Knockback to security firm

A LAUNCESTON security firm was found to have accredited a guard in return for $500 payment without training him.

However, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal did not find Echelon National Security Agency not to be a "fit and proper" corporation as alleged by the national regulator.

In a decision last week, the tribunal upheld the regulator's refusal to register Echelon as a training organisation in Vocational Education and Training.

Echelon manages on licence 270 security guards and provides crowd control services in Launceston.

It has also been responsible for training a significant number of security guards between June 2005 and December 2012.

During this period it was a registered training provider. However, after the Australian Skills Quality Authority became the regulatory body in 2012, it was necessary for Echelon to reapply for accreditation.

The ASQA knocked back the security firm's application to become a registered training organisation, citing non-compliance with some relevant standards.

Echelon appealed against the decision at the tribunal.

Echelon's lawyer argued that the company had been registered for more than seven years prior to ASQA taking over and other companies gained registration by relying on the same materials as Echelon.

However, expert witnesses told the tribunal that Echelon failed to meet the minimum requirements in units of competency.

The units include working effectively in the security industry, responding to a security risk situation and managing conflict through resolution.

ASQA also alleged that Echelon, as a corporation, was not a "fit and proper person", accusing it of accrediting a security guard while it was not a registered training organisation in January 2013. The tribunal was satisfied that the guard had paid $500 to obtain qualifications "without undertaking any training".

However, it was unwilling to make an adverse finding against Echelon because the guard at the "centre of the controversy" did not give a sworn statement or appear before it.