Why Julia McClelland CSyP became a Chartered Security Professional
Memorable dates, personal to us, we all have them, be it births, marriages or deaths, dates which prompt mixed personal emotions.
For me, it is dates in history, which have not only added to my personal emotions, but have been milestones in my security career which has spanned over 25 years.
The first milestone date was the tragic events of 9/11. At the time I was working as a Safety Advisor and providing information and security advice on a part-time basis.
Whilst this was an pivotal function, the events of 9/11 stirred deep emotion within me, as I had recently returned from a holiday in the “Big Apple” where I had spent a wonderful evening with friends old and new in the Windows on the World, a restaurant on the top floors of the North Tower of the original World Trade Centre complex in Lower Manhattan where, sadly, 72 members of staff perished.
The events of that day changed the world and for me, although thousands of miles away, I knew it was going to change me too. I knew then, as I watched in horror the unfolding events, that I wanted to devote the rest of my working life to security, to work with others in the profession to strive to ensure that nothing as catastrophic as that event was ever going to happen again in my lifetime.
Following 9/11, I joined a Protective Security Team, full-time, advising and overseeing the delivery of a number of projects which have contributed to the protection of some of the nation’s most valuable assets.
It is through gaining that experience and skill that I applied to become a Chartered Security Professional, where you have to be at your best, to demonstrate to your peers in industry that you are working at the highest level, keeping abreast of the political threat landscape, changes in law and new advances in technology.
Through this you can then influence senior leaders, whilst constantly striving for proportional, compliant solutions to the risks which affect the organisations you represent.
The next significant milestone in my career was 7/7, as it was on the twelth anniversary of that atrocity was admitted to the Register of Chartered Security Professionals (2017). Once again my mind was focussed upon the importance of the role which we security professionals play in advising and working with partners to deliver security solutions and how important it is that we work together for the greater good.
Fast forward to the day of my Chartered Security Professional ceremony, 22 March 2018, the first anniversary of the Westminster terrorist attack. Full of happiness and excitement, along with my family, I headed to the Palace of Westminster. Chattering soon turned to silence as I approached the floral tribute placed in New Palace Yard to commemorate one of our police colleagues (PC Keith Palmer), who whilst defending the principles and values that we all hold dear, sadly lost his life. I stopped, and after my short act of remembrance, quietly but affirmatively, I vowed to myself to continue to do the job I love, to the best of my ability, to listen, to understand, grow in knowledge, speak authoritatively and passionately about security and the threats that are facing us and how we can all contribute to a safer and more secure world.
Julia McClelland CSyP is a Chartered Security Professional working as a Senior Security Specialist in Counter Terrorism within the UK Nuclear Sector.
For more information on becoming a Chartered Security Professional visit www.charteredsecurityprofessional.org