Private security companies (PSCs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and governments can become members, provided they:
PSC Member Companies must also:
Organizations and individuals who do not fit into those groups, but who may still have an interest the ICoCA (eg. academics, other security-related industries, certifying bodies, etc) may join as observers.
Eligible PSCs, CSOs and governments can request consideration for membership. They will be asked to provide evidence of their eligibility, and prospective industry members will be asked to provide a written plan explaining how they have implemented the ICoC in their current and planned operations. More information.
By joining the ICoCA private security companies show their commitment to complying with the fundamental human rights and humanitarian law principles and standards articulated in the ICoC. Certification by the Association is a public statement that the security company’s policies and systems have been independently reviewed and found to be in compliance with the ICoC, and that Member Companies’ activities are continuously monitored. Moreover, as an increasing number of States and non-State clients are requiring ICoC Association membership as a prerequisite to participating in bidding processes, becoming an ICoCA member may open up more business opportunities for PSCs.
Through their membership, states and intergovernmental organizations show their commitment to effective private security sector governance, as well as their support for international human rights - and humanitarian law - based principles and standards applying to the responsible provision of private security services sector, including those contained in the Montreux Document.
Civil Society Organizations help to promote and protect human rights and support the rule of law through improving effective regulation and accountability of the private security sector. CSO Members play a key role in safeguarding the human rights focus of the Association’s core functions, and in ensuring that monitoring is carried out according to established human rights methodologies. Additionally, CSO members can contribute to identifying particular areas and regions where the provision of private security services may encounter higher risks, as well as in ensuring that the concerns and needs of impacted communities are taken into account and that the complains process is accessible and ensures effective remedies.
Member Companies pay an initial joining fee and an annual due which is determined according to the company’s revenue.
The Certification Procedure describes the current process for Member Companies to become certified by the ICoCA. The Procedure is structured in different sections, each detailing an individual aspect of the Certification function. In particular, it explains:
For more details, see the Certification Procedure document. The Secretariat is happy to give further explanations on demand.
The process is:
The process will officially open on 1 November 2016. Member Companies that are certified to an ICoCA-recognised standard will be able to submit their application following the guidance documents to be published on this website.
External standards currently recognised by the ICoCA Board are PSC.1, ISO 28007, and ISO 18788.
A Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing Performance Procedure (Article 12) has been adopted by vote at the 2016 AGA, and will form the basis for monitoring operations, which will be introduced and increasingly used during late 2016 and 2017.
The Secretariat’s top priority is security. Data which is considered highly confidential is currently kept on a stand-alone workstation that is not connected to a network, and other data is kept on a secure database with a dedicated network. Industry-standard security measures are being sought to ensure data is securely kept and managed. Secretariat staff are bound by confidentiality agreements, and are selected for their demonstrated experience in working in confidential environments, and sensitive information is not shared outside of the Secretariat. Where it is necessary for the Board to consider information that may be sensitive they are provided with a summary that omits details of individual companies or operations. Board members are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and to register any conflict of interest where it may exist.
The Article 12 procedures set forth three principle functions for overseeing or monitoring Code compliance: (1) information collection or remote monitoring, (2) company self-assessment reporting, and (3) field-based review.
A field-based review can be triggered by the Secretariat on the basis of identified need or upon the request of a Member of the Association.
The Complaints procedure was adopted by General Assembly in September 2016, and the Association should start accepting complaints in early 2017. To that end a secure online complaints form will be made available on the ICoCA website.
Upon receipt of a properly filed complaint the Secretariat will carry out a preliminary review, analyzing the nature of the allegations, assessing whether the complaint refers to criminal activities, personnel disputes, violations of the Code, etc. If it involved violations of the Code, the Secretariat will accept the complaint for processing. The Secretariat will then ascertain whether a sufficient grievance mechanism exists and is available; and will present to the complainant options to pursue their claim. In the event of no sufficient existing mechanisms, the Secretariat will provide recommendations and guidance for corrective action, and/or options for external mechanisms to resolve the issue, such as mediation or the ICoCA’s ‘good offices’.
Yes: one of the Secretariats’ functions is to provide support to Member companies to develop their internal grievance mechanisms; general advice will be made available, and Members will be invited to seek more specific advice.
The complainant will be notified throughout the process of the status of the complaint. The Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, ask the complainant for more information as necessary and offer options to pursue its claim within 30 days after receipt of the complaint. If there is not an adequate or appropriate mechanism, the Association will offer the complainant a choice of alternative mechanisms within 60 days after receipt of the complaint.