Ashley Fernandes Chair of the CSC discusses how the new Skills Board launched jointly by the CSC and the SIA will help professionalise the security industry and provide skills and opportunitiies for all.
The launch of our new Skills Board in partnership with the Security Industry Authority is not just a step in the right direction to improve higher standards of professionalism within private security, it is a golden opportunity for our industry to change perceptions about who we are and what we do.
If you think changing perceptions about our industry sounds like a relatively simple task, then think again. Reputations take a long time to build and once they are established, it can be even harder to change them. Security has evolved far beyond simply providing a well-trained and smartly uniformed officer at the front of a building and yet that is the image most people conjure up when asked about security.
Security is complex. It is a specialism that draws from a multitude of high-tech solutions and intelligence, and uses risk assessment, strategic planning, and as such, combines a huge range of skills, expertise and knowledge in its delivery. It should be portrayed and valued in the same way as other professional service businesses, but currently our reputation lags behind the reality of modern-day security.
It is important that we champion our industry. We have a lot to offer everyone; whether a school leaver, a graduate or someone looking to change career direction, there are interesting and fulfilling roles with great prospects.
To that end, my view is we all need to be firmly invested in continuous professional development, not least because if we improve professional development structures within our individual businesses then this will help us attract and retain the high-calibre people that we need to ensure we consistently deliver a quality service to our clients. To fully drive change from within the CSC has recognised the need for collaboration, and that is why the new Skills Board is so important. By joining senior leaders together who can not only lead on and agree new initiatives that will set new skills levels but also act on them within their respective businesses, we will ensure the industry upskills together and drives towards professionalism without leaving anyone behind. It will give a voice to the industry and shine a spotlight on its importance, as well as on the changes we are making to ensure high levels of professionalism.
Another training initiative we are working on collaboratively is a major incident protocol with the City of London Police. By working together, we are both learning how best to work alongside each other and how to sharpen our responses, which will make us more effective in times of crisis.
Ultimately, we all need to shout about what we are doing to make our industry the best it can be, more attractive to join and more valued by clients, and by introducing new initiatives like the Skills Board we will gradually change the perception and be a fitter industry for it.
Ashley Fernandes Chair of the CSC www.citysecuritycouncil.co.uk