I’ve just got back from Birmingham where I ran workshop for Phoenix Group PLC’s Close Protection Operative (CPO) training course.
There was an excellent dynamic in the room with trainees putting together the final pieces of portfolio work, and, frankly, fatigued by an intensive and impressive programme of drills and learning from the organisers, including former Royal Household protection officer Paul Brown.
The two sessions I led (‘organisational resilience’, then ‘organisational intelligence’) were designed to put attendees into the mind’s eye of a multinational business or organisation. Indeed the only CP work I have carried out since the London Olympics has been for well-established multinationals who take most seriously care and welfare around their own employees and clients.
Little within the present Security Industry Authority CP core skills curriculum
Questions such as why companies ignore frontline advice from CP teams, or how they achieve a ‘corporate view’ around a particular risk, or why they develop a certain risk management culture and pace, are vital for CPOs to understand, if they wish to be retained and endorsed. What I mean by this, can be illustrated by the following three points:
- CP has specific ‘people focused’ threat assessment models. But the CPO team is often working directly to the client organisation’s corporate security manager/director. Consideration should be given to introducing into the CPO programme workshops that show how multinationals carry out the threat and risk analysis part of both organisational security functions and C-Suite executive decision-making. This is because it’s the internal organisational business intelligence analysis that is often the dominant planning tool.
- Understanding more precisely what an ‘intelligence’ product is, and (if done properly) the potential of such products to save time, money and reputations. Moreover, illuminating what differences there are within the ‘knowledge hierarchy’ between Data, Information, Knowledge, and – finally – Wisdom (critical insight).
- Verifying the critical importance of ‘debriefing’ and following up with ‘reflective learning’. A training programme is not a one-off event, but a gateway to continuous improvement, heightened motivation, and – possibly one day – intellectual mastery!
Therefore, well done to Phoenix Group for integrating these essential elements into their programme and thank you to their instructor team for the invite. If you are looking to develop your security management knowledge in personal or organisational environments, why not consider studying for a part-time degree of Masters’ to consolidate and build upon your work-based training?
Richard Bingley is Course Leader for the BA Security Consultancy at Bucks New University. Richard is a co-founder and Director of CSARN. He is the author of the book ‘Terrorism: Just the Facts’ and other publications. Richard’s new book, the Security Consultant’s Handbook, will be published in 2015.