Daily Archives: 13/08/2013

Lodge Service tasked with delivering security audits for the British Red Cross

The British Red Cross has appointed Lodge Service to provide ‘mystery shoppers’ as well as security audits and training to help protect the charity’s network of 320 gift shops and its £28 million annual revenue that funds charitable services.

The three-year contract follows a decade of support for the charity by Lodge Service, and now includes online reports on incidents and trends data for the charity’s management and internal audit team.

Lodge Service’s ‘mystery shoppers’ investigate all British Red Cross shops twice a year, totalling 640 visits to locations as far afield as the Scottish Outer Isles. These visits are designed to provide feedback on staff compliance with service standards and to detect security issues at the point of sale, as well as ensuring that payments are received and processed correctly.

Programme reports include feedback on ten criteria, among them the competency of shop staff in processing donated items, their knowledge of Red Cross activities when questioned in-store and whether they invite customers to sign up for the Gift Aid scheme *which accounts for £1 million of extra funding on an annual basis).

Kensington and Chelsea Shop of the British Red Cross

Kensington and Chelsea Shop of the British Red Cross

The results of the programme are collated using a secure online database which the Red Cross can access to respond to incidents and monitor any trends across the network that require management action.

Lodge Service also supports the charity’s internal audit team by carrying out regular checks in some 80 nominated shops to assess procedural compliance in a number of operationally critical areas. These include store administration and cash control, as well as compliance with physical and personal security standards and Health and Safety provisions.

‘Shrink awareness’ training workshops are organised to help shop managers and key volunteers. Case Studies on loss prevention, data on trends and practical tips on how to reduce vulnerability to losses and deal with a suspected shop lifting incident are included.

Lodge Service carries out covert investigations on a reactive basis where losses are suspected or staff may be failing to attend a store during opening hours, for example. Support can include telephone calls to the store or visits to observe activity or make test purchases and monitor payment.

Miranda Bradley, retail development manager at the British Red Cross, explained: “Lodge Service offers a very personalised and responsive service, reacting quickly to our needs. The company’s depth of experience in retail security, safety and compliance means that it can offer excellent advice if we are dealing with a related problem. This includes consulting on potential risks from any new procedures we’re planning and looking ahead to recommend options for dealing with them safely as part of our internal systems and processes.”

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London Metropolitan University to commence new Security Studies programme by distance learning route

The “thought-provoking distance learning course in Security Studies” will equip learners with “a world of career opportunities”. There is flexibility built-in, with part-time study options for Postgraduate Certificates through to Master of Science degrees.

Taught and awarded by London Metropolitan University, the programme starts on 25 November 2013. Enrolment for the PGCert (11 months), PGDip (21 months) and MSc (26 months) closes on 11 November. More information is available at: http://www.security-studies.com/pr

The course has been developed by a renowned team at the University in conjunction with the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety. It’s delivered in partnership with the IBC Academy, an experienced provider of distance learning education.

The IBC Academy has many years’ experience of offering education and development courses for personnel in a wide range of sectors who are looking to boost their career trajectory.

“The programme examines key themes and debates shaping concepts of security,” explained Dr Nick Ridley, programme leader and senior lecturer in policing and security at the University. “It addresses critical areas of contemporary concern, covering issues stretching from foreign policy through to the role of radicalisation in international politics and on to the evolving dangers of financial and cyber crime.”

Dr Ridley continued: “The Security Studies programme will not only equip learners with the skills needed to analyse these types of problems but will also help place them in the context of broader military, strategic and political considerations. Students will gain a solid academic grounding in the fields of criminology, terrorism and intelligence which will equip them with the critical thinking skills needed to make sense of the ever-changing global security agenda. These skills will enable learners to engage with institutions and individuals central to this area.”

The course is of special benefit to anyone wishing to work for a public sector, private sector or internationally-focused organisation. Typical career destinations might include:
• senior positions in the police and armed forces
• intelligence agencies
• the private security sector
• criminal justice
• academic positions
• Government research posts
• local and public services
• journalism
• positions within institutions such as the European Union or the United Nations

“The vocational nature of the post-graduate programme is further enhanced by the dissertation, which allows students to engage in a substantial piece of research and to apply their knowledge and skills in an area of particular interest to them and their specific career aspirations”, added Dr Ridley.

Part-time study by distance learning is particularly well-suited to busy professionals looking to equip themselves for new career opportunities in the global environment.

“The post-graduate Security Studies programme requires no physical attendance at induction sessions or lectures at the university itself,” explained Stephen Wrench, curriculum manager at the IBC Academy.

“We offer an academically rigorous qualification using a sophisticated Learning Management System to involve and support students in an immersive study programme, wherever they are in the world and whatever their current commitments. This means that students can organise their learning and gain a post-graduate award without having to take any time away from the demands of their working and home life.”

The full course prospectus can be downloaded from: http://www.security-studies.com/pr

Course and company background information

This is a London Metropolitan University programme and qualification, with enrolment and delivery administered by the IBC Academy. The course is taught, assessed, quality assured and awarded by the London Metropolitan University.

London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University
Established in 1848, the London Metropolitan University is London’s largest single university. The Security Studies programme is delivered by the University’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. The department combines professionally recognised qualifications with innovative and socially orientated courses and is one of the largest academic bodies of its discipline in the UK, with around 70 specialist academic staff and a range of excellent courses.

The faculty has an outstanding reputation for research, with academic staff contributing regularly to industry journals, advisory groups and governmental policy, as well gaining regular public exposure through the press and broadcast media.

The John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety
The John Grieve Centre was created in 2003 with a vision to create a community of ideas that spans students, academics, practitioners and policy-makers.

Through post-graduate teaching and research, public conferences, law enforcement practitioner seminars and consultancy projects, the John Grieve Centre actively contributes to the emerging academic discipline of police studies and promotes and disseminates expertise, understanding and good practice among practitioners.

In 2006, the John Grieve Centre relocated to London Metropolitan University.

The IBC Academy
The IBC Academy works with academic institutions and private companies to bring knowledge to life by developing and delivering high quality education and training courses.

The IBC Academy assists individuals and organisations to achieve their goals by developing skills, knowledge and performance improvement, and is a division of IIR Ltd (part of Informa plc)

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Role of the BSIA as sector’s key representative body “has never been more important”

Speaking at the Trade Association’s Annual Luncheon in central London, chairman Geoff Zeidler reflected on 12 months in which the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) “has made a significant contribution to the security sector” and, in turn, enhanced its own abilities to provide value for member companies.

The chairman’s speech focused on four key areas of work conducted by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA): strategy, finance, supporting the industry and supporting the membership.

“Last year,” said Zeidler, “I pledged to establish a clear long term strategy for the BSIA that would demonstrate the tangible benefits and commercial advantages membership of the Association offers to its active participants. I’m pleased to report that this process is progressing. We’re defining what the BSIA does on behalf of the industry, the six specific capabilities the BSIA offers in support of Section members and what the Sections themselves should be expected to do on behalf of the Association. This is creating specific objectives that are being targeted for delivery by given Sections.”

In what is still “a challenging economic environment”, Zeidler was pleased to report that BSIA membership continues to grow. Following an internal re-structure, the Association’s finances are not in deficit.

Zeidler added: “This has allowed us to invest in the first new IT infrastructure for almost two decades. This will improve our targeted communications while allowing bespoke updates and the production of personalised information.”

Geoff Zeidler: chairman of the British Security Industry Association

Geoff Zeidler: chairman of the British Security Industry Association

Partnership with Skills for Security

Financial stability for the BSIA has also been assisted by what Zeidler described as “the most significant step” of the last 12 months: the new partnership with Skills for Security.

“Consolidation at Kirkham House is already providing operational benefits for both organisations,” asserted Zeidler, “although this was not the main objective [of bringing the skills and training body back under the BSIA’s umbrella]. Consistent with the BSIA’s long term commitment to industry quality and professionalism, this partnership is all about enabling the Trade Association to help drive occupational standards and training support for the sector. Skills for Security has enjoyed many successes of late – not least assisting with the training of over 5,000 security staff for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – but has a surprisingly small number of BSIA member customers. I’m looking forward to seeing new working relationships develop over the coming year.”

In terms of supporting the industry, in tandem with numerous Parliamentary Round Tables the Association has continued to lead the Security Regulation Alliance.

“Since the industry rejected the proposed abolition of the Security Industry Authority back in October 2010,” explained Zeidler, “the alternative new regulatory regime has enjoyed strong endorsement in the recent Home Office consultation. This will bring in business licensing, in turn improving regulation at a lower cost. The BSIA is continuing to lobby the Home Office for the primary legislation that’s needed to make enforcement effective. We’re hoping to hear more on this very soon.” As, indeed, is the security sector at large.

The BSIA is lobbying on behalf of the industry to shape the new regulatory regime for private sector security

The BSIA is lobbying on behalf of the industry to shape the new regulatory regime for private sector security

Trusted partner of the Home Office

Turning from security personnel towards system solutions, on the products side of the equation the BSIA has continued to work as one of a few trusted partners of the Home Office in relation to CCTV.

The Association submitted a detailed response to the consultation on the Government’s new CCTV Code of Practice and works with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Andrew Rennison – as well as the Home Office – on CCTV-related issues.

Zeidler commented: “The Association’s recently published research into the numbers and scope of surveillance cameras across the UK has provided valuable and impartial information for the many key stakeholders involved. I’m sure that this work will continue to flourish under the watchful eye of the BSIA’s new vice-chairman, Pauline Norstrom.”

Pauline Norstrom: vice-chairman of the Trade Association

Pauline Norstrom: vice-chairman of the Trade Association

When it comes to supporting its members, this is where Zeidler feels it’s important for the BSIA to crystallise exactly what the Association – and only the Association – can do for its supporters.

“Our recent member survey showed that the best results are realised by the most engaged members. For example, the Cash and Valuables in Transit Section continues to generate excellent results from its Safer Cash and Safer Gems Specialist services, both of which are closely aligned with the police service. We’re now working to develop our Affinity Services which should be of particular value to our smaller member companies. We also believe that the increased number and scope of our events has been successful. Development of these services must be directed by the BSIA’s Sections, and I look forward to an impressive list of new targeted services in 2014.”

Vocal supporter of professionalism, quality and value

Zeidler was keen to point out that the BSIA’s role as the sector’s key representative body has never been more important.

“We’re a vocal supporter of professionalism, quality and value,” he urged. “When looking back on the last 12 months, I firmly believe the Association has made a significant contribution to the industry while also enhancing our ability to provide value for our membership.”

The chairman outlined that the BSIA is fortunate to have members and staff who epitomise “commitment, dedication, technological innovation and high standards of service.”

It’s for the BSIA’s dedicated members of staff and all of the Association’s customers that Zeidler once again focused on key market messages.

“Looking towards the customers, I would urge them to design procurement procedures in such a way that allows us to provide risk management-based solutions. To the BSIA’s members, I would say make sure your customers understand sustainable profitability and allow you to save money by innovation rather than risking our industry’s reputation, and possibly losing the public’s trust, by reducing quality.”

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