Picture: The Security Institute Chairman Emma Shaw speaking to guests on the launch of A Manifesto for Professional Security
In the depths of the Churchill War Rooms, just behind Downing Street in the heart of Whitehall, security professionals gathered Tuesday night to hear from the Chairman of the Security Institute, Emma Shaw, as she launched A Manifesto for Professional Security.
- Scroll down for a video from the event
The Institute says its vision is to make professional security more effective and have it recognised and respected for the value it delivers to society, to private and public-sector organisations and to members of the public.
Shaw points out that there are many professional bodies in the security industry, perhaps too many for a small industry. “Each organisation has its own aims and purpose, yet as there are so many organisations, we as a sector fail to send out consistent messaging or achieve the level of influence that we might otherwise be able to achieve,” she wrote in the Manifesto.
Among the failings of the industry are:
- Little being done to promote consistency in education and training;
- Not engaging with young people who might be tempted by a career in security;
- The security industry not promoting itself as a profession;
- Not promoting security as a business enabler.
“Our Manifesto is a call for closer co-operation and collaboration between the professional bodies, the forums and networks within the security sector,” she said.
The Institute describes its Manifesto as ambitious as it calls upon all stakeholders in the sector – the associations, trade bodies, the security press and the memberships – to join together to work effectively for the good of the profession.
The Institute issued four appeals to the industry:
We call on all professional bodies in this industry, however diverse, however large or small, to be more outward looking and join with us in working independently and together for the benefit of our profession, the benefit of our industry and the benefit of our society;
We call on education bodies to join with us to examine the future development of structured learning programmes to upskill the security workforce;
We call upon key commercial organisations to work with us to provide the funding and support that some of these initiatives will entail;
We call upon government and its many agencies to establish an enabling, meaningful and ongoing dialogue with the profession to ensure it develops in a way that is entirely consistent with the needs of government and society.
To bring about cohesion in the industry, the Security Institute is proposing the creation of a Security Commonwealth where all organisations come together to discuss common issues and develop common solutions.
It would like to develop a kitemark and possibly a security brand to back and promote the development of professional training.
To promote security as a force for good, it would like to establish a Security Information Service to give general advice to the public about personal, domestic, travel and cyber security. It would also share best practice through case studies of how security operates at events, in shops, on transport and so on.
Pushing security as a career would be achieved through the creation of a Security Careers Advisory Service and create a working group called Security Outreach to promote security as a profession to other professions as well as opinion formers, politicians and management organisations.
And it would seek to influence legislation – eg, expanding the licensing regime – by the creation of a Joint Securities Associations’ Lobbying Group to speak on behalf of all associations in the security industry.
Reaction has been broadly supportive.
Mike White, Chairman of the International Professional Security Association (IPSA) told SecurityNewsDesk: “I think this is a very ambitious manifesto, I think it is absolutely right in what it is trying to do, the industry is ripe for these sort of initiatives, the time is right, it now needs buy-in from all the associations in the industry to make this work. If it doesn’t we are going to miss probably a once in an industry lifetime opportunity to work collectively and collaboratively to change the professionalism of the industry, the way that the industry is regulated, and the way the industry and politicians see us.”
Former MP and champion of security industry regulation Bruce George said: “I think the content was excellent. I would only wish it could be implemented by every company in the private security industry.”
Professor Martin Gill, Director of Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International, said: “I particularly like the idea of the security sector coming together. It’s very fragmented and arguments get diluted, and the idea that people come together and the industry comes together, to present its benefits and its value strikes me as wholly good, both in terms of speaking the language of business and of course as they said today, speaking the language of the public.”
He added: “The next stage is to get buy in, and of course that’s a more difficult step to take. I think the principles are really solid, the vision is very commendable, the harder task is going to be bringing people on board to make it happen.”
Emma Shaw summed up her position: “I don’t necessarily expect that we will be able to achieve everything in a very short space of time, but if we look at where the Institute has come from in the first 15 years and we set a path for the next 15 years, then that’s the way for us to go.”