Security Agencies Rating Scheme (SARS)

Central Association for Private Security Industry (CAPSI), the pre-eminent organisation for the security professionals in India and Quality Council of India (QCI), the country’s apex quality facilitation and national accreditation body have jointly embarked upon the process of standardization in the private security industry, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to operate a voluntary certification and rating programme for the private security agencies (PSAs). The programme has been christened as the ‘Security Agencies Rating Scheme (SARS)’ that will help PSAs enhance their credibility, and consequently multiply their business.


“The Star Rating of PSAs will prove to be a real game changer for the entire private security domain. The evaluation processes developed jointly by Quality Council of India and CAPSI will bring out best service providers. The quality of service delivery and management of PSAs will ensure that end users will get PSARA plus services, and excellent customer care methodologies. It is going to change the face of the private security industry.”

– Kunwar Vikram Singh
Chairman CAPSI & SSSDC


While CAPSI and QCI shall be the joint owners of the scheme, the governing structure of SARS shall be under a multi-stakeholder steering committee (MSC), which will be supported by a technical and a certification committee constituted by CAPSI and QCI. A consensus based technical criteria for PSAs would be formulated by the MSC, based on which agencies would be evaluated by the competent third party certification bodies. These certification bodies in turn would be accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), which is a part of the international system of equivalence of accreditations and certifications, in accordance with appropriate international standards.


“Security Agencies Rating Scheme (SARS) is an excellent initiative by CAPSI & Quality Control of India that would set the benchmark of true performance, and thus bring the much-awaited satisfaction for the end users of security services. ASSOCHAM, as a leading chamber of commerce is privileged to be associated in bringing the thoughts of industries to the implementation programme.”

– Anil Dhawan
Co-Chairman, Homeland Security Committee ASSOCHAM


Security Agencies Rating Scheme is based on the criteria for certification. The developed technical criteria specify the requirements for a quality management system for the management, staffing and operations of a PSA providing uniformed security guarding services on a static site and/ or mobile and patrol basis, at different capability levels. The mandatory tenets of Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005 (PSARA) have been incorporated in the basic level of certification (Level 1) corresponding to One Star. The standard of professional competence is progressively enhanced and the top most level is pegged at Level 7 corresponding to a Seven Star rating. A PSA, depending upon its professional competency, may opt to be rated at any of these levels right at the beginning and that will not be subjected to progressive upgradations. While One Star rating corresponds to PSARA compliance, Three Star rating encompasses the basic PSARA criteria and certain essential management compliances to form Private Security Services Management System (PSSMS). Further, Five Star rating corresponds to the criteria laid down in ISO 90001(+) and Seven Star rating corresponds to the International ISO 18788. The intervening even number of Star Ratings will be given to the PSA that will maintain sustained compliance for three years in their present rating.


“Trusted and well recognised system of certification stimulates to achieve robust quality management standards – both operationally and administratively. Star rating method shall be an indicator of grading on the basis of the levels of compliance and practice followed by the security group. Based on sound technical requirements, certification and star rating by CAPSI & QCI shall give both PSI and clients the confidence and assurance of providing high standard security services. Certification shall open new horizons for the PSI and shall provide a sound foundation for the recognition of this sector”

 C Pal Singh
Former I G Police (Punjab) Honorary Director General (CAPSI)


Indian Private Security Industry (PSI) comprising over 22,000 PSAs and nearly 8.5 million security personnel (guards) is one of the largest employment generating sectors of the country. These guards are primarily employed and managed by PSAs who deploy them in accordance with their contractual obligations with the respective principal employers. PSAs at large fall in the ambit of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). The guards deployed by the PSAs are mandatorily governed by PSARA, and are monitored by the controlling authorities of the states, which grant them licenses based on the parameters laid down in PSARA, for operating in that state.


“The Private Security Industry is catching up with the increasingly competitive quality ecosystem. The market place will be replete with choices and companies will be vying with differentiators and brand values. Customers are savvy, extremely cost conscious and are consistently demanding certified standards of service that has been independently assessed and rated for quality deliveries. Security business leaders must raise the bar in their business value with assured quality star ratings because trust is a pre-requisite in referral business”

– Jasbir Wasu
Vice-Chairman, Licencing and Legal, CAPSI


Albeit, no express parameters are laid down as on date whereby PSAs can be evaluated based on certain professionally accepted criteria. This factor acts as an impediment for the principal employers to take decision while they are in the process of identifying the most suitable PSA whom they can entrust the task of providing security to their establishment. The Security Agencies Rating Scheme is going to make a great instrument to help them reach a right decision.

Having complied with all the statutory requirements as given in the governing structure, SARS is going to be launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce at the Special Standards Conclave scheduled to be held at Mumbai during 08-09 February 2019.


One Thought to “Security Agencies Rating Scheme (SARS)”

  1. Rajiv Tandon

    This was essentially needed for this industry. All the PSA’s need to strive to attain such an excellence in case they aspire to be recognised. The Committee charged with the responsibility to assess the certification of a PSA must importantly undertake this charter in all fairness & with full responsibility.

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