Focus on a Chartered Security Professional: Garry Bergin PC MSc CSyP CPP® CPOI® FSyI F.ISRM
In our regular series of articles spotlighting Chartered Security Professionals, we interviewed Garry Bergin to learn more about his background, career to date and why he decided to become a CSyP.
Tell us about your early career and the people who influenced and supported your progress.
I started my career in the security industry in 1998, working for a large sports retailer, while also moonlighting as a nightclub door supervisor. I was working with some fellow martial artists who impressed upon me the art of communication as a negotiation and de-escalation tool. I rose quickly within the ranks at the retailer and became their Regional Security Manager. In 2009, I began working for security companies. Firstly, as an Operations Manager, managing luxury retail, global data centres and government contracts. Then, In 2011, I moved on to a more senior role within another large security company. The exposure I received to some fantastic people and clients at the PSNI, Ulster Bank and the European Commission copper-fastened my decision to choose the security industry as my career path. 2014 was a major milestone in my career when I joined Manguard Plus as a Commercial Manager and Security Consultant.
How has learning and development played a part in your career?
I developed a huge desire to reinforce my years of experience within the industry with third- level academia. My employers embraced my enthusiasm to learn, and I received massive support in my endeavours.
In 2018 I completed an MSc in Security Management at Portsmouth University. On completing my Master’s Degree, I approached the owner of the company, Sean Hall, with my proposal to undergo a doctorate; within 90 seconds of a conversation, he agreed to fully fund my Professional Doctorate, something I will be eternally grateful for. Blending studies with work is a mammoth task. However, I now work with amazingly talented and experienced people who allow me to grow with the business, which I am happy to say is on a massive upward trajectory.
Why did you decide to become a CSyP?
I have always had a mindset to try to achieve the highest level I can, which is probably why I am still in university at 45 years of age. When dealing with US Data Centres in Ireland, they identify the ASIS CPP qualification as their gold standard. The security industry in the UK and Europe identifies the CSyP as the gold standard in security practice, so I had to try to attain the CSyP standard. The fact that the CSyP is also a peer-reviewed process was a huge attraction to me; you only have to look at the register to see the calibre of my fellow CSyPs.
What difference has it made being accredited as a Chartered Security Professional?
The CSyP has given me enormous credibility within the security industry in Ireland and the UK with my clients. In other professions, the ‘Chartered’ status is identified as the pinnacle of achievement within your industry, so the CSyP has provided that benchmark for the professionalisation of our industry.
How will it help in your next steps?
My next step is to complete my Professional Doctorate at the University of Portsmouth. I am currently entering my third year (of a four-year programme). I believe that the CSyP will add to the ‘contribution to your profession’ element of my viva in 2023, as well as my credibility in the broader security industry.
What guidance would you give others thinking of applying?
The best guidance I can give is to reach out to a CSyP that you know, and they will advise on how to proceed. They are all extremely friendly. Also, take time with the application form, do it over a few weeks, as you only get one chance to submit it. I have to say that the team who process the CSyP applications are probably the most efficient and friendly people I have come across.