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U.K. Biometrics Industry Adds Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards (NOS) will be used to support individual and organizational development and quality assurance

The first ever occupational standards for the UK's human identity and biometrics industry have been introduced following unprecedented growth in the sector - which now has an estimated value of over £250m*.

Skills for Security, created in 2006 as the sector skills body for the security industry, has spearheaded the introduction of National Occupational Standards (NOS), with key contributions from Human Recognition Systems, OmniPerception and Core Systems, and consultation with over 102 biometrics and human identity industry specialists, including: The Home Office, members of the Intellect Association for Biometrics (IAfB) and the University of Kent, to name a few.

The new NOS guidelines will not only define the level of competence needed for a particular job role or occupation, but will be widely used to support individual and organisational development and quality assurance. They will also form the basis of a number of qualifications needed within the security industry.

Two government agencies, the UK commission for employment and skills (UKCES) and Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (OFQAL), were responsible for reviewing and approving the human identity and biometric standards - and passed them at first submission on the 18 June.

Neil Norman, CEO of Human Recognition Systems, said: "Biometric technology is becoming increasingly diverse, and despite being a relatively new industry it is growing at an incredible pace in the UK and globally - analysts are now predicting 20% growth between now and 2012.

"We see the introduction of National Occupational Standards into our industry as a landmark step - it is now of fundamental importance that everyone in the industry has a clear set of organisational, quality and vocational guidelines.

A vital collaborative role was played by OmniPerception and Core Systems alongside Human Recognition Systems in helping to achieve these guidelines."

Bob Doyle, commercial director at Skills for Security said: "Europe is expected to have the fastest growing biometrics market by 2010 - and the UK in particular is emerging as a key contributor to this growth.

"It is vital therefore that we work closely with key specialist technology partners like Human Recognition Systems, OmniPerception and Core Systems to improve skills and raise professionalism across the security sector. "These new occupational standards are a vital first step towards improving business performance in the biometrics industry." Full details of the human identity and biometric standards are now available to download for free at www.ukstandards.org.uk

Contact: Katherine Fletcher / Ruth Grundy at Citypress, +44 (0)161 235 0307 / +44 (0)161 235 0305, [email protected] / [email protected]

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