Frequently Asked Questions


Who can join the ICoCA?

Private security companies (PSCs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and governments can become members, provided they:

  • make a commitment to adhering to the obligations and requirements of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers (ICoC),
  • accept the Articles of the Association and the procedures and rules of the Association, 
  • pay all applicable fees and membership dues.

PSC Member Companies must also:

  • commit to: obtaining certification; participating in reporting, monitoring and performance assessment process; and participating in the complaints process.

Organizations and individuals who do not fit into those groups, but who may still have an interest the ICoCA (eg. academics, other security-related industries, certifying bodies, etc) may join as observers.


What is the process for applying for membership?

Eligible PSCs, CSOs and governments can request consideration for membership. They will be asked to provide evidence of their eligibility, and prospective industry members will be asked to provide a written plan explaining how they have implemented the ICoC in their current and planned operations. More information.


What are the benefits of membership for private security companies?

By joining the ICoCA private security companies show their commitment to complying with the fundamental human rights and humanitarian law principles and standards articulated in the ICoC. Certification by the Association is a public statement that the security company’s policies and systems have been independently reviewed and found to be in compliance with the ICoC, and that Member Companies’ activities are continuously monitored. Moreover, as an increasing number of States and non-State clients are requiring ICoC Association membership as a prerequisite to participating in bidding processes, becoming an ICoCA member may open up more business opportunities for PSCs.


How will ICoCA benefit civil society and Government members?

Through their membership, states and intergovernmental organizations show their commitment to effective private security sector governance, as well as their support for international human rights - and humanitarian law - based principles and standards applying to the responsible provision of private security services sector, including those contained in the Montreux Document.


Civil Society Organizations help to promote and protect human rights and support the rule of law through improving effective regulation and accountability of the private security sector. CSO Members play a key role in safeguarding the human rights focus of the Association’s core functions, and in ensuring that monitoring is carried out according to established human rights methodologies. Additionally, CSO members can contribute to identifying particular areas and regions where the provision of private security services may encounter higher risks, as well as in ensuring that the concerns and needs of impacted communities are taken into account and that the complains process is accessible and ensures effective remedies.


What are the costs of membership?

Member Companies pay an initial joining fee and an annual due which is determined according to the company’s revenue


What is the ICoCA Certification Procedure?

The Certification Procedure describes the current process for Member Companies to become certified by the ICoCA. The Procedure is structured in different sections, each detailing an individual aspect of the Certification function. In particular, it explains:


  • The role of the Certification Committee, the Board and the Secretariat;
  • How external national and international standard are proposed to the ICoCA, reviewed by the Secretariat and the CC, and recognized by the Board;
  • The relationships between the ICoCA and the Certification Bodies;
  • The process for companies to become ICoCA certified, which is one of the requirement to become a Member of the ICoCA.

For more details, see the Certification Procedure document. The Secretariat is happy to give further explanations on demand.


My company is certified to a Board-recognized standard. How can it become ICoCA-certified?

The process is:

  • A Member Company needs to be certified to an external national or international standard recognised by the ICoCA Board (PSC.1, ISO 28007 and ISO 18788).
  • The Member Company should then provide to the Secretariat the appropriate documentation and additional information, as stated in the Recognition Statement for ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 , the Recognition Statement for ISO 28007, or in the Recognition Statement for ISO 18788.
  • The Secretariat reviews the information in accordance with a set of criteria defined by the Certification Committee and makes a recommendation to the Board to either approve or deny the Member Company ICoCA Certification. 
  • The Board votes to confirm the status of the members recommended by the Secretariat for ICoCA Certification.
  • The Secretariat issues a certificate and the Member Company becomes a “full” member.


When will my company be able to apply for ICoCA Certification?

The process will officially open on 1 November 2016. Member Companies that are certified to an ICoCA-recognised standard will be able to submit their application following the guidance documents to be published on this website.                


Which standards have been recognised by the ICoCA?

External standards currently recognised by the ICoCA Board are PSC.1, ISO 28007, and ISO 18788.


What is the current status of the Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing Performance procedure?

A Reporting, Monitoring and Assessing Performance Procedure (Article 12) has been adopted by vote at the 2016 AGA, and will form the basis for monitoring operations, which will be introduced and increasingly used during late 2016 and 2017.


How is sensitive information provided through self-assessment or monitoring protected by the ICoCA?

The Secretariat’s top priority is security. Data which is considered highly confidential is currently kept on a stand-alone workstation that is not connected to a network, and other data is kept on a secure database with a dedicated network. Industry-standard security measures are being sought to ensure data is securely kept and managed. Secretariat staff are bound by confidentiality agreements, and are selected for their demonstrated experience in working in confidential environments, and sensitive information is not shared outside of the Secretariat. Where it is necessary for the Board to consider information that may be sensitive they are provided with a summary that omits details of individual companies or operations. Board members are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and to register any conflict of interest where it may exist.


What are the components of monitoring?

The Article 12 procedures set forth three principle functions for overseeing or monitoring Code compliance: (1) information collection or remote monitoring, (2) company self-assessment reporting, and (3) field-based review.


What are the triggers for field-based reviews?

A field-based review can be triggered by the Secretariat on the basis of identified need or upon the request of a Member of the Association. 


What are the next steps in establishing Monitoring operations?

  • Performance and compliance indicators will be made available in 2016.
  • Company self-assessment reporting will be starting in early 2017.
  • During 2017 we will focus on developing a monitoring network, and developing feedback and guidance for Members.


What is the current status of the Complaints procedure?

The Complaints procedure was adopted by General Assembly in September 2016, and the Association should start accepting complaints in early 2017. To that end a secure online complaints form will be made available on the ICoCA website.


How does Secretariat respond to a complaint?

Upon receipt of a properly filed complaint the Secretariat will carry out a preliminary review, analyzing the nature of the allegations, assessing whether the complaint refers to criminal activities, personnel disputes, violations of the Code, etc. If it involved violations of the Code, the Secretariat will accept the complaint for processing. The Secretariat will then ascertain whether a sufficient grievance mechanism exists and is available; and will present to the complainant options to pursue their claim. In the event of no sufficient existing mechanisms, the Secretariat will provide recommendations and guidance for corrective action, and/or options for external mechanisms to resolve the issue, such as mediation or the ICoCA’s ‘good offices’.


Can the Secretariat provide advice on setting up a grievance process?

Yes: one of the Secretariats’ functions is to provide support to Member companies to develop their internal grievance mechanisms; general advice will be made available, and Members will be invited to seek more specific advice. 


Will ICoCA provide timely feedback to complainants?

The complainant will be notified throughout the process of the status of the complaint. The Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, ask the complainant for more information as necessary and offer options to pursue its claim within 30 days after receipt of the complaint. If there is not an adequate or appropriate mechanism, the Association will offer the complainant a choice of alternative mechanisms within 60 days after receipt of the complaint.