LPS1175 Concerns

Please Note: LPS1175 is not recognized or published by the BSI (British Standards Institute).

1. A proprietary commercial standard rather than government led.

Usually British Standards are led by government agencies to create a country wide standard for products. This is true for EN (European Normative) and BS (British Standards), but does not appear to be the case with LPCB (Loss Protection Certification Board).

LPCB is a brand name owned by BRE Group Ltd, which is a private commercial entity. The LPS standards and test methods are the intellectual property of BRE Group Ltd and as such aren’t made publicly available.

2. Lack of transparency

As the test methods for the standard aren’t made publicly available it is difficult to understand the certification process and what the LPS standards actually mean, how they are tested, and how consistent and repeatable those tests are.

Alternative standards such as PAS24 and ENV1627 publish full test standards including test methods.

3. Test criteria

Although published as a 30 minute security test, in truth the average test time is less than 15 minutes (based on conversations with BRE Group Ltd).

Further a test is passed if either of the below criteria are met. (This is for the LPS1175 SR4 standard)

a) 10 minutes of physical attack is completed without gaining entry

OR;

b) 20 minutes elapses which is made up of inspection, rest/recovery, changing tools, taking photographs or measurements, etc.

This means a door is considered to have passed LPS1175 SR4 if the test center spends 1 minute attacking the door, and 20 minutes resting.

4. Lack of competition

As a commercially proprietary standard no independent test centers are able to test to the LPS1175 standard. BRE Group suggest this is to ensure quality of testing control, however other standards achieve quality control through test certification and auditing. In reality the monopoly on testing to LPS1175 massively drives up testing costs and reduces industry options to test, as well as enabling/creating many of the other concerns with LPS1175.

An equivalent test to EN standards is less than half the cost of LPS1175 testing, when conducted at the most reputable test centers in Europe.

5. Test methods lack definition

Whilst not published, BRE Group Ltd explains that their testing is “non prescriptive” – ie. there is not a standard method of testing. This means there is no consistency in testing, no direct comparability between two products, and no requirements for the test center to conduct any particular tests.

The positive to the LPS1175 testing process is that operators are able to use whichever methods they believe are most effective. The downside is this puts the onus of expertise on the individual operator and not on the LPS1175 standard itself.

6. Open to failures in operator judgement

The test standard is far more susceptible to flaws in operator judgement during testing than other standards. This is due, primarily, to two factors.

a) The responsibility of the operator to design each individual test – this makes the individual operator a weak point in testing. An individual operator could, for example, omit an attack on obvious weaknesses and instead focus an attack on the more secure elements of a security door system.

b) Since a test is passed if 20 minutes of rest has elapsed, hesitation factors can absorb maximum test times.

Whilst EN standards can be conducted by less reputable institutions, they must follow certain attack criteria on every test. It’s is true to say EN testing is also susceptible to operator errors however the above are unique concerns with the LPS1175 standard. Under EN 1627 for example, under the EN 1630 pre-test every element must be tested and a decision is made on which methods to use during final test based on pre-test results. Also there is a maximum pause period between attacks which ensures full utility of the attack time within the test.

7. Corporate interest

Because the test standard is commercial IP and because LPS1175 doors can only be tested by a commercial entity, companies wishing to achieve LPS1175 certification are tied to a commercial relationship with BRE Global Ltd.

As commercial IP there is lobbying power to have the standard accepted and promoted by various organisations including the metropolitan police. For this reason it is possible the standard is not being assessed on equal merit to non-commercial BSI standards.

An example of this is the officially published CNPI guidance on door security. A document published by a government institution which is “prepared by BRE Global”. This report doesn’t faithfully compare LPS1175 with ENV1627 without bias. Here is a copy of the CPNI Guidance on Door Security. (We are unable to find a link to this document on the CPNI website.)

Likewise the LPS1175 security door standard cannot be assessed independently, or on its merits, because only a commercial entity knows the methods of testing, and a commercial entity is not likely to provide an unbiased assessment of LPS1175 as opposed to alternative standards.

 

Note; If corrections are required to the above information please contact the registered administrator. The above has been provided in good faith with the information publicly available, and following conversations with BRE Group Ltd. Much of the above is speculation or opinion. Clarifications on any points are thoroughly welcomed as currently the LPS1175 standard and testing methods are far too opaque.