Eighteen security organisations and associations attended the first meeting of a new Security Commonwealth hosted in central London on Wednesday 4 February. The Security Institute initiated the gathering, which included representatives from the Defence Industry Security Association, the Royal United Services Institute, the British Security Industry Association, ASIS International’s UK Chapter 208, the International Professional Security Association, the Register of Chartered Security Professionals, the Association of Security Consultants, the Association of University Chief Security Officers, the Pharmaceutical Industry Security Forum, The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the City of London Crime Prevention Association, the Fire and Security Association, the Womens Security Society and the Security Awareness Special Interest Group.
Also in attendance was Bill Butler, the CEO of the Security Industry Authority, and Terri Jones, the director general of sector skills body Skills for Security.
The concept of a gathering of security organisations working together for the benefit of the sector is not new, and has certainly been tried in the past. Some will remember the Joint Security Industry Council and, in more recent times, the Security Regulation Alliance which campaigned so successfully in support of the (then) threatened Security Industry Authority.
The key to success, all participants at the meeting agreed, is maintaining a fair balance and making sure there’s a job to be done.
The Manifesto for Professional Security, published by The Security Institute in November last year, provides many challenges and ideas for the group to develop. The next meeting will start to look at common themes among Security Commonwealth members in order to set defined priorities and targets for the group.
New era of collaboration
Emma Shaw CSyP, chairman of The Security Institute, chaired the first meeting’s discussions and hopes this will be the start of a new era in terms of collaboration within the security sector.
“We received an excellent response to the idea of setting up a Security Commonwealth,” stated Shaw, “and I’m pleased that all of the organisations involved are able to see the benefits of sharing ideas and pooling efforts where it’s practical to do so.”
Shaw continued: “The profession is currently perceived by some as disjointed and lacking a single authoritative voice that represents the broader security community. The benefits to the sector, businesses and, more importantly, the general public could be significant and I welcome any opportunities where members and leaders of our profession can come together to discuss and share common ideas designed to develop our profession still further.”
In conclusion, Shaw told Risk UK: “The inaugural meeting was successful. I’m delighted that there was a very real spirit of co-operation in evidence. I hope that this forum will grow and become even more representative.”
Any organisation interested in joining the Security Commonwealth should contact the organisers at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promoting the art and science of security
The Security Institute is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 for the benefit of individuals working in the security sector. It promotes the art and science of security management and works to drive standards, educate and spread Best Practice across the security sector – a sector responsible for the safety of much of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure.
The Institute is responsible for managing and operating the Register of Chartered Security Professionals on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals. In conjunction with the Registration Authority it sets standards, provides quality control, appointment and management of both licensees and admitted registrants.
The Register of Chartered Security Professionals was launched on 7 June 2011. Established under Royal Charter by The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the Register itself endorses the main aim of the Company which is “to promote, support and encourage standards of excellence, integrity and honourable practice in conducting the profession of security practitioners and to aid societies and other organisations connected to such a profession.”