In his latest blog for Infologue, John Briggs, Operations Director for First Security, discusses the importance of accredited training in the security industry and how it is a vital tool to enable security companies to deliver enhanced services to their clients.
The security industry has evolved from just offering physical protection to buildings and people. Security now includes an array of added value services to better protect and serve clients, their people and property. So how can security companies ensure that they differentiate their service offer and continue to evolve as the industry does? The answer is in training.
Training benefits both the security personnel, as they gain valuable skills to keep them ahead in a very competitive environment, and the client as they receive enhanced services from a skilled team.
However, importance must be placed on the quality of the training. For the value to be truly showcased, the training must be accredited. Without that accreditation or some kind of certification, the training is essentially worthless. Clients have no evidence to understand how skilled its security team is, and security personnel have no confirmation to allow their newly attained skills to be transferred to future roles or employers.
With this in mind, the industry needs to join forces to devise and offer properly accredited qualifications that are transferrable, offering proof of the skills attained, making security personnel more valuable to employers and clients.
Train and gain
Security personnel that have skills outside of standard physical protection can have a direct influence on the quality of service delivered to the client. For example, a guard that understands the importance of customer service will offer more value to a client that requests its guards meet and greet customers as they enter the building.
If indeed training holds the key to providing a better service, it’s important to understand the many ways in which security personnel can be trained in order to enhance their skills.
Hostile reconnaissance is one area that is particularly important, as it helps guards to be more aware of potential threats and to take preventative measures to mitigate these threats. For example, this training helps those guards to recognise the difference between photos or information being taken innocently or those which could be used for malicious purposes.
Conflict resolution is already part of the training provided to guards when undertaking their basic license. However, a lot more could be done in this area to ensure officers are fully equipped to deal with situations. Extra education, including scenario testing, will help the guard develop a deeper understanding of different situations.
IOSH, the biggest health and safety membership organisation in the world, also offers an accreditation which is a good foundation for security personnel, as it makes guards more aware of their surroundings, potential threats and risks, and how to do security more safely. An IOSH trained officer can be a valuable asset to any customer.
Part of a culture
Although most security personnel are employed by a security company, rather than directly by the company whose site they work on, a lot of them will have a greater affiliation with the people on their site rather than with their employer. Therefore, participation in the workplace induction training, as given to all employees, is essential. This allows the security team to understand the client culture, specific procedures and preferences, as well as what the business is all about, and gain a more in-depth knowledge of the company’s health and safety procedures including recording accidents. An officer with this knowledge assimilates to the site very quickly and can be a more valuable presence than someone without this training or understanding.
If security companies want to employ higher skilled guards and secure better margins then it is up to these companies to produce a better service. This better service comes from training.
Although in this tough financial climate it seems wise to look for ways to cut costs, there is more benefit to be had from investing in people and their skills. Being able to demonstrate to clients that the security company has a highly skilled workforce offers peace of mind from knowing the highest quality measures are being put in place, by a well trained, well informed and well respected security team.
Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of Infologue.com or Interconnective Limited.