The Development of the OSPAs
The Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) recognise and reward companies and individuals across the security sector. The OSPAs are designed to be both independent and inclusive, providing an opportunity for outstanding performers, whether buyers or suppliers to be recognised and their success to be celebrated.
The criteria for these awards are based on extensive research on key factors that contribute to and characterise outstanding performance. This research can be found here: Aspiring to Excellence, a Security Research Initiative report conducted by Perpetuity Research. The OSPAs are being set-up in collaboration with security associations and groups across many countries.
By researching and standardising the award categories and criteria, the OSPAs scheme provides an opportunity for countries to run their own evidence based OSPAs schemes while maintaining an ability to compete on an international level in the future, ‘World OSPAs’.
Journey of the OSPAs
Martin Gill is the Director of Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International, a professor of Criminology, and a widely published author, having produced 14 books and over 100 articles to his name, including ‘The Handbook of Security’.
In 2014 Perpetuity Research undertook a project to examine the factors which contributed to outstanding performance in the security field (Gill, M. and Randall, A.). Aspiring to Excellence: The Case of Security Suppliers and Corporate Security. A Security Research Initiative Report). The research was conducted because despite there being an abundance of research on business excellence, very little research focuses specifically on the security sector.
One of the conclusions of the research was that a key way of improving security performance is to change perceptions of security at the highest levels within organisations and amongst key stakeholders. So, from this and other findings, the idea for the OSPAs was born.The OSPAs are based on the identified factors which contribute to security excellence and are designed to promote the security field and show the world that security is a fundamental and vitally important factor in business success.
Our Core Values
- Independent: The OSPAs are independent. You don’t have to be a member of an association to be involved – anyone from the security sector can enter a category which is relevant to them. The only requirement is that you have shown outstanding performance in your field.
- Credible: The criteria for each award category have been carefully considered and based on extensive research across different security sectors and by looking at how outstanding performance is recognised and judged in other fields. There is strict criteria for who is appointed as a judge and for ensuring that judging decisions are fair and impartial. Representatives from each country will assess entries and make the final decisions on the winners.
- Transparent: We want everyone to know the criteria for entering, how judges are selected and how the judging process works, so these details are published on the website.
- Respectable: The OSPAs will become a worldwide brand, generating honour and opportunities for our winners. Furthermore, winners will be widely recognised as driving outstanding performance across the sector.
Why enter the OSPAs?
There are many great reasons for entering the OSPAs:
- Credibility– you will become part of an evidence based scheme which understands what ‘outstanding performance’ really means, and recognises it.
- Gain Recognition and Brand Exposure – by joining the OSPAs you will become part of an international scheme recognised across the industry.
- Value – by entering the OSPAs you will show people that you recognise the value of the security work carried out by your business.
- Industry Benchmarking– you will be able to set yourself apart from the competition by committing to a scheme which rewards evidence based achievement and is committed to openness and credibility.
- Business and Networking Opportunities– The OSPAs will bring together people from all over the industry, you’ll have the chance to meet new people and make important industry contacts.
- The Awards Night– you will be a part of a brilliant and enjoyable event, that will be one of the premier nights on the security calendar.
- Winners– You have the chance to become the winner of an OSPAs award, and to be promoted on both your country’s OSPA website and the Global OSPAs website.
Who Can Enter?
Anyone working in the security sector of a country with an OSPAs scheme can enter. You don’t have to be a member of an organisation or association to do so. The main criterion for entry is that you can show that you or your company have performed at an exceptional level. You are permitted to enter more than one award category.
If you have any enquiries about entering the awards please contact us.
The aim of the OSPAs awards is to be transparent and credible. In a commitment to this aim, the OSPAs have set out key ethical guidelines to ensure best practice in the running of OSPAs schemes around the world. The OSPAs will, in each country:
- Publish all the conditions required for entry to the OSPAs in that country
- Publish a Judges Code of Ethics and require all judges to adhere to the policy during the judging process
- Make the process for selecting the judging panel publicly available and provide routes for public feedback concerning the suitability of judges for inclusion on the OSPAs panel.
- Publish the criteria the Judges use for assessing the awards
- Have a policy which clarifies the role of sponsors
The Judging process
Each judge is a security expert with experience and knowledge of working within the country’s security sector. Judges are shortlisted by partner organisations working with the OSPAs and then independently reviewed by the international OSPAs team. The judges mark all entries against the criteria set out in the category requirements (viewable on the ‘Enter’ pages) and the highest scoring entry following the judging will be the winner. Entries are assigned to judges randomly, however, they are reviewed prior to distribution and not assigned to judges where there may be a conflict of interest or any association between entrant and judge. All judges follow a strict code of conduct which can be found below. The judges’ shortlist is announced prior to the awards event, however the winner of each category will remain a secret until the night of the awards.
Judging Panel Selection Policy
The OSPAs represents best practice in security performance and as such the OSPAs are committed to recruiting the best possible panel to review the entries entry and decide upon category winners. As such, the criteria for an OSPAs judging panel has been set out. The panel must include individuals:
- with experience, knowledge and expertise in business and security
- who are familiar with the country’s security culture
- who have undertaken different roles in different aspects of business and security
- who have a proven business knowledge and have been successful
- who adhere to the Judges Code of Ethics
Judges’ Code of Ethics
The Judges Code of Ethics is set out to define the standards required of an OSPAs judge. This is in order to maintain the core values of integrity and impartiality. There is an obligation on all parties to observe the highest standards of integrity and all judges and officials who act on behalf of the OSPAs must accept the importance of establishing and maintaining appropriate ethical behaviour. By becoming a judge that person has agreed to the Code of Ethics. The principles that govern the judging process are as follows:
Independence – Judges’ decisions must not be based on extraneous influences, and they must reject any attempt to influence their decisions.
Integrity – Judges will act with to ensure they are above reproach and act consistently in the view of fair minded, informed people.
Diligence – Judges will commit to ensuring that all entries they receive are judged fairly and are considered equally.
Equality – Judges will carry out their review without discrimination.
Impartiality – Judges will remain impartial in the judging process, and review entries purely based on the quality of the evidence provided to them.
If you have any concerns regarding an OSPAs judge then please contact us.
Entrants’ code of ethics
The ‘Entrants’ Code of Ethics’ is set out to define the standards required of an OSPAs participant. This is in order to maintain the values of integrity and impartiality within the awards scheme. Before submitting an entry to the awards the conditions of entry must be read and accepted.
Conditions of entry
- Entries must be submitted through the official form on the website, by email, or through procedures set down by an official OSPAs partnership organisation.
- Entrants must complete the entry form to the best of their ability and must use accurate and honest information. If any information is found to be inaccurate the entrant will be disqualified.
- No alterations may be made to nominations which have been submitted
- A company or individual can enter more than one award category, providing all the requirements are met. The evidence presented in each award category needs to show outstanding performance in that category.
- Any attempt to gain unfair advantage at any point during the process will result in immediate disqualification.
- The OSPAs judging panel are responsible for awarding the winners of each category. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The decision of the judges must be respected and by entering the OSPAs entrants accept this condition.
- Please note that we do not anonymise the entries anymore. Our experience has led us to let the judges see the entry in full so that they can help ensure that no OSPA is awarded to anyone disreputable. That stated, please be assured that judges will mark the entry based only on the information that has been provided. By limiting the entry to short text based answers the OSPAs aims to create a level playing field where small and large companies can compete fairly. Moreover, we have found that long answers are not necessarily good ones and being required to think about and focus on the information most relevant to the judges can be helpful; it is quality not quantity that we value.
Obligations to the OSPAs
- Entrants accept that by entering the OSPAs their entry is subject to scrutiny by the OSPAs team and the judging panel.
- Entrants must be prepared to submit additional evidence or provide reasonable support for any relevant points raised or answers to any queries that may arise.
- All entrants must accept that all those shortlisted for an OSPA will be published and company or individual details may be used in pre-event and post-event publications to recognise the awards.
- All those shortlisted are expected to attend the awards ceremony, or send a representative on their behalf who can collect the OSPA if they become a winner on the night.
- The OSPAs reserves the right to use all or part of the material entered in the competition for promotion of the awards. Under no circumstances shall the organisers be held responsible for the payment of royalties or other charges for the use of materials provided in support of the awards.
- All entries become the Property of the OSPAs on submission. No entries will be returned.
- Entrants accept that the OSPAs team reserves the right to not award a category if circumstances deem that necessary.
The OSPAs and the sponsors are committed to working together to create a successful event and lasting legacy for the awards.