Security Officers require career advancement plans
There have been numerous stories in recent months about ‘The Great Resignation’ – people leaving their jobs following the pandemic. Recent research into why people left their jobs in 2021 found the joint-top reason was ‘No opportunities for advancement’.
This is great insight that all businesses leaders should pay attention to. Yes, a competitive salary is important, as is flexibility (where possible) and other benefits. But employees that do not have a clear path for advancement or access to learning and development opportunities will look elsewhere to progress in their careers.
The officers in our industry have been hailed as key workers that played an essential role in keeping the nation running during the darkest hours of the pandemic. It’s only right that we recognise their achievements and ensure that we are fully supportive of their career advancement.
There are the fundamental training courses and accreditations that all personnel require to work in the private security industry, such as an SIA licence. However, some sectors can require additional accreditations, and this is where companies can really support their security officers.
The rail sector is a good example. Amulet has recently started working with Northern, where all travel safety officers (TSOs) must have completed the Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS).
RSAS is managed by the British Transport Police (BTP) and allows the police to accredit employees of organisations involved in railway safety and security. RSAS-accredited security personnel are deployed with authority from the BTP to enforce certain powers.
Accredited officers can:
- Exercise powers that help to tackle anti-social behaviour such as underage drinking, underage smoking and general disorderly conduct.
- Provide a high-visibility presence on the railway, reducing crime and reassuring passengers.
- Help to solve local issues: accredited rail staff can help share information, allowing the BTP to address and prioritise issues affecting local railway communities.
Not all of our rail customers require our officers to be RSAS-accredited with full police vetting taking place before training commencement.
RSAS accreditation involves over 100 hours of training. The course covers 13 subject modules and time is evenly split between classroom sessions and practical sessions led by RSAS team leaders on the front line. All officers are evaluated through an end-of-course examination.
Officers are paid while receiving training, and clients do pay a premium for these trained staff thanks to the accreditation being so comprehensive. It’s difficult to say definitively how it affects retention, but we can say that officers feel that the RSAS accreditation is extremely valuable and a great string to the bow of any officer.
RSAS training is currently provided to all eligible Amulet staff on the Northern and C2C contracts. This training can be offered to relevant employees across our rail division to suit the needs of our rail clients.
Making communities safer
Another police-managed programme is the community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS).
CSAS, like RSAS, is a voluntary scheme where chief constables can accredit employed people already working in roles that contribute to maintaining and improving community safety with limited but targeted powers. This can include any security officers working with the public in shopping centres, towns and cities across England.
Accredited officers are able to deal with low-level situations, freeing up police officers to spend time on other tasks. Security officers are highly skilled individuals, often with great links within the communities they serve, so CSAS training is a natural step to take advantage of these benefits.
In addition to RSAS and CSAS, we also offer a number of training courses which are accredited by Highfield, an independent body regulated by Ofqual and the Security Industry Authority. Highfield ensures that our qualifications are compliant, and industry recognised.
Putting people first is essential
Businesses that put their employees at the forefront of their thinking perform better. Employees are happier, more productive, more engaged and less likely to look for employment elsewhere. This is a truism as much as anything, but we also hear anecdotally from our officers that have received training that they feel better equipped.
Providing training and career advancement opportunities is a core element of a people-first approach. It gives officers the chance to enhance their earnings and scope to move between contracts, which can present new opportunities and experiences. Amulet provides the training in addition to officer deployment as part of our commitment to providing career advancement opportunities to our staff.
Managers should have regular reviews with their teams and ensure that this is always on the agenda. It shows that they care and will enable businesses to tailor training opportunities to the areas that interest each individual officer.
Security is a fast-evolving industry as we develop new technologies and branch out our services. A well-trained workforce is essential for now and will help futureproof businesses.
MD, Amulet Security
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