Focus on a Chartered Security Professional Jonathan Eddery
Friends often ask me “How long did it take you to gain your CSyP?”
I reply, “22 years” and watch them slowly turn a whiter shade of pale.
I’m not telling them a mistruth or attempting to exaggerate but merely being honest. Now you could draw your own inference into why it took me so long; maybe I wasn’t that good or maybe I was just slow out of the gate. I feel it’s only pertinent then that I justify my answer and give you an insight into this prestigious accreditation that allows a select few to be recognised amongst only 270 worldwide Chartered Security Professionals.
The Register of Chartered Security Professionals has very strict criteria of admission, backed up by a process second to none and finalised by what felt like a cross examination interview Harvey Spectre would have been proud of, so it’s not for the faint hearted. Don’t get me wrong: if an applicant can readily demonstrate they have the experience and required competencies to operate at a strategic or very senior operational level, it’s actually straightforward.
I started my application in July 2022 and was honoured to be accepted in February 2023. Although I have related security qualifications equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, in the eyes of the Registration Authority it is not a degree (a discussion to take forward another time). Therefore, my application was not via the Standard Pathway for degree holders but via the Individual Pathway. I was assigned three essay questions by experts in their field to argue and counter-argue points of relevance on their chosen subject matter. After having to brush up on my Harvard referencing skills and even quoting Elon Musk and Richard Branson, I’m glad to say, I passed.
My interview didn’t exactly go to plan, but thankfully there was a rigorous appeals process which I took full advantage of. After a further 80 minutes of “holding the line” (bringing me back to my police days) they were satisfied with my written supplementary evidence and supporting explanations and my application was approved.
So why did it take me 22 years? I served for nine years in the police, followed by three years at Oxford University in-house security, two years with the government and four years as a Regional Loss Prevention Manager. A further three years as a Technical Security specialist designing new retail store layouts and 14 months as a Director of Technical Security and Consultancy. I was recently voted the current Outstanding Security Performance Awards winner for Outstanding Security Consultant 2023 and a 2023 finalist for the Security Institute Award in honour of George Van Schalkwyk for outstanding contribution to the industry.
Why am I telling you this? I feel like I only just got over the line for my CSyP, and without any piece of my previous experience I may have fallen short.
Is it worth it? Well, I now hold a position of Associate Consultant for a world-leading Design, Engineering and Project Management consultancy. I have no doubt that my CSyP status was highly significant in me being offered my current role. I highly recommend any security professional operating at a strategic level to seek admission to the Register. The governing body is the Chartered Security Professional Registration Authority (CSPRA). Lord Carlile KC, their first chairman, coined the phrase “Professionals represent the gold standard in security practice” and this is the Register’s strapline.
How is it influencing the industry? Security professionals now have a seat at the top table, comparable to Chartered Accountants, Architects and Chartered Engineers. We can influence and drive decisions across the board and shape the culture and understanding of security from the top. With the long-awaited approval of Martyn’s’ Law, the importance of having a “competent person” to advise on security-related issues has never been so real. In my humble opinion, Chartered Security Professionals are breaking new ground and pioneering new routes to success. I am immensely proud to be among the select few individuals that can call themselves “Chartered Security Professionals”.
Jonathan Eddery CSyP CSMP CTSP MSyI RISC, Associate Consultant Atkinsglobal.com