Private Security Companies and other Private Security Service Providers (PSCs) play an important role in protecting state and non-state clients engaged in relief, recovery, and reconstruction efforts, commercial business operations, diplomacy and military activity. In providing these services, the activities of PSCs can have potentially positive and negative consequences for their clients, the local population in the area of operation, the general security environment, the enjoyment of human rights and the rule of law.

Therefore, as part of their due diligence, clients across all sectors now require ICoCA* Certification in the selection of their private security providers.

Through ICoCA* certification, the Organizations commit to the following:

  • to operate in accordance with this Code;
  • to operate in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and in accordance with relevant corporate standards of business conduct;
  • to operate in a manner that recognizes and supports the rule of law; respects human rights, and protects the interests of their clients;
  • to take steps to establish and maintain an effective internal governance framework in order to deter, monitor, report, and effectively address adverse impacts on human rights;
  • to provide a means for responding to and resolving allegations of activity that violates any applicable national or international law or this Code; and
  • to cooperate in good faith with national and international authorities exercising proper jurisdiction, in particular with regard to national and international investigations of violations of national and international criminal law, of violations of international humanitarian law, or of human rights abuses.


ICoCA* Certification Process

Any private security company can apply for ICoCA* Certification. The required process is the following:

  • Firstly, the Organization applies to become an affiliate or transitional member, by using the ICoCA* application process. The application process and additional information can be found in the ICoCA* site, by clicking on the following link:
  • The Organization further contacts TÜV AUSTRIA and applies for ISO 18788 certification.
  • Upon successful certification, the Organization contacts the ICoCA* Secretariat to receive their application form. Completion and submission of the form, along with supporting documents is required, including the certificate and audit report of the ISO 18788 audit that was conducted by TÜV AUSTRIA. Further additional information may be required to be submitted.
  • As a next step, a recommendation to the ICoCA* Board will be made. Upon positive recommendation, the Organization becomes certified by the ICoCA*.

More information regarding the provision of ISO 18788 certification and the ICoCA* certification can be found here.

*ICoCA is a multi-stakeholder initiative formed in 2013 to ensure that providers of private security services respect human rights and humanitarian law. It serves as the governance and oversight mechanism of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers.

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