Tag Archives: Human Resources

The Risk UK Interview: Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president at VCA)

Over recent years, VCA has achieved significant success promoting its analytics as an OEM edge-based solution which can be incorporated into other manufacturers’ IP cameras and devices. No less than 250,000 video channels worldwide are now using the company’s analytics.

VCA has now launched its own brand of IP network devices and software. Here, Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president for global sales at VCA) explains to Risk UK the thinking behind this bold step of introducing a new range in a marketplace that’s not short of manufacturers competing for the attention of installers, systems integrators and end users.

Risk UK: Until now, your business model has been based on offering the VCA analytics platform as an OEM solution. What has motivated you to change direction?

Kevin Waterhouse: We remain committed to offering our analytics technology as an OEM solution. Customers can be assured that our long-term strategy includes plans to work closely with an increasing number of manufacturers of surveillance cameras and other devices, as well as Video Management Software (VMS) providers, to ensure this important part of our business will continue to grow.

However, what we have embarked on is a twin-track approach whereby VCA will also directly support systems integrators to help them generate new revenue streams by supplying them with ‘out-of-the-box’ analytics built into the VCA brand of IP network devices.

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Risk UK: What are these new revenue streams to which you refer? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The new revenue streams relate to the opportunity to provide end users with intelligent video surveillance solutions that can do so much more than just deter or detect criminal activity. The analytics incorporated into the new VCA range enhances our ability in the video monitoring sector to reduce false alarms and improve detection.

It also opens up the opportunity to gather reliable and verifiable data to help a diverse range of businesses and organisations such as banks, casinos, hospitals, educational establishments, retailers and hospitality venues achieve a greater understanding of the behaviour of people who work at or visit their premises.

The technology is capable of capturing metadata that can be graphically displayed in customisable reports to provide marketing, Health and Safety, Human Resources and other operational departments with the information they need to achieve their business objectives.

By dealing directly with systems integrators, we’ll be able to ensure that they benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of our pre- and post-sales support teams such that they’re equipped with the necessary tools and have the confidence to be able to offer the full benefits of VCA to their clients.

Risk UK: Can you give us some examples of how this will help your new customers generate new revenue streams? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The analytics built into the VCA devices will enable them to offer their clients added value from their investment in video surveillance systems and, if they wish, offer the cameras as part of a ‘Security as a Service business model. We intend to work closely with a hand-picked network of customers to help them profit from this model and, in the process, offer tangible benefits to their clients. 

In the retail sector, for example, with training and support from VCA, systems integrators can offer their clients the opportunity to increase productivity with less staff, improve customer satisfaction by minimising delays at check-outs or identify the best times and locations for product promotions.

These are just a few goals that can be achieved with very little effort with the help of devices featuring VCA analytics. It also provides security personnel with a powerful tool to detect and combat theft and other criminal activity. 

Risk UK: There are now a large number of other analytics solutions available for customers. How does VCA stand out from the crowd? 

Kevin Waterhouse: ‘User friendly’ may be an overused phrase, but it is in fact an accurate description of VCA analytics. The significance of this should not be underrated, as there’s a perception in the marketplace that analytics can be difficult to implement and use.

We will be adding to the user friendliness of our analytics over the coming months with a new dashboard graphical user interface which will make it even easier for any business to view both real-time and historical business intelligence.

VCA analytics has also established a reputation for being highly accurate and, when employed for intruder detection purposes, has a very low rate of false alarms. This is particularly important in outdoor environments. Here, false alarms continue to be a major issue for organisations who need an effective perimeter protection solution to detect intruders.

It’s now taken for granted that HD cameras from any reputable manufacturer should be able to capture evidence grade images. However, our on-board video analytics significantly upgrade the capability of VCA cameras which, for this type of application, should perhaps be better described as ‘Intelligent Video Detectors’.

In this respect, they provide a great opportunity for VCA installers, remote monitoring centres and end users to work in harmony when it comes to reducing the time-consuming and costly impact of false alarms. It’s just another excellent example of how VCA can support the supply chain by generating new revenue streams while at the same time providing end users with a robust and reliable solution.

Risk UK: You’ve spoken about the new devices carrying the VCA brand, but you also mentioned VMS providers. Can you expand on this part of your strategy?

Kevin Waterhouse: Sure. In addition to our edge-based devices, we’ve developed a server-based software tool that will make the integration of our VCA software very quick and with little CPU overhead. The software can be added to either Linux or Windows-based software.

We already have a number of VMS clients embedding VCA and expect many more to follow along with PSIM, access and intelligent building software providers. In addition, we will shortly be launching a new device which will allow VCA to be added to any IP camera providing an RTSP stream.

Risk UK: So is VCA not developing its own VMS?

Kevin Waterhouse: Absolutely not. We have a very good relationship with the leading VMS providers and have worked closely with them to develop our VCA software tool. However, we have now released some application-specific software to support our edge devices. Ucountit, for example, is our cloud-based Business Intelligence service and Utrack is a unique auto tracking software tool. Both have been introduced because we believe it’s important to provide application solutions that fully exploit our analytics technology.

Risk UK: So you have new products and new services, but will you have sufficient resources to directly supply and support these systems integrators? 

Kevin Waterhouse: We will not hesitate to continue investing in HR to ensure that our pre- and post-sales services more than match any increase in sales. It’s already the case that we have a strong technical support team in place and have recently recruited three seasoned security professionals to ensure that we can support customers worldwide.

Gary Mercer has joined VCA as UK sales manager while Ami Paz is our new business development manager for Israel and Çağlan Dilber has been appointed business development manager for the MENA region.

Ian Young has also joined the EMEA team to drive the software and applications developments and business.

All four have extensive global experience in the design and implementation of analytics applications across many different market sectors. Recently, we’ve extended our US team. There’ll be more news on this in the near future.

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Mitie appoints Lisa Thomas as director of vetting services

Mitie, the FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company, has appointed Lisa Thomas as its director of vetting services.

The appointment follows Mitie’s acquisition of Procius, a specialist in pre-employment screening and vetting for the aviation and transport industries.

Thomas, who has previously held senior Human Resources (HR) roles within Mitie, will focus on growing Procius within the aviation and general sectors. Thomas will also be responsible for UKCRBs, a Mitie-owned vetting organisation with expertise in Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Disclosure Scotland background checks.

Lisa Thomas: new role at Mitie

Lisa Thomas: new role at Mitie


Speaking about her new role, Thomas commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to growing Mitie’s vetting services and bringing a comprehensive employee screening and vetting service to our clients. We already have sector specialism in the aviation sector and I plan to mirror this for all sectors.”

Darren Gamage, managing director of technology services at Mitie Total Security Management, added: “As our employee screening and vetting business grows it’s critical that we have the right person leading the businesses. With Lisa’s strong HR background I know that she will be a great asset. Lisa brings an in-depth understanding of both the HR decision-maker and employee screening to this role.”

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Servest Group launches dedicated Future Leader Programme

Facilities management solutions provider Servest Group has launched a development programme specifically designed to progress the careers of high-performing team members and attract the brightest graduates into the organisation.

Under the scheme, which begins in March next year, four graduates and four existing employees will embark on a two-year programme which includes time spent in each of Servest’s main divisions: Security, Building Maintenance, Catering, Cleaning and Central Services (such as Human Resources, Finance and Sales and Marketing).

In addition to learning practical skills in these areas, the participants will study management skills and be backed up by way of the Institute of Leadership and Management’s qualification in leadership (which will be run internally).

At the end of the programme, participants will join the most relevant division in a management role or look to study further qualifications if they wish to join functions such as Finance.

“The scheme demonstrates our commitment both to attracting the best people into FM and also developing our own talented team members to ensure a leadership pipeline,” said Rob Legge, Group CEO for the UK and Europe at Servest. “Both qualifications and experience are important in FM and, by bringing existing team members and new graduates into the scheme, we’re absolutely reflecting that need.”

Rob Legge: CEO for the UK and Europe at Servest Group

Rob Legge: CEO for the UK and Europe at Servest Group

The Future Leader Programme will be marketed internally, on national job boards, through social media and at universities near to Servest’s main office locations in Bury St Edmunds, Birmingham, Leeds, Hertfordshire and London.

Candidates need to demonstrate leadership potential, have top-notch communication skills and “be a good fit for the fast-paced, entrepreneurial culture” of Servest.

Graduates must have at least a 2:1, but their degree specialism doesn’t have to be in a relevant discipline.

The recruitment process will involve an initial application, telephone interview and profiling with a selected few being invited to an Assessment Centre.

Transparent and innovative partnership approach

Servest Group employs more than 16,000 people over 6,000 sites across the UK, with the company priding itself on a transparent and innovative partnership approach.

The organisation self-delivers value-for-money bespoke solutions to clients in the retail, leisure, public, commercial, construction, transport and logistics sectors.

Servest is 73% owned by Servest South Africa with the remainder of the business owned by the UK management team.

The company takes an active role in the facilities management community as members of – among others – the British Institute of Facilities Management, the Facilities Management Association and the Confederation of British Industry.

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Ninth consecutive year of ACS audit improvement recorded by Showsec

Event and venue security solutions specialist Showsec has achieved year-on-year improvement in the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme ratings for the ninth time in succession. An extensive assessment of all aspects of the company’s operation resulted in the award of a hugely impressive audit score of 132.

Assessing body the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) commended Showsec for its performance across all elements of the business and singled out several examples of good practice. Significantly, the company was successful in undergoing assessment for CCTV and close protection in readiness for the introduction of business licensing in 2015.

Showsec aimed for Improvement Scope in the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) assessment process with the prime objective of gaining British Standard accreditation across all aspects of the company’s work.

“This excellent result highlights once again the progress made by the company year-on-year and places us in a strong position should business licensing be implemented,” enthused Showsec’s managing director Mark Harding. “One of the prime objectives of this proposed business regulation for the security industry is to ensure that everyone complies with the British Standards in whatever line of security work they undertake. We now have approval for both CCTV and close protection duties in addition to door supervision and security guarding.”

Harding continued: “The ACS provides a clear benchmark of the standards we achieve in the delivery of our product. We’re constantly striving to raise the bar even higher in terms of the services we offer to our clients and members of the public, and also in relation to being at the forefront of industry-wide progression. Everyone within the company can be extremely proud of this latest achievement. I know this result will provide further encouragement for our staff to work even harder in the pursuit of excellence and continued improvement.”

Showsec provided security management and stewarding solutions for the recent Kasabian gig at Victoria Park in Leicester

Showsec provided security management and stewarding solutions for the recent Kasabian gig at Victoria Park in Leicester

Event stewarding and crowd management

The NSI assessment was conducted by Joanne Fox who visited two venues – in Manchester and Leeds – at which Showsec operate before spending two days at Head Office in Leicester. In her report, Fox asserted: “I cannot believe the number of things the company has done in the last 12 months. It’s a great achievement.”

Among the five examples of good practice highlighted in the report are the introduction of a specific training module for SIA staff to ensure all supervisors have a clear understanding of the necessary requirements when supervising employees and casual workers, as well as the formation of Facebook accounts managed by members of the team at Head Office which enable employees and casual staff to communicate on specific events and activities.

On top of that, the NSI report also draws attention to the fact that Showsec has worked diligently alongside the UK Crowd Management Association to develop a specific qualification for event stewarding and crowd management.

Other examples of good practice include the company conducting a number of Human Resources Forums as a means towards even better communication and the identification of any pressing issues.

Showsec has also introduced e-Briefings for a number of events to provide employees and casual workers with detailed and specialist information ahead of them reporting for duty.

“These are just some of the ways in which we’ve endeavoured to improve our product over the past year,” concluded Harding, “but just as significant is the fact that there were no improvement needs identified in the report. That’s an extremely rare occurrence in this process and reflects the extent to which we’ve gone to make improvements across the board.”

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‘Security Integration moves beyond PSIM’ (by John Davies, md, TDSi)

In a guest blog for Risk UK’s readers, John Davies reviews developments that have been taking place beyond the initial hype around Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and how the integration of physical and information security is now offering benefits in the real world.

A few years ago, PSIM – the acronym for Physical Security Information Management – became a popular ‘buzzphrase’ in both the physical and logical security sectors. In its broadest sense, the term sought to describe the increasing unification between IT security and physical security systems which really became inevitable given the increased adoption of IP services throughout the business world and, indeed, society as a whole.

In the case of physical security, this phenomenon has revolutionised the approach the industry takes to its products and services. Manufacturers, specifiers and installers have had to adapt and evolve to meet the expectations of the market (and, in many cases, the wider public).

However, the security sector as a whole has moved on and the expectation of an IP connection is now simply a basic necessity rather than a defining characteristic.

Full integration between often complex and crucial systems is now the goal of security operators and providers alike. Paradoxically, while the technology is undoubtedly becoming more and more complex, the overall goal is to provide operators and installers with solutions that are actually simpler to use and install.

John Davies: managing director at TDSi

John Davies: managing director at TDSi

Bringing together all of the elements

PSIM has been highly successful in bringing together physical and logical security systems, but the expectations placed on integration have also grown significantly. The security market now demands more joined-up physical security technology.

Common integration components include:
• Access control (physical locks and doors)
• CCTV systems
• Intruder alarms
• Firefighting systems
• Building services controls (including environmental systems and lifts)
• Centralised business systems (and Schools Information Management Systems)
• HR systems

While physical and logical security were traditionally isolated from one another, so too were many of the individual physical security and management applications. The inability of these various facets to work directly together was a frustration when it was clear that the overall management of a facility could be enhanced and made considerably simpler and more efficient by doing so.

Bringing together the various elements has been made achievable by two improvements: the ability of many security and management systems to be connected to a universal Internet connection and the development of systems and software capable of administering and simplifying the operator’s task of running multiple functions from a single portal.

True security integration has only really been made possible with the advent of systems which are highly compatible with one another (often using shared/agreed standardised protocols) and offer the ability to network these previous disparate elements. The second hurdle has been to understand the popular standards and create software systems able to bring the strands together as a whole.

Continuous surveillance and control of facilities

While security systems are traditionally used to combat intruders and protect against attacks or thefts, some organisations actually face a substantial threat from what’s sometimes termed ‘insider theft’. Modern integrated security systems can be used as an effective deterrent against such threats.

Take the example of a busy warehouse. With items being moved in and out on a rapid basis, it can be easy for a worker to remove items (especially small ones) without necessarily being noticed by colleagues or human security operators. In this example, CCTV surveillance may not be enough to detect a problem in standalone mode. However, in combination with an integrated stocktaking system and monitoring of access to the facility it’s much easier to investigate unaccounted losses and to check video footage for the missing items. Equally, it can be a powerful tool to defend the honesty of staff members where there is suspicion or doubt.

Visual verification: monitoring of staff movements

With a truly integrated combination of security and business/building control systems there are fresh opportunities to use these existing investments. A good example is the administration of facilities management resources. Visual verification from CCTV and security software systems can be used to monitor the movements of authorised staff as well as intruders.

A practical application for this could be the intelligent use of environmental temperature control and lighting. An integrated security system can detect the use of designated areas within a facility and intelligently manage the use of resources – and especially outside normal working hours – to reduce any wastage in unoccupied areas.

Equally, this visual verification technology could be used to monitor human and vehicular traffic around a facility and analyse any congestion or influence planning decisions.

Emergency situations and fires

Integrated systems can also play an important role with regards to the safety of people on site. Fire alarms are far from a new technology, but when used in combination with all the other buildings control systems, the combined solution can play a vital role in safety.

In the event of a fire the alarm will probably be the first system to activate. In a modern integrated system this can alert the security team and, if required, automatically escalate the warning to the emergency services.

Proactively, it can automatically restrict access to dangerous parts of the building and consult HR records or check ID restricted access logs to see who has entered and left the facility. This provides a more accurate account for the emergency services and security teams to assess the situation.

CCTV systems can then be used to assess whether people are trapped within the facility and even to investigate dangerous areas and the spread of the emergency without putting lives at risk.

Time and attendance: shift-based business models

For organisations that run strict time-keeping and shift-based business models, security systems can be used to administer accurate time and attendance recording and secure access control records when staff enter or leave a facility as well as enforce security.

It can also measure when staff visit different parts of the facility (for example the WC or food service areas) to ascertain an accurate record of the actual working patterns.

When linked to CCTV and logical access of IT systems, the HR Department or security system operators can see exactly what’s happening.

Using legacy systems and offering the best ROI

Intelligently installed integrated physical security systems can offer an attractive return on investment. First, they allow the ‘mix and match’ purchase of systems to best suit requirements and budgets. Second, they also permit the use of existing legacy systems and the inclusion of components that are either very specific to their role or, from a financial standpoint, would be problematic to replace.

A good example is the use of CCTV cameras where the best solution may be a healthy mix of modern megapixel cameras are other legacy or specific environment systems. In the past, it would have been harder to use different specifications of camera on the same network but integrated systems are specifically designed to cater for this eventuality.

Integrated systems: greater flexibility than ever before

While PSIM has undoubtedly bridged the gap between physical and logical security, the developments that have taken place since have arguably been more helpful to security operators and installers. The connection of physical security to IP-based systems was a vital development in the security industry as a whole, but the synergy between physical systems is bringing the evolution of truly self-aware solutions even closer.

Traditionally, organisations and installers dealt with a complete solution which was mutually exclusive to other solutions and offered little in the way of upgrades and evolution options. Making any changes required serious contemplation and often involved large budgetary commitments that were usually untenable.

The combination of physical security and IP systems has also radically altered the installer market. Installation specialists increasingly have to understand both IT and physical security disciplines in order to offer the best solutions for their clients. The trade-off is that, as an industry, the security sector is able to grow and offer exactly the solutions that customers require.

Those customers now have greater control over their investments and a greater confidence that it’s a wise investment in a wider economic landscape that will help achieve sustained growth.

John Davies is managing director at security solutions specialist TDSi

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‘A Manifesto for Professional Security’: The Security Institute’s ‘Vision of The Future’

On Tuesday 18 November at The Churchill War Rooms in central London, The Security Institute launched ‘A Manifesto for Professional Security’. The Keynote Speech was delivered by Emma Shaw CSyP, the Institute’s chairman, who duly outlined the organisation’s vision for making professional security more effective: a profession that’s recognised and respected for the immense value it delivers to society, to organisations in both the public and private sector and, indeed, individual members of the public.

Everything The Security Institute has done over the first 15 years of its existence has been building up to this point. We would like to think that our new document entitled: ‘Recognised, Respected and Professional: A Manifesto for Professional Security’ carries on the tradition of The Security Institute’s founding members. Back in 1999, those founding members were willing to seek change and courageous enough to do their utmost in a bold bid to realise that change.

This is the point at which I feel our professional body comes of age. The point at which we are mature enough to profess that we can only achieve our ambitions for this profession not by pursuing our own agenda or through acting as a member association with a narrow focus on member interests but instead by recognising that the first duty of a professional body is to serve the profession itself and all of its many and varied stakeholders.

We understand that, across the sector, there are valuable relationships currently being used for narrow benefit that could be developed to serve the greater good.

First and foremost, this new Manifesto is about collaboration. It sets out a vision and a series of initiatives that encourage working together to achieve key outcomes. In working to bring about those defined outcomes, all organisations within the sector would maintain full autonomy and retain their own individual identity and traditions while at the same time striving to achieve for the good of all.

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

Emma Shaw CSyP: chairman of The Security Institute

A Manifesto for Professional Security: The Background

Undoubtedly, these are times of immense and rapid change for the security profession and all of its practitioners. The nature of the security threat is changing. Accessible information technologies, global networks, diversification of threats and disruptive technologies will all create risks for the public, for society and for businesses in equal measure. These complex threats require complex solutions and, in turn, this will demand far greater collaboration and co-operation from – and between – those responsible for the security of assets as well as the host organisations representing them.

We also need to remember that it’s not only security professionals who are our stakeholders. Ultimately, the end user of all our services is the general public and The Security Institute feels that not enough has been done to include that public in our thinking as a profession.

There’s a need for greater understanding of what the public perceives as threats, which tend towards the local and short term rather than the international and longer term focus of the Government’s National Security Strategy. Through its professional bodies, the security profession must strive to build bridges with the public it seeks to protect. It is the members of the public who are our primary stakeholders.

Following on from this, security also must engage more actively with its user stakeholders in a bid to demystify its practices and make its own case for wider recognition as a force for good in society. On an individual level, security must strive to promote a clear understanding and appreciation of the things the security profession does on a daily basis to maintain stakeholder well-being.

At a time when security is becoming ever more ubiquitous and might be perceived by some as overbearing, we absolutely cannot afford to let the public lose faith in the professionals who work tirelessly to manage and mitigate the risks it faces and, in so doing, keep members of the public safe.

In the pursuit of greater degrees of security, it must be said that a fine line exists between protecting members of the public and infringing their civil liberties. Here, the security profession has the opportunity to be a reassuring and independent presence between the public and the legislature. We can offer a reliable information channel.

Taking this argument a stage further, the security profession has to encourage an ongoing debate around the moral basis of security. It’s also fair to say that ethical challenges will frequently arise as technology empowers the profession to gather, analyse and use data about citizens.

The Security Institute has launched 'A Manifesto for Professional Security'

The Security Institute has launched ‘A Manifesto for Professional Security’

The security profession must evolve

The Institute feels strongly that the security profession must evolve in line with the changing nature of risks and equip practitioners to cope with those risks in order to enable them to meet the challenges facing society at large. Technology is one of the key drivers of change, and the security profession – and its cohort – needs to demonstrate the technical and intellectual skills that enable effective working within this environment.

New tools can help transform the sector. For example, big data analytics might be made into working tools, enabling complex data to be turned into smart data and allowing data analysis on a massive scale that quickly provides deeper insights while creating new types of services for host organisations.

We should also consider the make-up of the security profession. Security is still widely viewed as a second career for those coming out of the military or the police service. We need to encourage young people to enter the security world as a first-choice profession after leaving school or university.

Greater and closer co-operation between stakeholder organisations is essential if we are all to fulfil our individual organisational obligations to the profession.

What, then, are the reasons why things we would all agree need to be done are not being done? First, it’s apparent to many of us that ‘Security’ simply doesn’t speak the language of business or the public effectively and so doesn’t participate in the conversations that frequently set the agenda.

Second, one of the strengths of the security sector is the engagement of its members and the vibrant groups, associations and institutes they establish – but this is also its weakness. The security sector is fragmented and lacking in clear leadership.

We also believe that the nature of the relationship between the profession and the public should change. ‘Security’ needs to develop a relationship with the public whereby the users are the ones demanding the services rather than having services they haven’t asked for imposed upon them.

Returning once more to the key theme of collaboration and co-operation, The Security Institute feels there’s an overriding need for a true and sustaining partnership between the security profession, businesses and institutions and the general public.

The Front Cover of the new 'Manifesto for Professional Security'

The Front Cover of the new ‘Manifesto for Professional Security’

Setting aside parochial interests

The Manifesto asks a number of things of various stakeholders within this profession and those who have influence over it. However diverse, large or small they may be, we call upon all of the professional bodies in this industry to set aside any parochial interests and join with us in working independently and in parallel for the benefit of our profession, our industry and our society.

We call on educational bodies and awarding bodies to join with the professional bodies and examine the future development of structured learning programmes designed to up-skill the security workforce.

We call upon key commercial organisations to work with the professional bodies and provide the funding and support that some of these initiatives will entail.

We call upon Parliament and its many agencies to establish an enabling, meaningful and ongoing dialogue with the profession to ensure it develops in a manner that’s entirely consistent with the needs of Government and society.

To achieve this, the Manifesto proposes a number of initiatives that we – the professional bodies and member associations in the security sector – can establish through working together.

We encourage thoughtful and dynamic collaboration between groups, businesses and individuals. We believe we should establish a Security Commonwealth wherein all organisations come together on an equal basis, retaining their full individual autonomy while working collectively on the development of common approaches to joint challenges

We propose that we should work collaboratively with all willing groups and individuals within the industry to set up a Security Information Service. This will afford the public general advice via a website – ideally sponsored by the industry and, possibly, Government – on all aspects of personal, domestic, travel and cyber security. This can be used to steer public opinion in a favourable direction.

The Security Information Service will share information on how professional security succeeds at major events, such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as well as on a day-to-day basis in peoples’ lives, for instance when they’re at the shops or using public transport. We will celebrate the achievements of those working for the public and support measures to address the abuse and misuse of security.

We wish to work together to improve and heighten the profile of the sector. The Security Institute encourages collaboration with universities and education providers, schools and university careers services and employers. We want to establish clear career paths that demonstrate progress from first entering the profession to roles in the top strata via specialist and generalist positions, technical and business roles.

Put simply, we need to show security to be the challenging, intellectually stimulating, exciting and public-serving discipline that it most certainly is. We can do this through the medium of a Security Careers Advisory Service.

The Foreword is written by Lord Carlile of Berriew, The Security Institute's president

The Foreword is written by Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC, The Security Institute’s president

Common position on professionalism

We want to work together on developing and sharing a common position on professionalism within our industry. Our joint aim should be the UK becoming the exemplar model that the world can copy. We can create a Working Group, entitled Security Outreach, and target this outreach to opinion formers, politicians and management organisations such as the CBI and the Institute of Directors. We can increase awareness through the Human Resources profession, the purchasing and supply function and Facilities Management, all of which are key enablers in our area.

We act together to promote The Gold Standard created by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, that of the Chartered Security Professional. We act in unison with other industry bodies to create a common point of view and voice that we will use to approach Government with clearly thought-out suggestions designed to encourage and influence the development of a Government White Paper on the future of the security profession. Security Outreach will play a key role in this process.

To ensure that our voice is heard we propose the creation of a Joint Security Associations’ Lobbying Group that would speak on behalf of all the associations – and through them – when representing the profession and its members.

There’s full recognition that this is an ambitious manifesto and requires all stakeholders in the security sector – the associations, the trade bodies, members of the press and individual members – to come together and work effectively for the good of the security profession.

Let’s recognise that we have a great deal in common and that, first and foremost, all bodies in the sector were established to support the members of this profession. There’s much we can and will continue to offer as individual associations, but let’s be brave enough to recognise that there will be many occasions when, if we are to be truly effective, the fact is we are better together, speaking with one voice and promoting a common viewpoint with the weight of our individual organisations firmly behind us.

We recognise that our ambition for the development of the profession is beyond the ability and resources of any one group, organisation or professional association within the sector. We realise that there are many perspectives on the future of the security profession and the broader sector, and that there are informed voices outside of our organisation who can claim thought leadership.

Strong contribution to the sector

We have no wish to necessarily lead these initiatives but undertake to work tirelessly to get them off the ground and to give them our full and continuing support as a willing participant. Indeed, so determined are we to make them a reality that we’re ready to contemplate a future in which The Security Institute itself may cease to exist in its present form and would possibly be subsumed within a larger, more representative grouping that carries greater authority through its universality.

As a professional body, The Security Institute is rightly proud of its journey over the past 15 years. The organisation has made a strong contribution to the sector. However, if this Manifesto meets with an enthusiastic response from other organisations, and we’re able to use its contents in bringing greater cohesion to the profession at large, then this will be our finest achievement to date.

Winston Churchill once famously stated: “I never worry about action, but only inaction.” Together, we have an opportunity before us to start something that’s truly great. Let’s not allow that opportunity to be brought to a halt through inaction. Work with The Security Institute to make it so.

*Read ‘Recognised, Respected and Professional: A Manifesto for Professional Security

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Two-thirds of UK companies fail to check employee references ahead of start dates

According to new research conducted by HireRight – the leading global due diligence organisation – most UK companies are failing to check references before new employees start in their roles and are struggling to respond to other companies’ reference requests.

The Point of Reference research suggests that two-thirds (66%) of new employees begin work before their reference checks are complete. Two-in-five (39%) of Human Resources (HR) function leaders believe this is normal practice within their industry.

However, such checks are absolutely vital. The HireRight study reveals that more than half (58%) of successful applications contain errors*. In tandem, one third (36%) of HR leaders admit they need a clearer way of identifying job candidates with malicious intent.

Steve Girdler, managing director (EMEA) at HireRight, explained: “References reveal important details about an individual’s history and help employers ensure they can trust the people they allow to work with their customers, clients and colleagues. By failing to carry out due diligence before people start work, companies risk hiring individuals unable to fulfil the duties of their respective roles, who may commit fraud or theft or even damage customer relationships.”

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

Girdler added: “A great deal of damage can be done between the moment an employee starts at a new company and when referencing requests are completed.”

‘Administrative burden’ on HR Departments

HireRight’s Point of Reference research results are based on the perspectives of senior HR leaders in some of the UK’s biggest companies. The results also highlight that reference checking is an administrative burden on many HR Departments at a time when they’re already struggling to find enough hours in the day for important strategic work.

One third (31%) of HR Departments are ‘bogged down’ with responding to queries about references. In a quarter (27%) of cases, employees have complained to their managers about the amount of time they spend working on such requests.

Many HR Departments simply don’t have the spare capacity when one third (34%) of their time is spent on administrative tasks. HR leaders themselves estimate they spend an average of two hours and 12 minutes every day on what might be described as ‘low value’ work.

This latest Point of Reference research is based on detailed interviews with 140 senior HR leaders in both regulated and non-regulated UK companies boasting more than 5,000 employees.

*The inaccuracies figure quoted is based on the analysis of data from candidate due diligence programmes, with this quarter’s findings focused on 121,000 checks of almost 34,000 applications between July and September 2014

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