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ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations

ISO/IEC 27032:2023 Cybersecurity Guidelines for Internet security

What is ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations – Requirements with guidance for use?

ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations outlines a management system for private security operations, specifying the requirements and providing guidance for organizations that conduct or contract security operations. It applies to any organization that must manage security risks in their operations, including but not limited to private security companies (PSCs). The standard provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving a management system for private security operations.

Also, the standard is particularly relevant for organizations that operate in complex environments, where the rule of law or human rights governance may be weak, and aims to assure quality and reliability in the provision of security services. It helps organizations to demonstrate accountability, transparency, and responsibility in their operations while ensuring that they respect human rights, national and international laws.

Key Elements of ISO 18788:2015:
  • Scope and Applicability: Specifies the scope, defining the organizations and operations to which the standard applies.
  • Leadership and Commitment: Requires the involvement and commitment of top management in the implementation of the management system.
  • Risk Management: Provides guidelines for identifying, assessing, and managing risks, especially in terms of legal, human rights, and contractual obligations.
  • Operational Control: Sets out the criteria for establishing, maintaining, and controlling the processes that are part of the security operations.
  • Performance Evaluation: Details methods for monitoring, measuring, and evaluating the performance of the management system.
  • Improvement: Focuses on continual improvement of the management system based on performance evaluation.
  • Documentation: Requires comprehensive documentation to provide evidence of conformity to the standard’s requirements.
  • Training and Competence: Specifies the criteria for training personnel, both in terms of technical skills and understanding their roles in upholding human rights and ethical considerations.
  • Client and Stakeholder Engagement: Outlines how to effectively communicate and collaborate with clients and other stakeholders.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Aims to ensure that the organization complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and other requirements relevant to its operations.
  • Human Rights: Special emphasis on ensuring that the operations are conducted in a manner that respects the human rights and dignity of all individuals involved.

Overall, by conforming to ISO 18788:2015, organizations not only stand to improve their operational efficiency and effectiveness, but they also enhance their reputation and relationships with stakeholders by demonstrating a commitment to ethical business practices and human rights.

What are the requirements for ISO 18788:2015?

ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations sets forth a robust framework for a management system designed for private security operations. This standard integrates principles of good governance and human rights compliance into a coherent and systematic approach for managing private security services. Below are the key requirements, categorized into main sections:

General Requirements

  • Scope and Applicability: The organization must clearly define the scope of its management system, specifying the parts of the business and operations that fall under the standard’s requirements.
  • Normative References: The standard refers to other documents, which become necessary for the application of the standard.
  • Terms and Definitions: The organization needs to understand the specific terminology used within the standard for accurate implementation.
Context of the Organization
  • Understanding the Organization and its Context: Evaluate external and internal factors that may affect its objectives, such as legal, cultural, and social considerations.
  • Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties: Identifying and understanding stakeholders like clients, subcontractors, and regulators.
  • Determining the Scope: The scope of the management system must be precisely defined, including any exclusions.
  • Management System: The organization shall establish, maintain, and continually improve a management system in accordance with the standard’s requirements.


  • Leadership and Commitment: Top management must demonstrate commitment to the effectiveness of the management system.
  • Policy: Formulation of policies that are compatible with the overall strategic objectives and the context of the organization.
  • Organizational Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities: Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and levels of authority within the organization.


  • Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment and establish plans to address identified risks and opportunities.
  • Objectives and Planning: Define measurable objectives at relevant functions and levels within the organization.
  • Planning for Changes: When the organization undergoes changes, proper planning should be executed to ensure the integrity of the management system.
  • Resources: Allocation of necessary resources, such as personnel, technology, and infrastructure.
  • Competence: Ensure that employees and other persons involved are competent and, where needed, are provided with training.
  • Awareness: Promote awareness about the importance of conforming to the management system requirements.
  • Communication: Define when, what, how, and with whom to communicate regarding the management system.
  • Documented Information: Create, update, and control documents and records required by the standard.


  • Operational Planning and Control: Develop plans to apply processes under specified conditions, including contingency plans.
  • Outsourcing: If any part of the operation is outsourced, it should still conform to the relevant parts of the standard.
Performance Evaluation
  • Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis, and Evaluation: Assess performance and effectiveness of the management system and make necessary improvements.
  • Internal Audit: Regular internal audits must be conducted to provide information on the management system’s conformity.
  • Management Review: Top management should regularly review the management system’s performance, making adjustments as needed.


  • Nonconformity and Corrective Action: Identify, document, and manage nonconformities and undertake corrective actions.
  • Continual Improvement: The organization must continually improve the effectiveness of the management system through corrective actions and periodic reviews.
Additional Requirements
  • Human Rights Due Diligence: Conduct ongoing assessments to identify and manage risks related to human rights violations.
  • Compliance with Legal and Contractual Obligations: Ongoing monitoring and periodic audits should be conducted to ensure compliance with relevant legal and contractual obligations.
  • Community Engagement: Procedures should be established for engaging with communities and other non-client stakeholders in a manner that respects their rights.

Overall, conformance to ISO 18788:2015 allows an organization to demonstrate its commitment to responsible business practices, including the respect for human rights and legal obligations, thereby enhancing its reputation and stakeholder relationships.

What are the benefits of ISO 18788:2015?

Adopting and adhering to ISO 18788:2015 brings numerous benefits to an organization engaged in private security operations. Below are some of the key advantages:

Enhanced Compliance

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: The standard incorporates requirements to ensure an organization is compliant with national and international laws and regulations. This minimizes the risk of legal actions and sanctions.
  • Human Rights Compliance: Special emphasis on respecting human rights ensures that the organization operates ethically and responsibly, meeting global standards for human rights protections.

Operational Efficiency

  • Streamlined Processes: The standard helps in the systematic identification and management of risks, allowing for more efficient resource allocation and optimized operational processes.
  • Quality Assurance: Adherence to the standard often results in improved service quality, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Risk Management

  • Improved Risk Assessment: The standard requires regular risk assessments, which can provide insights into potential vulnerabilities, thus enabling proactive risk management.
  • Better Decision-Making: Data-driven approaches and regular performance evaluations support better decision-making at all organizational levels.
Stakeholder Relations
  • Enhanced Reputation: Conformance to the standard can significantly enhance the reputation of an organization, demonstrating its commitment to quality, ethics, and legal compliance.
  • Client Confidence: Certification provides an assurance to clients and stakeholders the organization’s commitment of maintaining high standards of service and integrity, which can be a strong selling point.
  • Community Engagement: By considering the impact of operations on local communities and other stakeholders, the organization can build beneficial relations and avoid conflicts.

Internal Benefits

  • Employee Satisfaction and Retention: Implementing the standard often brings clarity to roles, expectations, and processes, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Training and Skill Development: The standard requires that staff are adequately trained, ensuring they are competent and well-prepared for their roles.

Global Recognition

  • Competitive Advantage: ISO 18788:2015 certification can provide an edge in competitive tenders and can often be a requirement for participating in international contracts.
  • Market Access: Some markets and sectors require ISO certification as a prerequisite for entry, so adhering to this standard can open new avenues for business.
Continual Improvement
  • Scalability: The framework is designed for scalability, allowing organizations to grow while maintaining effective management systems.
  • Sustainability: The focus on continual improvement ensures that the organization is not only compliant but is also oriented towards long-term sustainability.

Overall, by providing a comprehensive framework for managing security operations effectively and responsibly, ISO 18788:2015 equips organizations with the tools they need to excel in today’s complex and often challenging operating environments.

Who needs ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations?

ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations primarily aims at organizations involved in the management and provision of private security services, either domestically or internationally. Below are some of the types of organizations and entities that may find this standard particularly beneficial:

Private Security Companies (PSCs)

Organizations providing security services, such as manned guarding, risk assessment, and consultation, can use this standard to ensure they are operating in line with industry best practices and legal requirements.

Security Contractors and Subcontractors

Companies that contract or subcontract private security services, especially in regions with complex social or legal landscapes, can use ISO 18788:2015 as a benchmark for service quality and ethical conduct.

Government Agencies

Government organizations responsible for contracting private security services can reference this standard to ensure that they are employing responsible and ethically compliant service providers.

Multinational Corporations

For corporations with operations in multiple countries, especially in conflict or high-risk zones, ISO 18788:2015 offers a framework to standardize security measures across various locations, aligning them with global best practices.

Humanitarian Organizations and NGOs

Organizations working in high-risk areas often contract private security firms for protection. Adhering to ISO 18788:2015 can help ensure that their security providers operate under ethical and responsible guidelines.

Energy Sector Companies

Companies in the oil, gas, and mining sectors often operate in remote or high-risk areas and may rely on private security services. This standard can help them maintain operational integrity and safety.

Financial Institutions

Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions that require secure environments can benefit from employing security services that adhere to ISO 18788:2015 standards.

Supply Chain and Logistics Companies

Organizations involved in the transportation of goods, especially high-value or sensitive materials, can employ private security services aligned with ISO 18788:2015 to mitigate risks during transit.

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities with security needs can benefit from ensuring that their security service providers are certified under ISO 18788:2015, thereby maintaining a high level of security and ethical standards.

Event Management Companies

Organizations that are responsible for managing large-scale events can utilize ISO 18788:2015-certified security services to ensure the safety of attendees and compliance with local regulations.

Academic Institutions

Universities and schools that require private security services can benefit from the standardized processes and ethical considerations outlined in ISO 18788:2015.

In summary, ISO 18788:2015 can be beneficial for any organization or entity that either provides, contracts, or is from the oversight of private security services, especially those operating in high-risk or complex environments. It helps to standardize operational procedures, ensure legal compliance, enhance stakeholder relationships, and foster a culture of continuous improvement and ethical conduct.

At last, Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, you need more support with ISO 18788:2015 Management system for private security operations, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

Also read: ISO 22313:2020 Security and resilience

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