University of Plymouth helps lead the way for cyber security degree apprenticeships

University of Plymouth students who have successfully completed the cyber security analyst degree apprenticeship pathway will now gain automatic associate membership of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP), the not-for-profit body dedicated to raising the standard of professionalism in information security. The University of Plymouth is the first university to be accredited under this new scheme.

For several years now, the IISP has been working closely with the UK Tech Partnership and other industry and academic bodies to define the criteria for cyber security degree apprenticeships, which are based on the IISP Skills Framework. The Skills Framework is widely accepted as the de facto standard for measuring the knowledge, experience and competency of information security and assurance professionals. It’s also used by the Government to underpin its Certified Professional scheme and by organisations to develop and benchmark their own in-house information security capabilities.

Professor Steven Furnell, IISP Fellow and head of the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth, said: “I’m delighted that students from our cyber security analyst degree apprenticeship pathway will be able to graduate with such a clear endorsement of how their qualifications and experience are aligned to the needs of the profession.”

Dr Ismini Vasileiou, programme lead of the DTS cyber security analyst pathway and equality and diversity faculty chair at the University of Plymouth, added: “It’s exciting to be offering apprenticeships at the higher education level. Working alongside the IISP will ensure that our graduates meet the future qualification and skills requirements to serve the profession. We’re also committed to addressing the gender diversity challenges in the industry by attracting more females on to our courses.”

Peter Fischer, a Fellow of the IISP, stated: “There are two significant challenges currently facing the cyber security profession: a recognised skills shortage and the fact that almost all current practitioners have come into the profession from other disciplines. We’re not building the profession from strong foundations. Cyber security degree apprenticeships represent a major step towards addressing both challenges. The IISP is keen to support this career path into the industry and the University of Plymouth’s accreditation recognises that, on graduation, individuals exceed the rigorous requirements for IISP associate membership.”

*For more information on the University of Plymouth’s degree apprenticeships visit

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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