Eighteen security organisations and associations attended the first meeting of a new Security Commonwealth hosted by UBM in London on 4th February. The Security Institute initiated the gathering, which included representatives from the Defence Industry Security Association, the Royal United Services Institute, the British Security Industry Association, ASIS UK Chapter 208, the International Professional Security Association, the Register of Chartered Security Professionals, the Association of Security Consultants, the Association of University Chief Security Officers, the Pharmaceutical Industry Security Forum, the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the City of London Crime Prevention Association, the Fire and Security Association, the Womens Security Society, and the Security Awareness Special Interest Group.
Also in attendance was Bill Butler, the CEO of the Security Industry Authority, along with the Director General of the sector skills body, Skills For Security.
The concept of a gathering of security organisations working together for the benefit of the sector is not new, and has certainly been tried in the past. Some will remember the Joint Security Industry Council, and in more recent times, the Security Regulation Alliance which campaigned so successfully in support of the (then) threatened Security Industry Authority.
The key to success, all agreed, is maintaining a fair balance, and making sure there is a job to be done. The Manifesto for Professional Security, published by the Security Institute in November last year, provides many challenges and ideas for the group to develop. Their next meeting will start to look at common themes amongst commonwealth members, in order to set priorities and targets for the group.
Emma Shaw CSyP, chairman of the Security Institute, led the first meeting’s discussions, which she hopes to be the start of a new era in collaboration in the security sector. “We received an excellent response to the idea of setting up a “Security Commonwealth” and I am pleased that all of the organisations involved are able to see the benefits of sharing ideas and pooling efforts where it is practical to do so. The profession is currently perceived by some as disjointed and lacking a single authoritative voice that represents the broader security community. The benefits to the sector, businesses and more importantly, the general public, could be significant and I welcome any opportunities where members and leaders of our profession can come together to discuss and share common ideas to develop our profession further. The inaugural meeting was successful and I am delighted there was a very real spirit of cooperation; I hope this forum will grow, and become even more representative.”
Any organisation interested in joining the security commonwealth should contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest.