The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has issued the results of a Q&A with Mike Reddington to mark his first month as CEO of the Trade Association. The Q&A focuses on the value that membership of the BSIA offers, the current and changing state of the professional security industry and forthcoming challenges.
Reddington has worked in the security industry for over 25 years, gathering vital knowledge and experience along the way. The Q&A offers guidance statements for potential and established members regarding future BSIA plans.
When asked what his primary focus as CEO of the BSIA will be going forward, Reddington replied: “To increase the active engagement of existing members and recruit new members which will ensure enhanced development of the professional security industry in terms of standards, quality and Best Practice. The BSIA will continue to be recognised as the leading voice of the professional security industry through active engagement of its staff and members with governing bodies, the police, insurers, trade press and the general public.”
As an organisation, the BSIA is well established and respected within the industry. As CEO, what’s your plan to add value for both established and potential members?
Mike Reddington: I want to ensure that the BSIA remains the leading voice of the private security industry and that membership of the Trade Association is clearly recognised as the kite mark for quality and professionalism in the sector. This will be achieved through continued participation within relevant standards and approval organisations coupled with close working relationships with insurers and police authorities.
What makes the BSIA important and necessary for the security firms it represents?
Mike Reddington: The BSIA provides its members with a vehicle to collectively offer input and feedback on standards and potential enhancements within the security sector. The organisation also enables its members to develop and share Best Practice that enhances and progresses services delivered by the private security industry.
What are the challenges within the security sector that can be addressed by the BSIA?
Mike Reddington: Ensuring a high level of quality and professionalism is maintained in the private security industry through appropriate standards and Best Practice. With changing attitudes and fast approaching tech disruptors, it has never been a better time for the entire sector to work together to ensure the professional companies stay one step ahead.
Training is a key component of the BSIA’s offer. How will Skills for Security reach out to the engineers of tomorrow and plug the skills gap?
Mike Reddington: The BSIA runs its own Training Section with a number of leading industry training members and also has its own wholly-owned subsidiary in Skills for Security which specifically focuses on apprenticeships. Skills for Security and the Training Section members are continuing to develop specific industry-related training programmes and make them more accessible to companies and individual candidates who wish to operate in the private security industry. These initiatives will ensure the industry has appropriately trained and skilled employees to meet the requirements of the future and support what is very much a growing market..
What changes do you feel are necessary in the security industry at the present time?
Mike Reddington: Given the increased pressure on our police forces’ resources and the increase in recorded crime rates, it’s critically important that the general public recognises the role that the private security sector can play in supporting supporting and protecting society. Through developing increased partnerships between the police and the private security industry, BSIA members will help to reduce crime rates and make people feel safer and more secure in their homes and businesses.
How do you feel the traditional notion of security is changing and why?
Mike Reddington: Technology is developing at a rapid pace and, with that, the solutions available to protect people, property and their possessions have significantly improved in terms of both their scope and quality. It’s therefore important that both the private and public sectors are aware of these developments. All stakeholders should embrace them and work with recognised quality companies to deliver the latest solutions to meet their security needs. The BSIA’s members are ideally positioned to play their part in this process.
Do you have any plans for the journey ahead that you would like to share with the BSIA’s member companies and, indeed, the security industry in general?
Mike Reddington: I would actively encourage all existing members to engage with the BSIA and their fellow members to continue to develop standards and Best Practice. These initiatives deliver quality and professionalism to the private security industry and meet 21st Century market requirements. I would also encourage companies that are operating in the private security industry, and are not currently members of the BSIA, to join the Trade Association such that they may have an input into the positive development of the industry in which they operate.
We’re always informed that we should never stop learning. Looking back on what you’ve learned to date, which elements of the experience you’ve gained will prepare you for success in your new role?
Mike Reddington: I’ve been fortunate to work with many quality organisations and some very talented colleagues and learned many things from them. I feel this has enabled me to develop a deep knowledge base and a large tool kit of skills that I can draw upon no matter what business situation I may be confronted with as time progresses.
What would your ideal working day look like?
Mike Reddington: Actively working with BSIA colleagues and members of the Trade Association to deliver clear value and positive results for our members and the private security industry in general. By doing so, this is a clear demonstration of both quality and professionalism.