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Shipping companies increase reputational risk…

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Gerry Northwood COO of GoAGT

Gerry Northwood COO of GoAGT

Shipping companies increase reputational risk by ignoring international standards for private maritime security

Compliance and high professional standards should be championed

The shipping industry should adopt a unified international standard to judge and regulate security services provided by private contractors, says leading maritime security company GoAGT.Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of GoAGT, which has recently joined the ranks of a select group of ISO/PAS 28007 certified companies, said: “Private maritime security companies (PMSCs) are an important part of the supply chain, protecting seafarers globally in high risk areas. Where substandard operators have been caught out cutting corners and have found themselves in hot water with local and national authorities, it has placed everyone in the industry at risk.”

“It is extremely important that the shipping industry demands that internationally recognised standards such as ISO/PAS 28007 are implemented to ensure PMSCs are capable of delivering a professional service.”

He added: “The problem is that most ship-owners and managers still have little idea of what ISO/PAS 28007 is. While it is quite right that price is an important factor in selecting a PMSC, this needs to be complemented with a focus on quality of service. The assets being protected are worth millions of dollars and seafarers’ lives are potentially at risk. The reputational hit should it go wrong could be enormous and an over focus on price is the wrong way to be heading when there are lives at stake”.

Maritime security companies worldwide operate in an increasingly complex and regulated arena. For this reason, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sought the creation of unified security management standards that would improve supply chain compliance among the rapidly growing PMSC sector. ISO/PAS 28007 provides this framework for PMSCs to apply the correct process to recruit and train armed security teams, equip them appropriately, ensure supplier performance and to correctly apply the Rules of the Use of Force.

David Derrick, UK Business Centre Manager at certification body Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), commented: “The publication of ISO/PAS 28007 now allows PMSCs to demonstrate compliance with a set of rigorous requirements, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate to ship owners and managers their commitment to customer service, quality, safety and risk management processes.”

GoAGT achieved the ISO/PAS 28007 certification on 7th March after finishing the second stage of the audit carried out LRQA. The company is one of only a select few PMSCs that have achieved this certification, in a security sector of over 100 companies.

Commenting on GoAGT’s certification, David Derrick said: “We are delighted to certify GoAGT which has clearly shown itself able to deal with the complex and detailed requirements of ISO/PAS 28007 and we look forward to working with them on the ongoing assessment programme.”

ISO/PAS 28007 was initiated at the request of the IMO in a drive to develop International standards of compliance. It demands these are met by PMSCs and provides a formal mechanism by which they can be judged against operational, legal and risk management criteria.

About GoAGT

GoAGT has been providing safe passage and protection across the industry to some of the world’s largest and most respected shipping companies since 2008. As an industry-leading maritime security company, GoAGT has grown from strength to strength and now employs over 200 ex-military and naval personnel, covering all ranks from Admiral to Bosun.

GoAGT provides around 60, 000 man-days of protection to clients every year and its teams have protected over 40, 000 seafarers since commencing operations. The company can claim a 100 per cent success record in over 1800 armed transit voyages conducted through the Indian Ocean and other high risk areas.

GoAGT is an ISO/PAS 28007 certified company.

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