NSI chairman Sir Francis Richards retires after six years

29 Aug 2013

Sir Francis Richards, KCMG CVO will be retiring as chair of the board in November this year.

Sir Francis joined NSI in May 2007 after a distinguished senior level public service career, which included appointments at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, as governor and commander-in-chief of Gibraltar and as director of the government communications headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham.

Jeff Little, OBE, NSI chief executive commented: “It has been a real honour to work for Sir Francis and he has steered the NSI ship with a very firm hand on the tiller. We have moved forward significantly under his direction over the past six years and as a result, we now have a clear route ahead and a solid platform upon which to grow thanks to his guidance and wisdom”.

On his forthcoming retirement, Sir Francis stated: “It has been an immense privilege to be with NSI at a time of huge change in the security and fire sectors. The accelerating pace of technological change has driven a revolution in security affairs over the past six years, and is transforming the whole shape of the industry. Third party certification is more essential than ever and standards are becoming ever more numerous, complex and diverse. NSI has had to become nimbler and more agile, without compromising its traditional professional excellence.”

Sir Francis continues “I have seen NSI become a more modern and customer-focused organisation, and I am confident that it will continue to add value and reduce risk for those who make it their partner along the approval route. The industry is in impressive shape and the results speak for themselves - crime figures are down in most areas and the incidence of fire is down across the country. But new challenges - not least in the cyber area - will keep it on its toes. I wish my successor, and Jeff and his outstanding team, every success in maintaining NSI's position as the certification body of choice for the foreseeable future.”

Sir Francis will chair the October board meeting of NSI and formally hand over the reins in early November 2013. An announcement regarding Sir Francis’ successor will be made shortly.

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