Developing your career in security with training & qualifications
The security profession is developing as an externally recognised, knowledge-based field of expertise. Many roles within the industry require ongoing qualifications and training, ensuring that personnel have the most up-to-date knowledge and skill sets to carry out their roles.
Here some of the key organisations and a selection of providers give an insight into how they can help you develop professionally.
Developing your career with the Security Institute
The Security Institute’s founding principles just over 15 years ago were to become a pre-eminent professional body, represent members’ interests and provide a forum for debate, assist in setting professional standards, lead and encourage personal and collective professional development, education and qualifications, and promote security as a career.
Today it has a membership of close to 2,000, and maintains a high profile in the security sector, within the UK and overseas. In its Manifesto launched earlier this year, it called for “closer co-operation and collaboration between the professional bodies, forums and networks within the security sector… to make security a profession we can be proud of: forward-looking, influential and an aspirational career choice for ambitious young people”.
We recognise that much still remains to be done to support employers and prospective employees in making security careers as desirable and accessible as possible.
The Institute’s unique selling point at its inception was the validated membership scheme. This was designed to enable members’ experience, qualifications and training to be recognised through its membership grades, and remains the bedrock of the Institute, affording members the post-nominals of ASyI (Associate), MSyI (Member) and FSyI (Fellow).
Certificate & Diploma Courses
A merger with the International Institute of Security in 2009 doubled membership numbers and brought the well-known certificate and diploma courses in security management to the Institute, which are accredited by BTEC at Levels 3 and 5 (equivalent to A-Level and second year degree standard). An Advanced Diploma, accredited by IQ at Level 7, has just been added to the courses portfolio and is already recruiting well.
Register of Chartered Security Professionals
In 2010, after the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP) was granted its Royal Charter, the WCoSP asked the Institute to design and manage the Register of Chartered Security Professionals, with financial support kindly provided by the City of London Crime Prevention Association. In June 2011 it was launched and admitted its first Registrants, now numbering close to 100.
The Register recognises security professionals operating at strategic and senior operational levels who can demonstrate its underpinning competencies, and accepts applications through both the Institute and the ASIS UK Chapter.
These are the three main elements of the career progression pathways that underpin the Institute, while it also offers a number of services to support the development of security practitioners. Individuals can develop their competencies and enhance their career progression through participation in the Institute’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme, mentoring programme and learning events. They can also gain access to regular sector updates through its various news and social media forums, and undertake voluntary roles within the Institute, which is run by volunteers supported by a first class HQ staff team. Opportunities include serving on our Validation Board, fulfilling specific roles such as on the main Board or other committees, writing articles for the newsletter or assisting on the Institute stand at events.
Dr. Alison Wakefield FSyI Vice Chairman, Security Institute
Professional Certification with ASIS International
Celebrating its 60th anniversary and with 38,000 members, education and learning is at the core of ASIS International, and its Board Certified qualifications are demanding and applicants must meet educational and work experience requirements to apply. In addition, the comprehensive exam requires a great deal of preparation and a commitment of time and energy. There are about 200 holders of ASIS qualifications in the UK.
There are three current certifications and CPE (continuing professional education) is required for holders to maintain their status. Currently there are about 8,000 people on the CPE scheme, which is audited rigorously against ISO standards (ISO17024):
- Certified Protection Professional (CPP)® demonstrated knowledge and experience in all areas of security management
- Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)® demonstrated education and/or experience in the fields of case management, evidence collection, and case presentation
- Physical Security Professional (PSP)® demonstrated experience in physical security assessment, the application, design and integration of physical security systems, and implementation of physical security measures.
Established almost 40 years ago, there are c.6,500 CPPs world-wide and it is the de facto gold standard security management qualification; its value is recognised and understood by international corporations and there are many examples of how these have helped advance careers.
Mike Hurst, Vice Chairman – Strategy, ASIS International, UK Chapter
Selecting a high-quality training provider with the BSIA
Training providers offer a wide range of courses in many areas of the industry, including CCTV, Access Control, Door Supervisory, Control Rooms Operations and Management Training. The BSIA’s Training Providers Section is steadfast in its objectives and commitment to providing high quality training and works with colleges, security companies, trade organisations, fellow training providers and the Government in order to increase the professionalism and standards of training available within the industry.
Speaking about the work of the section and its commitment to maintaining a high standard of quality amongst its members, Anthony Rabbit, Chairman of the BSIA’s Training Providers Section, comments: “Membership of the BSIA, including in the field of training, requires compliance with a rigorous code of conduct and accreditation with national standards organisations. Infractions of the BSIA code of conduct would lead to decisive and robust action to remove guilty parties from the Association.”
Amanda Caton, Head of Communications, BSIA
Understanding licensing and qualifications with the SIA
If you are uncertain about the training or qualifications required for specific security roles, the Security Industry Authority website is a good place to start. The SIA manages the compulsory licensing of individuals working within the private security industry, including specifiying the competency standards and training required for roles such as security guarding, door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, and public space surveillance using CCTV.
Choosing a training partner
With the growing need to underpin practical knowledge and experience with academic qualifications, selecting the right course and a trusted, experienced and fully-accredited training partner are key considerations.
Security professionals are increasingly aware of the significance of having sound knowledge and understanding of their field, although it is easy to overlook the importance of also developing a versatile, transferable skill set alongside expertise in a chosen discipline. In fact, such skills should be a key component of any rounded CV, particularly in a challenging economic climate where the ability to demonstrate viable transferable skills will provide a significant competitive advantage. Examples of these include business management and financial skills, leadership, people management, evaluation/critical thinking, information gathering/research and communication skills.
Delivery of training has developed over the years and with increasing workloads and fewer opportunities to take time out of work, it can be difficult to find time to learn, particularly in a sector with irregular work schedules and a lot of travel. Thankfully, the days where the only way to get a qualification was to attend a college once or twice a week are gone. Many flexible learning options are now available, with distance and online learning gaining popularity.
It is advisable to research course content to ensure it meets personal requirements and confirm whether the delivery methodology fits with learning styles and, potentially, the ‘day job’. Pricing is always a factor in purchasing, but consider factors such as the quality of training materials and the credentials of those delivering the courses.
Sarah Hayward, ARC Training
Extending your skills with specialist training such as City of London Police Academy
As well as training police officers from the UK and around the world, the City of Police Economic Crime Academy is now making its specialist courses available to the private sector.
Attendees can study all aspects of preventing, detecting and investigating fraud and corruption, including bribery, in particular the implications of the new Bribery Act.
This training is well timed, with 250,000 reports a year to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NFIB) – and this number looks set to increase – the only way forward is increasing the capability to deal with fraud. In the case of some crimes, the key learning is spotting when fraud is still occurring and preventing it happening further.
It’s not just police officers who can benefit from our training: auditors, solicitors, those working in banking and insurance who are investigating fraud can now come and extend their skills using our range of specialist courses.
Director, City of London Police Academy
Starting your career with an Apprenticeship for Fire & Security
Apprentices for Fire & Security is a security industry initiative that aims to place apprentices into careers in the industry and support their future development.
It is aimed at employers looking to home grow their own future talent pipeline. Similarly, apprentices may be looking for the first step on a rewarding career path. The security industry can offer a diverse range of career paths including engineering, IT, product design, marketing, sales and many more.
Apprentices for Fire & Security offers a credible route into a solid future career and the opportunity to earn and learn.
Apprentices for Fire & Security runs each year, with the results announced at the prestigious Security Excellence Awards in the Autumn. In the four years since its conception the initiative has provided a career for over 3,000 young people in the security industry.
The scheme caught the eye of the national press in its inaugural year and was endorsed by The Daily Telegraph, which cited the Security Sector as a “booming marketplace with bright prospects and excellent retention rates”.
The Government initiative focuses on employer-designed apprenticeship standards to ensure apprenticeship training and assessment directly meets industry and business needs. Once launched, the new standard will replace the current industry Apprenticeship framework.
The widening skills gap poses a real threat to the future growth, success and stability of our sector. Left unchecked, the UK skills gap will match that of post-war Britain by 2020. Apprenticeships are crucial to closing this gap and with Government funding more accessible than ever, there are so many reasons to invest in apprenticeships. After just a year, you’ll see the benefits.
Group Managing Director, DualCom