TPS has already recruited several university graduates into their security consultancy and explosion effects team as part of the scheme. The aim is to develop their skills in a structured and professional manner, tailored to the security arena by involving them in a unique training programme that will build on their first degrees, all of which are relevant to the security discipline.
As part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) within TPS, over the next twelve months both will undertake monthly training modules that will provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary for them to become junior security consultants. Each module will take them through an individual aspect of the security specialism. They will concentrate on physical security, technical security and security management philosophy and methodology.
One of the training modules, for example, is based on the technical specification of door sets and locks. Instruction is given on how and why doors and locks are security rated, what attack methods are employed and what applications they have in the security marketplace. They will also learn though ‘on the job training’ how to perform a security audit or survey. Understanding the methodology behind the security of door sets and locks will enable them to be objective about security requirements, especially when confronted by a LPS SR 4 door in a stud partition wall!
Doug Cochrane (24) graduated from the University of the West of England with an Honours degree in building surveying. Doug joined Carillion plc initially as a building control surveyor before transferring to the TPS security consultancy team. He has just completed a hostile vehicle mitigation project at a regional airport that involved vehicle impact assessments and advice regarding anti-ram measures, and is now involved with a series of physical security audits for a leading telecommunications provider.
William Wilkinson (23) is a civil and structural engineering graduate from the University of Leeds. Specialising in seismic engineering, William has taken a keen interest in the opportunities afforded by the explosion effects team. He started his career with TPS assisting on the façade design for a large police headquarters building and is currently involved in developing the bomb blast model for a new-build iconic structure in London. In addition to learning their ‘tradecraft’, graduates will be able to become professionally qualified up to chartered level through the Institute of Civil Engineers, and to be listed on the Register of Security Engineers and Specialists, which is sponsored by CPNI, or though the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, where TPS is involved in helping to develop official guidance for surveyors.
Mark Whyte continued; ”Whilst it may be argued that knowledge needs to be supported by experience, especially in the security industry, the current graduates are all working on ‘live’ projects with an experienced senior consultant, and are supported and mentored by members of the wider security team who are experts in their own individual fields. Typically the very best graduates would be expected to progress from trainee level, through junior and senior positions, to achieve principal level in a ten-year time scale. A major step forward in this area is the creation of the Register of Security Engineers and specialists, run by the ICE and sponsored by CPNI. This initiative is significant in that it provides for the first time a security qualification backed by a professional institution. It provides recognition of expertise in a range of areas from general security advisor through to counter terrorism design, hostile vehicle mitigation and surveillance systems.”
Chris Lawrence of the TPS Advisory Team
TPS, in common with the other multi-disciplined security consultancies have a number of persons qualified under the RSES scheme. TPS also has in place a graduate trainee programme designed to equip graduates with the necessary skills over a two year period to pass the assessment for RSES at the basic level of entry. TPS graduates include civil and structural engineers, surveyors, electrical engineers and some post graduate qualifications in security related disciplines.
The graduates’ principal mentor is Chris Lawrence, who heads up the TPS Security Advisory Team. Chris completed a BSc (Hons) in security and risk management as a mature student at the University of Portsmouth in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Security Institute. Of his new charges, Chris said: “It is the absence of a graduate path into the security industry that has taken us to the start of this journey. It is very refreshing to have a younger set of eyes and a new mindset working along side us and we’ve been delighted to find that they are all quite keen to challenge certain security precepts. One could take the position that this might be borne out of ignorance or naivety, but I believe it goes deeper than that. It shows an enquiring mind and demonstrates to me that, by having to take a step back and explain security methodologies to these guys, we often take things for granted within our industry.”