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The purpose of the British Association of Private Security Companies ("the Association") is to promote, enhance and regulate the interests and activities of UK-based firms and companies that provide armed security services in countries outside the UK and to represent the interests and activities of Members in matters of proposed or actual legislation.

In the context of this Charter, the term ĎArmed Servicesí is defined as any service provided by a Member of the Association that involves the recruitment, training, equipping, co-ordination, or employment, directly or indirectly of persons who bear lethal arms.

The Members of the Association shall provide such services with high professional skill and expertise whilst recognising that the countries where they are operating may have inadequate legal frameworks. The Members note that their activities will be enhanced by an active and transparent involvement with International Organisations, governments and private and public bodies that share common interests. They agree to follow all rules of international, humanitarian and human rights law that are applicable as well as all relevant international protocols and conventions and further agree to subscribe to and abide by the ethical codes of practice of the Association.

Members accept without reservation the aims and objectives of the Association as stated in the Charter. Hence, they accept fully the obligation:

  • to build and promote open and transparent relations with UK Government departments and relevant International Organisations;
  • to promote compliance with UK values and interests and with the laws of the countries in which its Members operate;
  • to issue guidance on the substance of and the need to comply with international legal statutes, with due regard for ethical practice and standards of governance, balancing the provision of security services with the legitimate concerns of those that are or may be effected by the delivery of those services;
  • to require that Members meet the standards set for Membership of the Association and that such standards are maintained for continuing Membership.

The Association determines that it can only achieve its objectives through effective self-regulation and transparent engagement with UK Government departments and relevant International Organisations. The Association believes that it is only through effective self-regulation that the Members will enhance their position and be able to achieve differentiation from non Members in the same industry sector.

Given the Membership commitment to enhance and promote the interests of the industry, it undertakes to be governed by the following principles in particular:

  1. Provide security designed primarily to deter any potential aggressor and to avoid any armed exchange. This concept allows the use of weapons to protect clients or security personnel in a defensive mode and only where there is no other way to defend against an armed attack or to effect evacuation.
  2. Ensure that all appropriate staff shall have been trained to the standards commensurate with each assignment and in accordance with applicable laws of the appropriate country.
  3. Ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to protect relevant staff in high risk and/or life threatening operations including the provision of protective equipment, adequate weapons and ammunition, medical support and insurance.
  4. Decline to accept contracts for the provision of security services where to do so will conflict with applicable human rights legislation.
  5. Decline to provide security services where there is a likelihood of the provision involving criminal activity.
  6. Decline to provide security services that might be contrary to UK values and interests.
  7. Decline to provide security services in circumstances where there is a possibility that those services might adversely affect the military or political balance in the country of delivery.
  8. Decline to provide lethal equipment to governments or private bodies in circumstances where there is a possibility that human rights will be infringed.
  9. Submit to the rules and regulations of the Association and to sanctions imposed by the Association for breach of said rules and regulations.
  10. Commit to provide funding as may be determined by the Association from time to time to enable the Association to carry out its activities.