Securitas completes state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre in Buckinghamshire

Securitas' new state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre in Milton Keynes

Securitas’ new state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre in Milton Keynes

Building work is now finalised on a state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre (SOC) for Securitas in Milton Keynes which will play host to the company’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) – built to conform with BS EN 50518 standards – as well as its all-new and bespoke Training and Development Academy.

The new facility, which is located at the prestigious Wavendon Business Park, brings together Securitas’ communications, dispatch and ARC teams in a purpose-built, people-friendly environment very much designed to serve as the hub of the company’s overarching solutions strategy.

Importantly, the SOC will create over 100 local jobs across its technological, Human Resources and security functions while at the same time opening up opportunities for other local businesses to partner in areas such as facilities management.

Arthur Agnew, chief technical officer at Securitas, commented: “This is a really exciting time for the company.  Centralising our operational teams within the SOC will allow us to deal with fast-changing scenarios as they happen. Interdepartmental processes will be managed much easier with everyone under the same roof, in turn ensuring the ultimate response around accuracy and efficiency when dealing with client requests.”

Arthur Agnew: CTO at Securitas

Arthur Agnew: CTO at Securitas

Agnew continued: “Whether it’s alarm activation, missed check calls or an engineer request, our specially-trained operators, supported by a bespoke call handling system, will take the appropriate action to despatch an officer or mobile unit, or otherwise contact one of our many technology partners to respond to the incident.”

Alongside the ARC on the ground floor of the building will be a remote technology support team and a uniquely-designed customer area demonstrating Securitas’ technical solutions. This is configured to provide visitors with a more hands-on and interactive experience.

Training and Development Academy and conference facilities

The new Training and Development Academy plays host to two training rooms for the delivery of courses as well as a number of meeting/breakout rooms capable of accommodating up to ten people.

There’s also be an auditorium/conference room with the capacity to accommodate up to 100 delegates as well as an executive Boardroom.

The first floor features a number of hot desk rooms which can seat up to four people with wall-mounted screens, whiteboards and Apple TV to help facilitate meetings and presentations.

Outside, there are car parking spaces for over 100 vehicles.

Brian Riis Nielsen

Brian Riis Nielsen

Speaking about the new SOC, Securitas’ Country President Brian Riis Nielsen proudly explained: “We believe it’s our people who make the difference and, by bringing together our core support services into a single location and offering a modern and open working space complete with the latest in Control Room fittings, we’ll harmonise our processes and remain truly customer-focused with accurate and effective communication being at the heart of everything we do.”

Importantly, Riis Nielsen stated: “The investment we’re making in this SOC is in line with our strategy for growth and demonstrates to our employees, present customers and potential customers alike that we’re progressing well on our security solutions journey.”

The SOC will be officially opened later this month by Riis Nielsen and Alf Göransson (Securitas’ President and CEO) when a special event will be held for invited customers.

City & Guilds Approved Centre status achieved

Securitas has also announced that its new Training and Development Academy has been awarded Approved Centre status by City & Guilds, the skills and training provision-focused organisation.

The Academy is presently being developed by one of City & Guilds’ leading security learning consultants responsible for producing the 2015 Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence-linked security qualifications.

A wide spectrum of training is to be delivered via a new learning management system which will be integrated throughout 2015-2016. Multiple training delivery options will include e-learning, portfolio, classroom, NVQ-style packages, on-site, auditorium-centric and blended learning.

Securitas’ chief operating officer Shaun Kennedy explained: “The new global standard training and development system will benefit staff at all grades to achieve formal qualifications and enhance their performance and career paths. The proposed accreditation means that we can also work with our customers to develop new industry-leading formal qualifications that directly support their specific requirements.”

City & Guilds Approved Centre status has just been awarded to the new Securitas Academy

City & Guilds Approved Centre status has just been awarded to the new Securitas Academy

City & Guilds is the main provider of qualifications to the Ministry of Defence and the Securitas Academy, which is one of only a few approved security specialist learning centres in the UK.

John O’Neill, of City & Guilds Kineo, explained: “As part of the City & Guilds Group, City & Guilds Kineo is proud to partner with Securitas in launching its new Training and Development Academy. Back in 2014, City & Guilds sought feedback from employers regarding specific challenges in their industries. It was identified that, in order to respond to a rapidly evolving private security environment, we would need far more employer engagement to shape our products for the space. Working from that feedback, we’ve changed our strategy in security education, in turn shifting our focus towards an employer-led educational model. This will allow us to reach beyond the regulatory requirements and focus on all of the key skills that security personnel and their employers require.”

Individual training and development planning

The Securitas Academy will deliver a professional development system guided by individual training and development planning and facilitated by highly-supportive coaching, mentoring and education configured to help staff achieve their personal goals. The proposed accreditation will cover a range of job roles including customer service, leadership and management, accounting and IT-related functions.

In conversation with Risk UK, O’Neill continued: “Working with Mark Barber, managing director at the EMSS Training Academy, and the Securitas team in setting up the new project has allowed us to really explore our thinking and enhance our existing security programmes. Redeveloping our industry-led offer alongside the Securitas Training and Development Academy team has afforded us an excellent insight into the security industry’s skills challenges. We look forward to the working relationship providing both organisations with a platform from which to re-imagine the way in which security professionals right across the sector are up-skilled.”

In addition, O’Neill said: “City & Guilds is proud to be supporting Securitas’ new Training and Development Academy as its dedicated Awarding Organisation. Such active investment in the skills of their people by Securitas is a welcome development in the security sector. We have no doubt it will deliver refined practice and improved standards for the private security sector in the future.”

City & Guilds operates in more than 80 countries and works with over 200 companies. The organisation has regional offices in China and Hungary, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.

Also, the Awarding Organisation boasts a presence in every further education college in the UK and 10,000 training centres across the globe. Since 2000, City & Guilds has awarded qualifications to no less than 20 million individuals.

“The new Securitas Academy will enable the innovative and occupationally-focused delivery of existing SIA qualifications,” added Shaun Kennedy, “resulting in operatives of the highest possible calibre delivered through highly-interactive training, practice, coaching and the mastery of newly-acquired skills.”

He concluded: “Following on from a robust training programme, successful candidates will have achieved the highest standards of training and preparation available for security solutions provision within the UK and be truly deserving of the City & Guilds qualification.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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