Gathering momentum: Chartered Security Professionals and the numbers continue to grow…
It is, perhaps, hard to believe that four years have elapsed since the commencement of cooperation between the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, and the Security Institute in relation to the establishment of the Register of Chartered Security Professionals. This ground breaking partnership saw the launch in June 2011 of the Chartered Security Professional certification, now increasingly recognised by the post nominals CSyP’. As at April 2014 there are 70 Chartered Security Professionals, with numbers expected to pass the significant 100 mark by December of this year.
In 2013 ASIS UK became a second Licensee of the Register, with their representative joining those of the Worshipful Company and the Security Institute on the Register’s governance body, namely the Chartered Security Professionals Registration Authority (CSPRA), which is chaired by Lord Carlile CBE QC.
Professionalisation of security
Many readers will be aware of the historical challenges involved not just in the establishment of the Register, but also in convincing the dissenters (and yes, there were and still are a few) that the professionalisation of the security sector was, in fact, a tangible aspiration, and, most importantly, one which was actually achievable. A look at the list of current CSyPs (available on the CSyP page: www.csyp-register.org) is solid proof not only of the eclectic nature of CSyP Registrants as individuals, but also of the diverse locations of the organisations, businesses, and sectors in which they operate. A number of CSyPs are based overseas, some of whom are foreign nationals, which provides welcome evidence of the growing global appeal of the Register.
Qualifications and Experience jointly reflect the competencies that an applicant to the Register must be able to demonstrate, together with their Strategic Impact.
Of course, as to be expected for admittance to any Register of professionals, the bar is rightly set at a high level. Two application routes are available: firstly, the Standard Path, and secondly, the Individual Path.
For the Standard Path, applicants must hold either a Bachelors or Masters degree in a security discipline, or a Bachelors or a Masters degree in any subject plus a security-related vocational qualification, e.g. the Institute’s Diploma in Security Management or ASIS Certified Protection Professional (CPP), plus five years operational security experience, with the last two years’ at the Chartered competence level.
The Individual Path, on the other hand, requires applicants to complete a 4-12,000 word portfolio demonstrating that they have met the defined competence requirements, plus ten years’ operational security experience, with the last five years at the Chartered competence level.
To remain as a CSyP, Registrants must comply with a Code of Conduct, hold professional indemnity insurance (either individually or via their employer), and complete Continuous Professional Development each year.
The Security Institute
The Security Institute manages all aspects of the Register including finances, PR and marketing, and appointment of other organisations who may admit CSyPs. They are also responsible for establishing robust quality control processes for the scheme, and appointment of licensees.
The Security Institute and ASIS-UK are both eligible to receive applications to be admitted.
Raising the profile of Chartered Security Professionals in the wider business community is of paramount importance, as well as being a key element in the growth strategy for the Register.
The aim must be for the term Chartered Security Professional to resonate within the business community, and indeed with the general public, in the same way as that of Chartered Accountants, Engineers, and Surveyors do. Achieving that goal will be a defining moment for CSyPs.
In the meantime, work continues to promote the Register through a number of different routes, including media feature articles, talks at industry, through the licensee’s websites, and professional events. A recent black tie dinner event (the second of its kind) held at the House of Commons, and hosted by Lord Carlile, attracted 141 attendees, many of whom were senior figures from other business sectors, including Insurance and Banking. This type of event helps to raise the profile of the Register with the wider business community.
As to be expected, CSyPs themselves are among the most enthusiastic supporters and promoters of the Register. In one article, for example, written by Stuart Williams CSyP in early 2013, Stuart wrote of his positive impressions of the Register assessment process, describing it as being efficient, robust, impartial, and flexible.
In 1997 Dr John Southwick, speaking at a conference of the ‘Australian Council of Professions’, defined a Profession as follows: “A disciplined group of individuals who adhere to high ethical standards and uphold themselves to, and are accepted by, the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised, organised body of learning derived from education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to exercise this knowledge and these skills in the interest of others. Inherent in this definition is the concept that the responsibility for the welfare, health and safety of the community shall take precedence over other considerations.”
It is the writer’s fervent belief that, through the establishment of the Register of Chartered Security Professionals, the above definition of a profession has been embedded in the private security sector.
Mike Bluestone, MA CSyP FSyI, Vice President, Security Institute (at time of writing)
The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals www.wcosp.com