Reciprocity Standard for
Alarm Monitoring Organizations
Table of Contents
This Standard has been prepared under the direction of Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) members with the participation of Security Industry Association (SIA) members as a guideline document for use by state and local units of government in their development of consistent, performance-based operating criteria for licensed operation of alarm monitoring organizations. The functional, operational, and administrative criteria represented in this document address issues needed for reciprocal recognition of existing licenses held by the alarm monitoring organization.
New technologies and successful efforts to reduce consumers' monitoring costs have led to the consolidation of alarm monitoring services. Most monitoring services are now provided on a regional or national basis. In the interest of public safety, alarm monitoring organizations recognize the need for regulation of their industry. It is the rationalization of said regulation which is addressed herein. Repetitive fingerprint analysis and verifications by the various states and other public agencies impose unnecessary expenditures of time, money and manpower which result in increased costs to the public with no offsetting public benefit. Regulations adopted by the various states should recognize the licenses issued by other states so long as the licensing state adheres to a national standard.
The intent of this Standard is to achieve increased efficiencies by reducing costs and eliminating wasteful duplication of efforts by state regulating agencies and alarm monitoring organizations doing business in numerous states.
States wishing to promulgate rules for licensing or registering of alarm monitoring organizations should establish rules that provide for recognition of licenses granted by other states on the basis of conformance with this Standard. When issuing licenses, states should accept a current certification of conformance, as defined under Section 7.2 of this Standard, provided by an applicant organization along with any required application fees. Once an alarm monitoring organization is licensed or recognized in its Home State, no residency requirements should be imposed by any other state. Individual states may establish licensing or registration criteria for alarm monitoring organizations that vary from this Standard so long as this Standard is recognized as a valid alternative in lieu of such state's requirements.
Amendments and additions to this Standard are anticipated as new technologies and practices become viable. Requests for amendments are welcome and should be submitted to the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). Amendments to this Standard will, to the extent practicable, be backward-compatible.
This Standard is intended to allow compliance with the following standards, which provide additional information useful in implementing this Standard. In the event of a conflict, the following standards shall have precedence:
Alarm Company. An organization that may sell, lease, install, maintain, and monitor alarm systems. For purposes of this Standard, only alarm monitoring services are covered although some states may issue licenses that cover more functions than alarm monitoring.
Facility. The facility or facilities which provide
the alarm monitoring services covered by this Standard. An Alarm
Monitoring Facility is also known as a
Alarm Monitoring Organization. An organization which operates the facilities which provide the alarm monitoring services covered by this Standard.
Applicant. An employee of an alarm monitoring organization making application for an employee license or registration.
Central Station. See Alarm Monitoring Facility.
Central Station Operator. A covered employee licensed under this Standard who processes incoming signals from alarm systems and transmits RFRs to PSAPs and other parties.
Conformance Assessment Agent. A nationally recognized conformance assessment agent shall be completely independent of alarm service providers subject to the requirements of this Standard, and of any manufacturers or providers of equipment or materials used to provide those alarm services. Examples include UL, ULC, FM, or equivalent agent recognized by the Home State.
Contact Hours. Actual interactive educational hours spent in a classroom.
Covered Employee. Every employee of the organization who is required under this Standard to obtain an alarm monitoring organization employee license or registration.
Designated Agent. The person, under direct supervision of a principal, or his or her designated representative, who has full responsibility for the operation of the alarm monitoring facilities.
Home State. The state in which the alarm monitoring organization has its headquarters or the state in which the organization's principal alarm monitoring facility is located. If the Home State does not have an alarm monitoring organization licensing or registration statute or if the Home State does not provide fingerprint verification and personnel security clearance services, then another state that recognizes this Standard and provides fingerprint verification and personnel security clearance services, may be selected by the alarm monitoring organization to provide the licensing or registration referenced in this Standard.
Organization. The entity, whether an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, company or corporation or business unit thereof which is applying for a license or registration under this Standard for the purpose of providing alarm monitoring services.
Principal. The owner, sole proprietor, or every partner or executive officer of the organization which is applying for a license or registration under this Standard.
Request for Response. The communication from a CSO to request response to a reported emergency condition as received by an Alarm Monitoring Facility.
Trainee. An employee of an alarm monitoring organization receiving training for the purpose of qualifying for an employee license or registration.
"State" includes units of government such as States of the United States of America, territories, provinces of Canada, and other foreign countries.
Each principal of the alarm monitoring organization shall provide and sign a statement that he or she meets the following requirements:
The alarm monitoring organization shall have a designated agent who shall have the following duties and meet the following requirements:
5.2.1 Alarm Monitoring Facility Operation. The designated agent shall be selected to have full responsibility for the operation of the monitoring facilities, and shall have passed an examination approved by, or meet equivalent requirements of, the Home State.
5.2.2 Requirements. Shall meet the requirements listed in Sections 5.1.
5.2.3 Responsibilities. Shall be responsible for making sure that the alarm monitoring organization fulfills its obligations regarding employee records and payment of fees as stipulated in Section 5.4, and shall make those records, or copies thereof, conveniently available to the conformance assessment agent.
5.2.4 Previous Licensing. Shall provide a notarized statement that the applicant has not had an alarm monitoring license or registration permanently revoked or denied, or currently under suspension; and meets the basic standards to be licensed or registered.
Every employee of an alarm monitoring organization who has access to confidential alarm user information or who processes incoming signals from alarm systems shall have a current and valid employee license or registration document, or its equivalent, for alarm monitoring personnel, issued by the Home State as a condition of continued employment. All covered employees shall apply for license or registration within fourteen (14) calendar days of the start of his or her employment as a covered employee.
5.3.1 Every covered employee as defined above shall meet the following requirements:
5.3.2 Required Information. No person, covered under this Section, may be employed by an alarm monitoring organization until he or she has completed, signed and furnished to said alarm monitoring organization on license application forms furnished by the Home State, or substantially equivalent forms, such as shown in Appendix A and Appendix B, which provide at least the following information:
184.108.40.206 Identification. Applicant's full name, age, and residence address.
220.127.116.11 Previous Employment. The business(es) or occupation(s) engaged in for the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application, the name(s) of the business(es), the address(es) of such business(es), and the name(s) of the employers, if any.
18.104.22.168 Previous Licensing. A notarized statement that the applicant has not had an alarm monitoring license or registration permanently revoked, denied or currently under suspension and meets the basic standards to be licensed or registered.
22.214.171.124 Convictions. Any conviction of a felony or misdemeanor.
126.96.36.199 Dishonorable Discharge. Any dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
188.8.131.52 Good Moral Standing. Any other information that may be required by the Home State to show the good character, competency, and integrity of the applicant.
5.3.3 Fingerprints. Each applicant, hereunder, shall submit to the Home State, along with the applicable fees, two (2) complete sets of fingerprints that are verified to be those of the applicant. The alarm monitoring organization shall exercise due diligence in submitting fingerprints or in resubmitting replacement fingerprints for applicants who have had original fingerprint submissions returned as unclassifiable.
5.3.4 Employee Identification Card. The alarm monitoring organization shall furnish an employee identification card to each covered employee within (14) calendar days of the issue of clearance. The card shall be carried and displayed while the employee is performing work as a covered employee. If an employee loses or forgets his or her card, a clearly-identifiable-as-temporary replacement card may be issued. Such temporary card shall only remain valid until the original is either found or can be replaced. The temporary card need not contain all of the information required for a permanent card.
The permanent card shall contain a photo of the employee, the alarm monitoring organization name, the employee's physical description, the signature of the employee, and an employee identification number. The card shall be reissued not less frequently than every three (3) years. The photograph shall be taken approximately the time the card is issued. The identification card may only be issued to a person who is employed by the alarm monitoring organization.
5.3.5 Personnel Training. All covered employees shall be trained for proficiency in standards, procedures and operating requirements of their specific job responsibilities.
184.108.40.206 Central Station Operators. All CSOs of the alarm monitoring organization shall have completed an up-to-date SIA / APCO central station operator course, NBFAA National Training School central station training course, or similar course, all of which shall meet the following criteria:
220.127.116.11.1 A minimum of 8 contact hours covering the following topics:
18.104.22.168.2 A minimum of 16 hours of training on the automation system.
22.214.171.124.3 A minimum of 24 hours of performing alarm monitoring while under direct supervision by training or supervisory personnel.
126.96.36.199 Annual Reviews. An annual review of comprehension of and compliance with current operational standards, including a written examination or verification of completion of continuing education programs relating to each covered employee's specific job responsibilities, as defined by the alarm monitoring organization's educational program or the Home State.
188.8.131.52 Training Records. Records shall be on file to verify completion of required training and continuing education for all covered employees.
5.3.6 License / Registration Time Line. Each alarm monitoring organization is urged to establish a written set of guidelines to identify the various procedures involved between the initial hiring of an applicant and his or her eventual licensing or registration as an employee. A suggested format is shown as Appendix C herein.
The alarm monitoring organization shall be required to maintain the following:
5.4.1 Fees. A record to verity that all fees have been paid and dates of payment, including records of disciplinary actions and fines levied by states.
5.4.2 Application Pending Roster. A roster of all persons who have applications pending with the Home State.
5.4.3 Covered Employee Roster. A monthly roster of all covered employees shall be retained for not less than twenty-four (24) months.
5.4.4 Employee Record. A record of each covered employee. The record shall contain at least the following information:
184.108.40.206 Photograph. A photograph taken within fourteen (14) days of the date the person begins employment with the alarm monitoring organization. The photograph shall be replaced with a current photograph at least every three (3) years. This photograph may be a copy of the photo required in Section 5.3.4.
220.127.116.11 Employee Statement. The employee's statement specified in Appendix A of this Standard.
18.104.22.168 Employee Integrity. All correspondence or documents relating to the character and integrity of the employee received by the alarm monitoring organization from any source(s).
22.214.171.124 Employee Resignation or Termination. In case an employee resigns or is terminated, the alarm monitoring organization shall notify the Home State of such resignation or termination.
126.96.36.199 Record Retention. Records of covered employees shall be maintained current at all times and shall be retained for not less than six (6) years beyond the date of resignation or termination.
5.4.5 Records to be Available. All records, or copies thereof, required to exist and be maintained by the alarm monitoring organization shall be accessible to the designated agent and made conveniently available to the conformance assessment agent as stipulated in Section 7.0 hereof.
The alarm monitoring organization shall be covered by not less than $1,000,000 (one million dollars) of comprehensive general liability insurance.
The alarm monitoring facility shall meet the following initial and ongoing requirements.
The alarm monitoring organization shall have its alarm monitoring facility inspected for conformance with this Standard either by (1) its Home State license administration bureau, (2) records examination as an extension of their existing UL listing or FM certification process, or (3) a nationally recognized conformance assessment agent, as defined in Section 4.1 of this Standard, and for compliance with the Home State alarm monitoring service standards.
The alarm monitoring organization shall obtain an annual certification of conformance to this Standard from a conformance assessment agent. Such conformance certification process shall include a review of the alarm monitoring organization's personnel practices, record-keeping, and training, all according to this Standard.
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