The British Standard – PAS 68 (Public Available Specification 68) has been prepared to address the needs of organisations who wish to have assurance that vehicle security barriers will provide the level of impact resistance they require and have been tested to a uniform standard.
Vehicle barriers such as gates, blockers and bollards are installed around buildings and public areas to secure entrances and access points against vehicle-borne attacks. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office provides guidelines for access control measures and how to optimize your sites protection, referring to the PAS 68 product accreditation standard.
A variety of different trade organisations have constructed a host of standards and quality measures that are used to benchmark product excellence across the access control industry. The Perimeter Security Suppliers Association accreditation (PSSA) is one of the newest standards to the industry and is specifically designed for products, companies and users of high security perimeter products. This industry body is the trade association for companies involved in the supply of equipment and services designed to provide the highest levels of physical protection for sites and their perimeters from terrorist or criminal attack.
The PSSA have recently launched a product verification scheme which aims to raise the standard of vehicle barrier systems both nationally and internationally. This is only the first step as the trade association also plans to extend this verification scheme to all perimeter protection systems and even the installation provided by contractors. The system aims to promote and audit the quality of not only products but the surrounding system and company standards also. This relates to the quality of drawings, electrical control systems and quality standards adhered to throughout the company. This will give the end user reassurance of supplier and product quality.
This UK drive to raise industry standards and provide a focal point for the market will benefit British manufacturers internationally. Multiple product testing schemes exist internationally such as PAS 68 (British Standard), ASTM (American Standard) and the new CWA 16221 which is an European workshop agreement that combines the detail from BSI PAS 68 and PAS 69 providing guidance on test methods for determining vehicle security barrier performance classification. The standard also includes a series of informative annexes that advise on appropriate product selection, installation and use. Although important, these certifications are still individual product standards whereas the PSSA verification will offer a more holistic product and company accreditation.
Vehicle Barrier system manufacturers based in the UK who pursue these well regarded standards will have a competitive edge. They will soon see the benefit when tendering for jobs both nationally and internationally. It no longer seems enough for companies to successfully pass an impact test. With the requirement to make the full product PAS 68 designation available to potential customers; not only do products have to pass the impact test, they will now be compared with similar and substitute products to analyse the quality of the product pass. With product accreditations and new industry standards being embraced and regulations across the access control market being improved; companies need to be wary of being left behind.
Investment and partnership with eminent trade associations and government bodies such as the PSSA, CPNI and the NaCTSO will help British Manufacturers of vehicle protection barriers succeed internationally in the future. The recent terrorist attack in Norway and other soft targets demonstrates that the global terror threat needs to be taken seriously. This indicates that a market-wide push to raise standards is not a ‘flash in the pan.’ Companies who conform and work with trade associations now will most certainly reap the benefits later. Supporting the new industry regulations should not be seen as an inconvenient, additional audit but an opportunity to showcase quality and innovative access control products.