ASIS International has been awarded a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an ANSI standard that provides principles and requirements for a quality assurance management system for private sector security organizations to abide by and demonstrate accountability to internationally recognized norms of civil and human rights while providing quality assurance in the provision of their products and services. The standard will enable private sector security service providers to demonstrate their operations and services are consistent with the principles of the “Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict” and the “International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers” (ICoC ).   

“Private security service providers are critical elements for supporting peace and stability efforts in regions where the capacity of societal institutions have been overwhelmed by disruptive events,” says Dr. Marc Siegel, chair of the PSC.1 technical committee and commissioner, ASIS Global Standards Initiative. “This global initiative will codify benchmarks for best practices consistent with the goals of assuring quality of services and respect for human and civil rights.”
The proposed standard, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations – Requirements with Guidance (ASIS PSC.1), builds off the Montreux Document and ICoC to assure conformity to pertinent legal obligations and best practices related to operations of private military and security companies in conditions where the rule of law has been undermined by conflict or disaster. It provides auditable requirements based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model for third-party certification.
The Department of Defense reached out to ASIS in the summer of 2010 after the House passed H.R. 5136, which called for standards and certification of private security service providers. Subsequently, new legislation was enacted and passed by Congress and in January 2011 President Obama signed P.L. 111-383, The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, which included a requirement for standards and third party certification for private security service providers. Specifically, the legislation calls for guidance to “(1) establish criteria for defining standard practices for the performance of private security functions, which shall reflect input from industry representatives as well as the Inspector General of the Department of Defense; and (2) establish criteria for weapons training programs for contractors performing private security functions, including minimum requirements for weapons training programs of instruction and minimum qualifications for instructors for such programs.”
Committee formation is now underway and a call for participation has been issued to the security industry, as well as client and rights group worldwide. Interested parties need to submit the application form to ASIS by March 30, 2011. For more information, visit