Bob Forsyth – Security: job or career?

Bob Forsyth
Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM)

Bob Forsyth, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) introduces his fifth blog on by asking, security: job or career?

Bob writes; “Security is one of the fastest-growing professional careers worldwide. A career in the security field can provide a multitude of opportunities across several levels but is this how everyone sees it?

“If you took a straw poll amongst the general public on how they viewed a typical security officer they would probably say that they don’t have much opportunity for career progression

“My own personal experience of career development is from the ground floor, through every level, to achieve my position of managing director today. So I am keen to change the public’s perception, as the role of a security officer has changed greatly over the years. Technology is playing a bigger part in integrated security solutions these days, as is the increased need for customer service and both factors are crucial for success. The security officer role is now a multi skilled one; officers need a range of skills that build on the basics, such as IT skills and a good level of literacy and numeracy. Exceptional customer service skills are also necessary, as interaction with the public, employees and visitors is a key part of the role.

“I think security should be seen as a career and private security companies should support this by committing to developing the workforce. As a believer in providing risk-based services, security officers need a greater awareness and knowledge of risks and threats as the climate they work in has changed. It’s down to us as employers to equip them sufficiently so they can play a bigger role than purely a physical deterrent. The UK critical national infrastructure is protected by contracted security staff and this highlights the need for greater vigilance and training than ever before.

“With tens of thousands of security professionals working within the regulated security sector there is a huge bank of resource from which to identify people who can and want to develop into management. As employers we must make sure that we have the mechanisms in place firstly to enable us to identify the potential and then to act on it. Training and development is already a key part of continuous development within security companies but if we go beyond what is provided as standard I’m certain that we can unlock the talent and potential of our people. Good quality positions, sound training and development and the opportunity to progress will attract skilled people to the industry. So to answer my own question it’s very much a career for those who want one.”

Read Bob’s first blog: Security managers are relevant again in procurement

Read Bob’s second blog: What do we really mean by adding value?

Read Bob’s third blog: Cyber security – is out of sight really out of mind?

Read Bob’s Fourth blog: Have we come to expect public disorder?

Bob Forsyth MIoD, Msyl, the Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management (TSM) has over 15 years’ experience in the service industry. He is a strong relationship builder who is financially astute with excellent negotiation and communication skills, and the ability to work with people at every level. A team player, Bob is able to lead by example.

Bob was promoted to the position of managing director of MITIE Total Security Management in April 2010 after an array of notable achievements since joining the company in 2004.

Having successfully implemented the merger with Initial Security in the Southern region, and developing a profitable part of the business, Bob has continuously worked to expand the business and contributed towards year on year growth. In August 2007 he implemented MITIE’s stand-alone response service and in June 2009 initiated the launch of the business’ Total Security Management approach providing an integrated risk-based approach to security, incorporating response services with security systems.

A member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), Bob has recently completed a Leadership course at Cranfield University. He is a keen advocate of MITIE’s partnership approach and is a champion of the business’ strategic risk-based approach. He sees this as an opportunity to move the business forward, and as such has launched a dedicated security risk and business resilience team since his most recent promotion. He takes every opportunity to promote MITIE’s presence within the industry through his involvement with industry bodies such as City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the British Security Industry Association (BSIA). Bob is also a member of the RISC (Resilience Industry Suppliers Community) which is the leading business think tank on UK Security advising government on security.

MITIE Total Security Management Website