should ensure they handwash if coming into contact with other people’s dogs.
The advice for detection dog teams is the same in general as security dogs with training taking place as far as possible outside or in large empty buildings that allow for social distancing.
NASDU will except a break in handlers training records whose main income is from work at social gatherings such as sporting venues, clubs, events etc that are no longer deploying. This will be accepted for the next 2-3 months, as long as before returning to work they carry out an assessment to ensure the team is at the required operational standard and reason for training gap is notated by their trainer on their records.
Operational detection dog handlers that are deploying should at present carry on training but tailoring the sessions to be as safe as possible.
All operational handlers should ensure that they follow good hygiene procedures and ensure the cleanliness of there working environment, dogs and equipment.
Detection dog handlers working in secure environments or multiple environments should ensure dogs and equipment are cleaned between venues and going home to family.
Exercising dogs in daylight between jobs will help as viruses are destroyed by U.V. light but this is just another aid to protection and not a replacement of good cleaning.
All companies deploying dog teams and handlers should consider how best, using government advice, they can deliver their services safely.
There are a number of handlers, trainers and companies who will as have today lost all or a substantial part of their income.
If you are in this position act early by contacting financial institutions and companies that you owe money to such as mortgage providers, landlords and energy companies, explaining the situation and ask for advice.
Use government agencies available to you such as the citizens advice bureau.
If you are struggling with meeting the cost of your animals, please contact NASDU we may not be able to help directly but can try and source help if we can.
A lot of dog handlers work unsocial hours and some tend to prefer the company of their dogs and don’t have a wide circle of friends outside work if you know of a dog handler that may be in trouble please call them or check they are ok.
NASDU \Head Office wishes all our members and those working with dogs across the country well during this uncertain period.
NASDU AGM 2020
Formal notification is given that the Annual General Meeting of NASDU will be held on:
THURSDAY 30th APRIL 2020 AT WOKING FOOTBALL CLUB,
KINGFIELD ROAD, WOKING, GU22 9AA
10:00 FOR A 10:30 START
The day begins with a Trainers/Members/Handlers forum followed by a buffet lunch at 12.30 pm where there will be a chance to meet other Members and Handlers together with Trainers and Committee Members.
Any Member wishing to be considered for election to the new Committee should notify the Secretary, in writing to Head Office no later than Friday 10th April 2020 that date being 14 (working) days prior to the Annual General Meeting. New nominees must submit a brief pen picture with their application. All nominees will require a proposer and seconder, who in turn must be Members of the Association.
All councillors will be democratically elected at the Annual General Meeting by way of voting by those Members present. Voting by proxy shall be disallowed and all nominees should be present at the AGM.
Company Members may send a representative to vote on their behalf. The name of the nominated representative should be forwarded to the Secretary prior to the date of the meeting.
Members are invited to submit any relevant matters for discussion at the Annual General Meeting in writing to the Association Secretary at least 14 days prior to the meeting. No business shall be transacted other than that stated in the notice convening the meeting.
AGM 2020 AGENDA
1. Minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Chairman’s Report
4. Secretary’s Report
5. Membership Report
6. Financial Report
7. Election of Committee
To assist with catering arrangements, we would appreciate an indication of Members and guests attending and ask you to contact Head Office.
Tel: 01483 224320 (option 2)
And let us know if you will be attending the Forum at 10.30 hours followed by lunch and the AGM or just the AGM at 1400 hours.
WE’VE EXPANDED OUR ADMINISTRATION SERVICE
As a result of increased demand for HABC certificated NASDU learning programmes, and an increase in Membership both Individual and Company NASDU will be introducing an additional Administration Office as from 02/01/2020, this additional resource will ensure that our new Team will be able to deal with the increase in demand within the private security industry dog sector.
-Both Individual & Company including invoicing to Members
-HABC Initial Certification
-NASDU Annual Team Certificates including invoicing to Trainers
All Approved Trainer Enquiries including bi-annual approval & invoicing of Trainers
Tel: 01483 224320 – Option 1
Special Projects including:
-British Standards (BSI)
-HABC Centre Approval
-Search & Rescue
-Overseas Memberships & Applications
-Annual Audited Accounts
New Trainer Applications
Tel: 01483 224320 – Option 2
British Standards – Public Comment
Please be advised that the following British Standards that have been recently under revision/development are now out for public comment:
BS 10800 – Provision of Security Services
BS 7499 – Provision of Static Guarding Services
BS 7984 Pt 3 – Provision of Mobile Security Services
Please do take time to review these on the BSI online portal and submit any comments, the links are as follows:
– BS 10800: https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/Projects/2018-01664
– BS 7499: https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/2018-03412
– BS 7984-3: https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/2018-03354
Should any Member require further information regarding the review/development process then they should contact Steve at Head Office who has sat on all the review panels as a Member of the BSI GW3 Committee.
NEW SCREENING STANDARD BS 7858
All Members are advised that the new British Standard for Screening of Individuals Working in a Security Environment – BS 7858:2019 came into effect on 30th September 2019.
This standard was prepared by BSI Technical Committee GW/3, Private Security Management & Services, for which NASDU is a Committee Member, and as such should any Member require further information then they are asked to contact Steve at Head Office on 01483 224320.
This British Standard supersedes BS 7858:2012, which will be withdrawn on 31st March 2020.
Company Members should ensure they are compliant to this new standard which can be obtained via NASDU Head Office with a Member discount of 20%.
Security Dog Insurance
BJP Insurance Brokers Ltd has an exclusive Security Dog Insurance covering Mortality and Emergency Lifesaving Vet Fees specifically for NASDU Members & NASDU Qualified Dog Handlers.
As standard, our exclusive scheme covers security dogs for mortality cover up to the replacement value of the dog, with the option to extend the policy to include the following:
• Lifesaving Emergency Vet Bills up to £2,000
• Loss of Use up to 50% of the Sum Insured
• Theft of Dog up to the total Sum Insured
• Death from Poisoning up to the total Sum Insured
• Post-mortem Cover – £300
For a free quotation contact our Security team specialists Steve Neudegg, Simon Lawrence & Antony Samuel-Camps on 0118 979 2121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on our website for further information www.bjpinsure.com/security-insurance/security-guard-dog-insurance/ or join us on Facebook using the following link:
BJP Security Facebook
Or follow us on LinkedIn
BJP Security LinkedIn
Security Account Manager
0118 979 2121