Brian Sims

Register of Chartered Security Professionals hails “exceptional” year of growth

ALTHOUGH 2020 was a particularly challenging period as the world fought the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it imposed – and continues to impose – on society, the Register of Chartered Security Professionals (RCSP) enjoyed a record-breaking year for recruitment and engagement, with the number of Chartered Security Professionals (CSyPs) growing by nearly 40%.

Back in March 2020, CSyPs were fortunate to gather at Stationers Hall in the City of London for the annual formal dinner and certificate presentations to new CSyPs. Little did they think that this would be the last chance they would be meeting face-to-face that year and that all subsequent gatherings would become virtual or socially distanced activities.

Last July, the Register welcomed Vicky Smith to support the applications procedure and The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals renewed its contract with The Security Institute for the provision of agent services, the latter including all admittances and finances for a further five-year period. 

A small-scale Development Group led by Bob Martin CSyP, professional development director for the Institute, was launched and, through The Security Institute’s certification, all RCSP processes achieved  ISO 9001. 

Worldwide interest

The popular pre-application CSyP Workshops moved into the online domain. These interactive sessions were delivered to no fewer than 199 potential CSyPs from across the world, including practitioners resident in Australia and New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, the UAE and India.

Recruitment soared as a result, with the RCSP ending 2020 on a total of 201 Chartered Security Professionals having been admitted. That’s an increase of 56 during the year. Each application has at least six individuals verifying the core competencies of security knowledge, practical application, communication, leadership skills and personal commitment.

Mike Edgerton CSyP is manager of port security with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Experienced in high-profile maritime security project planning and implementation, the assessors had no hesitation in recommending him for admittance to the Register as the 200th CSyP.

When asked why he chose to apply, Edgerton observed: “I pursued admission to the Register of Chartered Security Professionals for several reasons. Most importantly, I was drawn to the idea that the Register is intended for those individuals who’ve demonstrated strategic competence and contributed to the profession at a strategic level. I see this as being extremely important. The recognition provides an excellent platform on which to address wide-ranging issues facing the security profession and to help drive the industry forward from a global perspective.”

Edgerton continued: “My specific industry is inherently global by nature and I’ve worked internationally for much of my professional life, so I also wanted to be part of an organisation that’s outward-looking as leading practices are not necessarily the purview of any single country. Further, I was drawn towards pursuing CSyP status because I wanted to be critically evaluated by my peers, which has subsequently had both a humbling and reassuring effect.”

Further, Edgerton stated: “While I’m very proud of my other certifications [CPP and CISM] and believe them to be excellent reflections of professional experience and knowledge, I wanted to be challenged by reflecting on my career as well as being critically interviewed and evaluated by other senior professionals in the field on issues affecting security management at a high level. I now intend to use my CSyP designation to participate in the appropriate avenues that allow myself and my colleagues to address several major challenges for the industry.”

Major challenges

Among those challenges are the need to prepare security executives for dealing with converged security challenges where the lines between ‘traditional’  security management and digital security are blurring, as well as the ongoing challenge of demonstrating the value of security to the wider business, especially so in a commercial context.

“This will require a new approach to security risk management at the enterprise level,” asserted Edgerton, “as well as the development of new skills for security professionals going forward. I firmly believe that being a CSyP will position me to address these issues alongside my peers. Further, I’m grateful to be part of a special group where I shall be able to gain from the impressive experience and counsel of the men and women who comprise the Register of Chartered Security Professionals.”

To meet the increased levels of interest and the number of applications being received, the Register’s Regulatory Authority, itself chaired by Baroness Ruth Henig CBE DL, has decided to expand its Registrar’s Panel for 2021. Garry Evanson CSyP and Stuart Williams CSyP have been selected and appointed as Deputy Registrar working alongside David Gill CSyP (the existing Registrar).

Evanson is known to most members of The Security Institute as a recent chair of the organisation and brings a wealth of experience to the Registrar’s role. He has been a CSyP interviewer since the Register was formed, having been part of the original Working Group back in 2010 which crafted the competencies and framework for CSyP assessment.

Currently, Evanson is a member of the College of Westminster Abbey and is retained there as risk and resilience consultant, having recently retired as its head of emergency planning, risk and security. Prior to his role at the Abbey, he was head of security operations at De La Rue plc which followed an Army career spanning no less than 34 years.

Evanson stated: “I’m greatly honoured to be selected and welcome the opportunity to serve as a Registrar such that I can contribute to the professional journey of so many talented security executives, managers and practitioners while promoting standards and ensuring that, in the months and years ahead, the Register will be duly acknowledged as the indisputable ‘Gold Standard’ benchmark for security professionals not only in the UK, but worldwide.”

Advocate of professionalism

Stuart Williams has long been an advocate for professionalising the industry, joining The Security Institute in the early 2000s and the Register of Chartered Security Professionals soon after its inception. He’s also a member of the Institute’s Validation Board, a keen supporter of the Built Environment Special Interest Group and, while living in Abu Dhabi, helped both organisations to grow their presence in the Middle East region.

Recently, Williams has taken the opportunity to establish his own security risk consultancy company with a keen focus on providing subject matter expertise for built environment projects. Prior to this new venture, he enjoyed a commercial consultancy career spanning 16 years, working in senior roles for several renowned strategic security and engineering companies. This followed a 17-year career in the British Army, where Williams worked almost exclusively in the intelligence and security fields.

Williams is delighted to have been selected for the role as a Registrar, which will enable him to further contribute to the professionalism of the industry. “I’ll greatly miss the role as an assessor,” he said, “but I’m now looking forward to being at the heart of the diverse career journeys of our candidates and working alongside such highly respected industry professionals.”  

Thanks to Gill, Evanson and Williams, not to mention the growing team of document and interview assessors, the Register is in a strong position to manage the increased demand for certification throughout 2021.

The Register of Chartered Security Professionals is a professional register launched in 2011 and mandated in the Royal Charter granted to The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in 2010. The Register is administered by The Security Institute on behalf of The Worshipful Company.

The mission of the Register is to maintain internationally recognised standards of competence and commitment in protective security for the public benefit and to certify qualified practitioners in the field as Chartered Security Professionals.

Chartered Security Professionals are required to demonstrate five core competency skill sets – security knowledge, practical application, communication, leading and professional commitment. Further, all need to be making a strategic impact when it comes to the development of security practice from an individual perspective.

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