The categories and criteria for the 2018 UK OSPAs are listed below.

The same criteria is applied to all participating countries.

The judges are responsible for awarding the winners and finalists in each category. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The OSPAs reserve the right to not award a particular category if circumstances deem it necessary.

Nominations closed on Monday 13th November 2017. 


2018 UK OSPA Categories

Please click below to download an example of an entry which shows how an answer may be written to respond to a category’s criteria.

Example answer for In-House Security Manager/Director

Please click on the category you would like to read.


1. Outstanding In-House Security Manager/Director

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In-house security managers/directors can operate in different ways, they may work as advisors to the organisation or be a head of a team or department. Whatever the role, this category recognises those who through security expertise, business acumen and/or skilful and innovative leadership approaches, have led the security portfolio with distinction. Outstanding performers will be leaders and innovators who are setting examples that others will wish to follow.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the role of the security manager/director and the ways in which he/she has led change in the organisation including the security impacts of any partnership approaches adopted with different stakeholders. (500 words)
  2. Provide details of the value added by the security manager/director and his/her impact on the work of the security department highlighting the specific leadership qualities that generated any benefits noted. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the ways in which the role has driven security performance
  • Highlighting the factors that enable the manager/director to excel
  • Identifying the ways in which the role has influenced wider business operations
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the improvements made to people and/or process and systems

2. Outstanding In-House Security Team
Open to contracted teams and those employed direct

  Supported bySASIG_new

Sponsored by      TSC Company logo

This award recognises outstanding In-house security teams in the private, public or voluntary sectors. An outstanding team is one that has implemented an approach which has contributed to the overall performance of the organisation. This can include roles in protecting the organisation against different types of threats, some or all of which may be innovative or exemplary, as well as showing outstanding performance in enabling the organisation to operate in ways or areas that would not be possible without the contribution of the security team

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the work of the security team and the ways in which it has driven outstanding performance highlighting the key factors that have enabled success. (500 words)
  2. Describe the impact of the team highlighting the benefits and value it has generated for different stakeholders. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing how the team creates and implements an effective security strategy and drives security performance
  • Highlighting how good security impacts on the wider organisation
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrating how improvements made to people and/or process and systems

3. Outstanding Contract Security Company

This OSPA recognises those who are outstanding suppliers of manned security guarding. In the modern world the provision of manned guarding services has become a much more skilled task. Motivating staff, managing resources in an increasingly competitive and price sensitive environment, up-skilling, recognising the distinct importance of front line leadership, making the most of technologies, forging internal and external partnerships and making them work are just some of the trends that are leading to new approaches and thinking about manned guarding. The object of this category is to recognise the outstanding performers in making a positive difference.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the security guarding company and the service it provides, highlighting key distinguishing features. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the security guarding company has displayed outstanding performance and deserves to be recognised with this OSPA. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths the company displays
  • Highlighting the business approach, specific skills and tactics that underpin performance
  • Identifying examples of business success in initiatives, procedures and policies
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with stakeholders
  • Demonstrating how high performance and benefits are sustained

4. Outstanding Security Consultant

This OSPA recognises the security consultant – individual, team or company – demonstrating outstanding performance in any aspect of security consulting. Consultants often play a key role in security in offering expertise and insight which can transform the quality of service, product or system that is offered. It recognises the existence of distinct skill sets and crucially the ways these are harnessed and managed to make a difference to security strategy and/or practice.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the role and objectives of the consultant and the key factors that reflect outstanding performance. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the security consultant has displayed outstanding performance in terms for example, of leadership skills, a focus on the customer, by adding value or otherwise driving excellence. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the ways in which the consultant has driven security performance
  • Highlighting the key distinguishing strengths of the consultant including leadership skills
  • Identifying the ways in which the role has influenced positively wider business operations
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrating how high performance and benefits are sustained

5. Outstanding Customer Service Initiative

This OSPA recognises the company, organisation or individual that operates an outstanding initiative that generates sustainable benefits for customers. However security is judged, and there are many different ways, the need to generate very positive feedback from highly satisfied customer is always valued. There is a broad range of initiatives which can be considered for this OSPA but what they share is an exclusive focus on successfully implementing positive change for customers.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the customer service initiative and its key objectives explaining the key influences on the approaches taken and the key impacts it has had. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the customer service Initiative displays and encourages outstanding performance and the reasons why it has been successful and if applicable how success will be sustained. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the aims of the initiative and how these are focussed on the customer
  • Highlighting how innovation is displayed
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of improved performance
  • Demonstrating business benefits and how they are sustained

6. Outstanding Security Training Initiative          

This OSPA recognises individuals or companies that operate a successful training scheme, which promotes outstanding performance and has produced identifiable results. There is a tendency to talk about training and up-skilling as a good thing in itself. In fact in the very least, training should most often be undertaken in response to an identified need, with a programme that is suited to best meeting a skills gap, that is well articulated and delivered, and results in an benefits in terms of better performance. This OSPA looks to recognise those who have made a difference to improving security practice via training.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the training initiative, highlighting its key features that were responsible for delivering outstanding performance. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the training initiative made an impact in developing outstanding security practices in terms of adding value, improving performance or otherwise driving excellence. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the aims of the initiative and how these are focussed on the customer
  • Highlighting how innovation is displayed
  • Identifying the factors that enable the trainers to excel
  • Providing examples of improved performance
  • Demonstrating the business benefits and how they are sustained

7. Outstanding Security Installer

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This OSPA recognises outstanding performance by security installers, be that individuals or companies. Excelling at security installations requires a rounded approach and often skill sets that include security expertise, project management and customer care. Although security installations are about adding value the precise benefits will vary by type of client and type of installation. This OSPA recognises those who excel at security installations.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the service the installer provides, the main areas of outstanding performance, and how these were achieved. (500 words)
  2. Describe the additional value and benefits that were generated for clients and the factors and drivers that enabled the installer to excel. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths the installer displays
  • Highlighting how new technology and/or innovative techniques have improved performance
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of client benefits
  • Demonstrating how high performance is sustained

8. Outstanding Event Security Team

This OSPA recognises companies who work to ensure the safety and security at events. Whether a major concert or sporting occasion, or an exhibition or conference, the team must have displayed outstanding performance and commitment to security at the event.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the work of the event security team and the ways in which it has driven outstanding performance highlighting the key factors that have enabled success. (500 words)
  2. Describe the impact of the team highlighting the benefits and value it has generated for different stakeholders. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths of the team
  • Highlighting the business approach, specific skills and tactics that underpin performance
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of how the team improved security performance
  • Demonstrating business benefits and how they are sustained

9. Outstanding Security Partnership

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This OSPA recognises a successful security partnership that delivers outstanding performance. ‘Partnerships’ is an over used word in security. Frequently partnerships are identified as crucial to good security but often may involve little more than collaboration, a very different thing. What is known is that effective partnerships are most often the result of good planning around identifiable objectives designed to deliver specific benefits, and are typically characterised by good management/co-ordination.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the partnership and the benefits it provides. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the partnership demonstrates outstanding performance and why the partnership deserves this OSPA. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the role of the partnership and the key benefits it provides
  • Highlighting the business approach, specific skills and tactics that underpin performance
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of outstanding performance for stakeholders
  • Demonstrating business benefits and how they are sustained

10. Outstanding Investigator

This OSPA recognises the investigator – individual or company – who has displayed outstanding performance in an area of criminal or civil investigation, and may be in-house or independent. Investigations are typically skilled activities and when done well can have significant impact on overall security performance. The winner of this OSPA will have used investigatory skills to produce significant results in either an exemplary showcase incident or over time and across investigations with single or multiple clients to produce distinguished results.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the work of the investigator and the ways that their actions have an impact on their clients (500 words)
  2. Describe how the investigator produced outstanding performance in its activities and why it deserves to be rewarded with this OSPA. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths of the investigator
  • Highlighting the ways in which the investigator has built and sustained client relationships
  • Identifying the factors that enable the investigator to excel
  • Providing examples of how the investigator is setting and raising standards
  • Demonstrating how high performance and benefits are sustained

11. Outstanding Cyber Security Initiative

This OSPA recognises the company, team or individual that operates an outstanding cyber security initiative that has led to improved security. Cyber crime is a hot topic in recent times, and cyber security initiatives will be more commonplace as the world becomes more connected. This OSPA is aimed at an innovative initiative that has created outstanding security performance in protecting the company/stakeholders from digital threats.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the cyber security initiative, highlighting its key features that were responsible for delivering outstanding performance. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the initiative made an impact in developing outstanding cyber security practices in terms of adding value, improving performance or otherwise driving excellence. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the aims of the initiative and the key benefits it provides
  • Highlighting the business approach, specific skills and tactics that underpin performance
  • Identifying the factors that enable staff/leadership to excel
  • Providing examples of outstanding performance for stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the business benefits and how they are sustained

12. Outstanding Information Security Company

This OSPA recognises those who are outstanding suppliers of information security products and advice. In the modern world, information security is becoming increasingly important with the increased threat of cyber breaches. Motivating and engaging staff, managing resources in an increasingly competitive and price sensitive environment, up-skilling, recognising the distinct importance of front line leadership, making the most of technologies, forging internal and external partnerships and making them work are just some of the trends that are leading to new approaches and thinking about information security. The object of this category is to recognise the outstanding performers in making a positive difference.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the information security company and the service and products it provides, highlighting key distinguishing features. (500 words)
  2. Describe how the information security company has displayed outstanding performance and deserves to be recognised with this OSPA. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths the company displays
  • Highlighting the business approach, specific skills and tactics that underpin performance
  • Identifying examples of business success in initiatives, procedures and policies
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with stakeholders
  • Demonstrating how high performance and benefits are sustained

13. Outstanding Security Equipment Manufacturer

This OSPA recognises an outstanding manufacturer of products that service the security market. Manufacturers of any security product in any market can enter.  The winner of this OSPA will have shown outstanding performance in manufacturing a leading edge security product (or products), which has produced clear beneficial results for customers.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the manufacturer and its distinguishing features, and any innovative aspects that enable it to be considered as a cutting edge company. (500 words)
  2. Evidence how the manufacturer produces products that are specifically designed to address a market demand, and show how these products add value to the company and the security industry. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths the manufacturer displays
  • Highlighting the business approach and how it meets a distinct market demand
  • Identifying examples of business success
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with stakeholders
  • Demonstrating how high performance and benefits are sustained

14. Outstanding Security Officer

This OSPA recognises the security officer demonstrating the most outstanding performance. It will be awarded to a security officer who is highly committed to security work, showing enthusiasm, initiative and displaying security competence in different areas including in the development of stakeholder relationships. The officer will have had a beneficial impact on the workplace positively influencing operations and having been recognised for achieving outstanding service.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the role of the security officer and the ways in which he/she has led change in an organisation including the security impacts of any partnership approaches adopted with different stakeholders. (500 words)
  2. Provide details of the value added by the security officer and his/her impact on the work of the security department highlighting the specific leadership qualities that generated any benefits noted. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the key distinguishing strengths the individual displays
  • Highlighting the factors that enable the individual to excel
  • Identifying the ways in which the individual has influenced client operations
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the overall value added by the individual’s contribution

15. Outstanding Young Security Professional

This OSPA recognises a young security professional – that is anyone below the age of thirty (there is no restriction on the number of years spent in security) – who has excelled in his/her early career performance. This OSPA will be awarded to someone who has made an impact in the area of private security, for example as a analyst/researcher, working for a security supplier and/or corporate security (rather than police/military). This could be in any area of security activity, as a student, in the workplace or a combination, but it will be someone who has made a difference and is laying the basis for an outstanding career in security.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe the role of the young professional and the ways in which he/she has excelled. (500 words)
  2. Provide details of the value added by the young professional and his/her impact in specific area or areas of security activity (inside the workplace and/or outside) highlighting the special qualities of the individual. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the work of the young professional and its relationship to security
  • Highlighting the ways in which the young professional is laying the foundations of a security career
  • Identifying the influence of the young professional on specific audiences
  • Providing examples of interest and dedication to improving security
  • Demonstrating how high performance will be sustained.

16. Lifetime Achievement

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This OSPA recognises a senior member of the security community who has been working in the industry for over 30 years. It recognises an individual who has consistently shown outstanding performance over an extended period of time and has had a substantial impact upon defining and driving standards in the security sector.

To enter this category you will be asked to:

  1. Describe their career, including key moments and prominent achievements. (500 words)
  2. Describe how outstanding performance has been at the forefront of activities throughout their career, how this person has encouraged others to perform outstandingly and how they have contributed to raising performance standards throughout the security sector. (500 words)

The Judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding performance in:

  • Discussing the roles held by the individual and the significance of them to security
  • Highlighting the factors that enable the individual to excel at what he or she has done
  • Identifying the ways in which the individual has influenced the security sector
  • Providing examples of building effective relationships with key stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the overall value added over his or her career