Kate Bright CSyP on the benefits of being a Chartered Security Professional
The security industry is undoubtedly on a journey of professionalisation and I was delighted when the Security Chartership Register caught my attention in 2018 and I learnt that the industry was heading in this new direction, especially coming from a family of individuals also Chartered in their various professions.
Fast forward to September 2021 and I received my Chartered Security Professional certificate at the Charter Ceremony from Alex Carlile, Baron Carlile of Berriew, along with 36 other individuals who had all gone through the same rigorous process of self-reflection, in-depth strategic skills analysis and assessment.
Little did I know, the full extent, of the as yet still ‘undercover’ and high performance world I had entered, that of the Chartership community. I personally took over three years from learning about the Chartered Register to completing it, and I blame the lag squarely on ‘pandemic times’.
I’m glad I took my time. I have not lost the feeling of pride in joining the ranks of the few that have also gone through the process, so much so I am happy to share ‘what I learned’, to encourage others to go through the process and apply. It was one of the most testing, and professionally demanding, processes that I have undertaken, including setting up and growing a business, which says something.
Here are my ‘5 unintended consequences of Chartership’:
The Network – Fellow industry professionals who are focused on leading and pushing forward the standards they expect from themselves, and who value continuous professional development, are very much ‘my kind of people’ and I’ve met some brilliant men and women. Being able to reach out to a network of accomplished industry professionals to ask for advice or collaboration has been invaluable. Top tip: always lead with something that you can ‘give’ back rather than just an ‘ask’ when you do reach out for help – even if it is only something like publicly thanking them. In that spirit, a shout out here must go to Natasha Faust CSyP for her support and the words ‘keep going’ when I needed them the most!
The Thought Leadership – As a relative industry outsider (meaning academically, I.e without a Security Management degree) I went the extra miles for my Chartership, writing three dissertations, as is the process for those who didn’t specialise earlier in their career. Turns out each of my dissertations has come in useful. My cyber industry-focused dissertation, in which I cite the incredible Simon Goldsmith, has helped us as a business to articulate the inextricable link between physical and digital risk for our clients. In the ED&I-focused work paper, I referenced the brilliant work being done in the Special Interest Groups and Societies, spearheaded by the likes of the indomitable AnnaLiisa Tampuu.
My Clients – Having added ‘Chartered Security Professional’ to my signature block, I’ve lost count of the number of clients who have asked what this means. The provision of private security to the world of private and family offices and private clients has long existed in the relative shade (hence the name chosen for the business, ‘UMBRA’, the Latin for shadow/shade/protection). It is somewhat separated from the industry that protects it (albeit ironically with some clients living 24/7 with security operators from within that same industry). I have increasingly been having conversations with clients asking about the benefits of a professionalising industry; this would have taken longer to articulate without my Chartership, which has produced deeper client relationships.
The Support – I’ve always recognised the power of ‘paying it forward’ and in helping others who contact me via social media, or at events – and now, increasingly, BECAUSE of noticing my Chartership. I’m now able to give them a full run-down of my experience of the process, and help them to walk through it.
The Future – being one of only a handful of people (and indeed even fewer women) who are Chartered, I feel a huge sense of responsibility towards the next generation. We must underline the benefits of continuous professional development, and by extension the Chartership, to those who are coming through the ranks. It must be something that is available to all and I will continue to champion the benefits of a diversely thinking industry which seeks to navigate and mitigate the risks of today and those unknown risks of tomorrow.
So, if you’ve been thinking about Chartership – don’t delay. And certainly, if you need the
‘Di Thomas nudge’ (her legacy lives on – thank you Di!) and an accountability partner, then you know where I am.
Kate Bright, CSyP, FRSA CEO, UMBRA International Group,