Addressing Security Operations and Human Rights in Complex Environments

Security Operations is a high profit-oriented industry that provides the proper personnel, equipment, and procedures to prevent losses and damages caused by human error, disasters or criminal actions. Genuinely, private security has evolved from the human desire for more individual protection and the need for persons and/or properties to protect from crime.

In recent decades, a considerable increase of human rights violations in international corporate activities have been seen, and some of these activities have led or contributed to violations of the human rights of workers, communities, and individuals on the global scale. Business organizations that are working in different complex environments are facing difficulties and challenges around their ongoing operations. Consequently, these difficulties and challenges can undermine the security and safety of organizational operations including staff members, while at the same time affecting the human rights.

According to ASIS, all businesses, regardless of size, have numerous concerns about security related to fraud, theft, computer hacking, industrial espionage, workplace violence and, recently terrorism. Therefore, security companies are blooming every day, and they are becoming the fastest growing industry throughout the world.

Significantly, ISO 18788 assures a high quality of security services in circumstances where the rule  of law has been weakened due to human or natural events and allows the organization to achieve their objectives at the same time.


ISO 18788 – Private security operations

In the midst of global growth of the private security industry, a number of efforts have arisen to govern private security provision and give assurance to security operations in complex environments, to be part of international declaration. Also, an international code of conduct, and a national management system that can easy be auditable as ascended; along with the structure on these struggles, as well as the growing international consensus, about the human rights in the everyday job in a different environment.

The new “ISO 18788 Management System for Private Security Operations – Requirements with Guidance for Use” specifies a risk management framework for the conduct of security operations. This international standard is very important for organizations providing and contracting security service operations. Generally, the main aim of the ISO 18788 is to enable coherent provision of security services, while maintaining the safety of clients and ensuring respect for human rights, national and international rules. ISO 18788 stands out as the first auditable standard with human rights at its core. The standard provides requirements and principles for Security Operations Management System (SOMS), and it demonstrates its ability to consistently provide services that meet client requests and that are in conformance with all applicable laws and human rights requirements.

Benefits of ISO 18788 certification

  • Offers a reliable and comprehensive means of demonstrating effective corporate governance from board level to physical delivery
  • The standard covers every important aspect of the way a private security company emphasizes your credibility and helps you protect your reputation
  • It de-risks security services it offers for the clients
  • Helps the organization to protect their position, and it improves the likelihood of successful operations
  • Reduces internal audit and due diligence burden
  • Gives assurance for the clients, governments and communities that the highest level of performance is achieved
  • Organizations are able to demonstrate constant performance through an continuing program of external audit
  • Proves compliance with International Organization for Standards (ISO) 18788 requirements for security operations management systems.
  • Certification is a value for money assurance investment.

Important elements of ISO 18788

  • Risk based approach is considered to be a core process of the Security Operations Management System
  • ISO 18788 helps to plan and organize your security operations throughout the management controls
  • Private Security Operations protect important parts of enterprise risk management
  • The standard places a strong responsibility on your organization as a security service provider to identify who will your operations impact and how, starting with clients, regulations and legal governance, to employees and subcontractors
  • ISO 18788 supports every business function and encompasses the core security operations and the supply chain of an organization
  • ISO 18788 is supported and driven by the senior management team
  • Compliance to ISO 18788 can support organizations in different ways
  • Contributing governments identify business responsibility to respect human rights
  • Certifiable – avoids de-coupling
  • Prevention – Human rights risk assessments and risk avoidance
  • Improvement – complaints procedures, performance evaluation, management review
  • Generating and spreading a human rights culture


Crest Advisory Africa is a certification body for persons, management systems, and products on a wide range of international standards. As a global provider of training, examination, audit, and certification services, Crest Advisory Africa offers its expertise on multiple fields. Join us for the ISO 18788 Lead implementer Training