At Consultive Solutions we believe a CCTV annual assessment is a sound business process that provides a clear rational and justification for the operation of your CCTV system. It is our aim to work with you to ensure all of your needs, desires and requirements are met and demonstrated against the key guiding principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Surveillance Camera Codes of Practice. Through our wraparound services and expert operational and technical knowledge we aim to provide our clients with a detailed Operational Requirement document that ensures clear legal compliance and reduced business risk.
Why do I need an Annual Assessment?
There is a requirement in law, through The Data Protection Act 1998 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 that those organisations operating CCTV systems should be able to demonstrate on an annual bases a legitimate and proportionate need to having CCTV. This is highlighted in the two codes of practice that are in force, firstly Data Protection Act, CCTV Code of Practice 2008 and secondly the recently published Surveillance Camera Code of Practice 2013.
Both codes lay out a number of guiding principles for users to follow, nine for the Data Protection Act and twelve for the recent Surveillance codes. There are similarity’s between the two pieces of legislation with both requesting an evidence based rational and annual assessment that demonstrates proportionality against the stated aim of the CCTV system. Government has indicated that they would like to see the results of such assessments being made accessible to the general public.
Consultive Solutions has an array of operational and technical experience in the production of system documentation, we encourage all of our clients to invest in such an essential document not only to assist in meeting the compliance requirements of both acts but as part of a well managed and maintained system.
What is an Operational Requirement?
An Operational Requirement is a statement of need based upon a thorough and systematic assessment of the problem to be solved and the hoped for solutions. In short what is wrong, why, what is needed to fix it and how.
Each Operational Requirement is broken down into component parts and will include details on the complete solution as well as the individual parts such as camera sites. This information should also direct any system design principles and functionality.
Within an Operational Requirement you will be required to provide a rational for each element of the system. Some of the questions you will need to ask yourself are:
- Why do I need it?
- What does it need to see, when? In what conditions?
- What quality do the images have to be? Identification, Recognition, Monitor, Detection?
- Do I need to record data, for how long? 7, 10, 14,21,30 days 6 months, How much storage will I need for this ?
- Who will use the footage and why? Police, Company, Insurance, partners ?
- Is it exportable to other services such as the Police? CD, DVD, USB?
- Will it be monitored, by who, when, where?
- Who will respond to any incidents? Police, Staff, Security?
At Consultive Solutions we will endeavour to guide you through the detailed processes needed to complete the Operational Requirement document. We will work with our clients to establish the baseline operational function on new projects, we can also produce operational requirements on existing systems that may be required to help support and define the criteria of your annual assessments. Such a document can also provide the evidence needed to demonstrate the need for system improvements or reductions.
What are the benefits of having an Operational Requirement?
A well-constructed Operational Requirement will be used to carry out the legal requirement of producing an annual assessment of your system against its original stated need; in some cases this will be the reasons you gave on your Data Protection registration when declaring your CCTV system. However as time passes the needs and requirements of your system may change for numerous reasons and some beyond your control.
An Operational Requirement not only defines the base requirements it delivers other benefits:
- Assists in meeting legal compliance through annual assessment’s
- Can clearly define business needs and business cases.
- Can assist in insurance assessments.
- Defines technical specifications of equipment.
- Can be used to measure contractor performance on installations and maintenance.
- Is used as a key document in system commissioning.
- Defines what is and is not fit for purpose within the system.
The annual assessment can only be achieved through having clearly defined operational requirements. These requirements are those laid out in the Operational Requirements document. Requirements can and will change to meet the fluid business needs and these changes can easily be reflected in version changes of the requirements document. At Consultive Solutions it is our aim to ensure that your organisation remains legally compliant at all times whilst operating an evidenced based, fit for purpose proportionality applied CCTV system.