Brian Sims

Programme outlined for 2023 OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit

THE FIFTH edition of the Security Thought Leadership Summit organised by the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) in association with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) will run at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in central London on Thursday 23 February.

The event is firmly established in the security industry’s calendar as one that provides a platform for engaging debate, in turn confronting and challenging the many issues facing the sector at present.

This year’s programme covers a wide range of subjects relevant to the whole industry. As such, all security business sector leaders are encouraged to attend and contribute towards helping to shape the future of the security sector.

Certification and collaboration

‘Third Party Certification: Delivering Buyer Confidence’ is the subject of a presentation to be given by Richard Jenkins (CEO at the NSI).

‘Public and Private Sector Collaboration: What are the Barriers and Opportunities?’ is the focus for David Ward (director of DW Associates). There is so much discussion, at almost every conference, about the merits of the public and private sector working together. Sometimes, this is presented as an ‘unqualified good’. In reality, competing ideologies – not least the profit motive of the private sector versus the service motive of the public sector – and different perspectives on priorities do present barriers. Collaboration is seen as a bigger deal by the private sector.

In this presentation, the realities of the situation are going to be discussed in detail and underpinned by a real-world example (ie tackling terrorism in the City of London). What has worked, what were the problems and how were they overcome? In short, what lessons can be learned and by whom?

Mark Dunham (chair of the RISCAuthority and head of technical underwriting at AVIVA) turns his attentions towards the subject of: ‘What do Insurers Think of the Security Sector?’ Insurers are important players when it comes to engaging with clients on security matters. In some ways, insurers play a key role in driving interest in security and encouraging better provision, but what do they think of the security sector?

Do insurers trust private security? Do they view the security sector as a major partner in reducing risks? Do they value what security offers? What do they see as the gaps and how can these be filled? How important is the pending Protect Duty/Martyn’s Law both now and going forward and what are insurers expecting of security?

Developing capability

‘Developing Security Industry Capability: What is happening?’ frames the presentation by Amanda Gentle (senior manager for strategy and scheme delivery at the Security Industry Authority.

How do we know good professional development in security from bad? How ‘doable’ is it to develop a universal frame of reference for skills? Where can individuals go to find the very best security industry career advice? What needs to happen to ensure private security can become a career of choice? These are important questions and, in this presentation, Gentle will discuss the regulator’s work with the Skills Board and others to professionalise the industry.

‘Purchasing Good Security: What are the Modern Drivers for Buying Decisions?’ will be addressed by Clare Rogers (senior operations manager for services at the NSI, Joanne Kenny (commercial lead at the Crown Commercial Service) and British Security Industry Association CEO Mike Reddington.

The effective procurement of security services has long been undermined by a perception that buyers are primarily focused on cost rather than value. Solution buyers are perceived to be under-appreciative or unaware of the risks associated with low-cost solutions, not to mention the benefits associated with value-driven services. Yet there are now new pressures in play, so too new frameworks. For example, the Crown Commercial Service requires 10% of the value of a contract to be concentrated on social value themes. Sustainability and the green agenda are – or are perceived to be – driving a focus in some areas.

Buyers will be aware of Martyn’s Law and may soon find they are required to adhere to specific responsibilities for publicly accessible locations as well as the safety of those people using them. They will want to know service providers are up to the mark, yet it’s not clear how they will ensure this to be so.

Embedding duties into Codes of Practice and standards could assist buyers. Further, many believe legislation is required to force a change in behaviour both among the Emergency Services and the private security sector. Is legislation necessary to drive more secure environments and embolden Best Practice when it comes to purchasing and security delivery? What will drive purchasing behaviours that serve public safety?

Working on security’s image

‘What Would Improve the Security Sector’s Image?: What the Bosses Say’ is the chosen subject matter for Sarah Jane Cork (managing director at Bidvest Noonan) and Peter Harrison (managing director of FGH Security).

This popular session from last year has been included again with a different focus. These security bosses have been invited to talk about the challenges they face as well as those they feel the sector has to confront in order to better the security sector and the environment in which it operates. What do they see as the main obstacles to progress and how might these barriers be overcome? What needs to change and how?

In addition, former offender Frank Portinari reflects on his route to conducting terrorist activities. Portinari will talk about his journey into terrorism. It started with fighting rival fans on the terraces. Football hooliganism then developed into extremism and that burgeoned into terrorist activities.

Along the way, there were many opportunities for Portinari to prevent his slide into crime, so why were they not taken? During his session at the Thought Leadership Summit, Portinari will address some of these issues and answer questions from the audience on the subject of preventing radicalisation.

*Doors to the 2023 OSPAs Thought Leadership Summit open at 11.30 am on Thursday 23 February. There will be an accompanying exhibition of security products and services. Luncheon is provided for delegates. The event will conclude at 5.00 pm ahead of the 2023 UK OSPAs Ceremony. For further information visit

Company Info


64 High Street, RH19 3DE
East Grinstead
RH19 3DE

04478 18 574309

Login / Sign up