Allied Security is being investigated after it was accused of
providing its staff with the answers to New Zealand
Qualifications Authority-approved tests in order to claim
In February, a manager emailed staff completing a level two
training assessment copies of "suggested answers", and told
them to put them into their own words when filling out
The email adds: "There is now no excuse not to do this."
A staff member complained to the relevant union, Unite, and
provided copies of the emails.
In a statement, Unite union spokesmen Barry Sutherland and
Mike Treen said the order amounted to "cheating" and the
union had asked NZQA to investigate.
Allied Security's head office is in Hamilton, but the firm
was started in Dunedin by the present managing director,
The statement said the union believed the company might have
been motivated by Government subsidies it received for each
NZQA credit awarded to its staff members.
It was an example of training practices across the security
industry which were substandard because of deregulation and a
lack of professionalism, and the union was concerned
companies supplying the answers to NZQA-approved tests were
"cheating the system".
However, Michael Frampton, corporate communications director
for the Electro-technology Industry Training Organisation
(ETITO), the organisation that oversees training and
assessment for the security industry, defended the system.
He said he had confidence in ETITO's assessment process,
which was overseen by approved assessors within the industry
and checked by external assessors, who sampled assessments
from every firm.
No training or qualifications are required for people to work
as a security guard or bouncer in New Zealand, but security
firm employees can sit optional assessments to gain national
Firms whose staff take the courses are eligible for subsidies
to assist with the training and assessment, which is mostly
done in the workplace.
Mr Frampton said firms had the option of using the money to
employ outside organisations to oversee the training and
assessment, but they were free to spend the money how they
As soon as ETITO became aware of the issue, all assessment
results from the firm were held and no new results were being
processed for anyone employed by Allied Security.
If the allegations were substantiated, ETITO could deregister
the assessor concerned and/or withdraw their support for
national training arrangements for Allied Security.
Staff who had gained the qualifications already would not be
stripped of them.
"We have to take care of any individual trainees who have
fallen victim to any unacceptable assessment practices," Mr