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Managing security around the world.

THIS ARTICLE DRAWS ON EXPERIENCE gained over many years of traveling, talking to security and training personnel, and training hundreds of senior security staff from more than 40 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. The article looks at the backgrounds of such personnel, the training they need, and when and how training is bought. At present, security managers in most countries are untrained or inappropriately trained and their training needs are not recognized. Changing this situation is a major challenge.

Senior security personnel in industrial, commercial, and government organizations are still overwhelmingly men with previous police or military service. This is as true in Hong Kong as it is in the Philippines, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Britain.

Two patters of entry are open into senior-level positions in the profession. One typical pattern is for individuals to reach such positions after 25 or more years' service, with recruitment into senior management or advisory roles. The second pattern is, after 10 years' service, to enter mid-level positions from which they established a career in security.

While these two patterns predominate, managers come from different backgrounds. They may come from elsewhere in an organization or through climbing up the security department ladder.

In the security industry, lateral transfers are made from fire and safety positions. This is more common where a loss prevention department encompasses all three disciplines, typically in petrochemical industries. Progress from the bottom of industrial security is rare.

The majority of industrial security personnel at all levels in most countries receives little training. The situation for those from police or military service in the top jobs is generally the worst. They virtually never receive training for two reasons: First, neither the individual nor the employer is aware the employee needs training. Second, little appropriate training is available.

Training seminars are available in some countries. Personnel may learn from these, but these seminars should not be considered training. Many organizations still do not train their mid-level security staff.

Staff undergoing lateral transfers need training. Individuals who work their way up receive training as security officers and on promotion to supervisors and middle managers but none when they achieve senior positions.

Factors that increase the probability of an organization's arranging training include

* the organization's profitability or budget provisions,

* real or perceived risks,

* exposure to US and European concepts of loss control and security, and

* awareness of credible training providers.

HERE ARE THE REGIONAL VARIATIONS:

Southeast Asia: Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. This region is aware of the need for security management training. Training is provided locally and supported by security associations. Hong Kong and Singapore have good contacts with the United States and Europe and are aware of loss prevention. Malaysia has active professional security groups. The Philippines has a strong US influence in its major industries. Indonesia and Thailand have less-developed industrial security due partly to language and cost factors. Petrochemical operators throughout the region believe in total loss prevention and have a commitment to training.

South Central Asia: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In these countries security is still a combination of physical security and security officers operating on police or military models. The loss prevention concept is rare even in the oil industry. Governments play a major part in industrial security. The security forces involved may provide traditional training for their senior personnel.

In addition, security management is often provided out-of-house rather than in-house and is not really integrated into an organization's management. Even the oil industry may be obliged to operate with a traditional security approach.

Middle East: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Security is taken seriously throughout this region. These countries have significant risks and the resources to counter the risks. The scale of the petrochemical industry and high level of management professionalism has ensured well-developed concepts of total loss control. Security training resources are available in the region, and senior personnel are sent for training elsewhere.

East, Central, and West Africa: Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Crime rates are high with high demand for staff security in these countries. Few large organizations are outside government, and government resources are limited. Thus, industrial security is not well developed.

Government property is often protected by police. If a security manager is appointed, he or she is a police or military officer. Generally no perception exists that such officers require training for security as opposed to police duties. Little or no training is available locally for security managers. Some petrochemical and mining companies with foreign involvement send senior security personnel overseas for training. A few government organizations fund training for key personnel.

Latin America: Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela. The criteria of risk, resources, and concepts of total loss prevention awareness are all met. In addition, many security managers have come into security at a comparatively young age. Major companies seek training, and the awareness of training resources is growing.

Europe. The pattern of senior security positions being filled by former police or armed services personnel is widespread throughout Europe. Relatively few people move laterally from one function in an organization to its security function. Few have risen through security to the top.

Training varies. Many senior security personnel attend seminars that last no more than a few days. Though mid-level personnel desire security education, their employers have a lower degree of commitment to such development.

TRAINING NEEDS DEPEND ON THE JOB and the experience of the person. It is possible, however, to establish common requirements. A high degree of similarity between needs across organizations and countries exists. Exhibit 1, for example, lists the range of knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics required by senior-level and mid-level security professionals in India.(1) Training needs can easily be deduced from these requirements. They compare interestingly with those identified in a paper on security training prepared for managers in the British National Health Service.(2) (See Exhibit 2.)

Security managers require knowledge of the organization in which they work, such as the organization's role, objectives, activities, and culture; knowledge of security; and service and people skills. The training about the organization must be done in the organization.

Training requirements depend on the background of the appointee and the nature of the organization. One critical problem: Most organizations have little or no comprehension that training is needed, nor do many of those who apply for the jobs.

The segment involving service and people skills is one that can transform the security department's relationships within an organization. It is rare for untrained security managers to have a real understanding of what a service function is, how service operates, and why security cannot achieve its full potential and thus enable the organization to operate at its full potential.

The concept of the special nature of service is well developed in the United States, some of Europe, and a few other countries. In most countries, industries, government organizations, and security departments, the service concept is virtually unknown. This training need is hard to meet.

MOST TRAINING NEEDS CAN BE CLASSIFIED

into one of four scenarios:

Former police or armed services officers with 25 years' service. These individuals need to develop substantial knowledge of the organization. New managers must learn rapidly how to operate in the organization. Many organizations allow new management appointees to learn on the job, with little or no induction training. A period of training provides, however, an invaluable opportunity for briefings and discussions.

Induction into how the organization operates may include formal classroom training. Such training is best built into an induction period because later it is difficult to allocate the necessary time.

The same is true of security knowledge. Former police or military officers have some of the knowledge or skills required, but most have substantial gaps as far as their knowledge of industrial security is concerned.

For example, few have knowledge of alarm systems, electronic security, or environmental control systems, while a police investigator needs to rethink investigation methods and objectives when he or she operates in-house without police powers. This example highlights a difficult problem: the skill or experience that must be adjusted or perhaps forgotten. Training helps tackle this problem.

It may be possible to identify specific subjects for study. A comprehensive program, however, reduces the risk of gaps and provides a broad induction to the professional loss prevention culture. A study program such as one might follow in preparing for the Certified Protection Professional examination provides a base from which new appointees can operate with confidence.

The most difficult element is training for service and people skills. Neither police nor the armed forces have service cultures. Cultural change is not easy for people, so great care needs to be taken in recruitment.

Former police or armed services officers with 10 years' service appointed to junior or mid-level posts. These individuals have time to learn from their colleagues. They need induction training, but it can be shorter and simpler because their post is less critical. Long-term goals can be set for professional development using self-study, short courses, and work experience. This process remains the exception rather than the rule, however.

A clear, structured, well thought out, and properly implemented program of induction training can include one or two weeks of studying organizational information, followed by two or three weeks of in-house and off-site classroom training for security knowledge and skills. Finally, training to reinforce the sense of service culture should be conducted.

If this person moves to a senior post as the result of promotion, the subjects in which he or she needs development should be easy to define. A number of short, subject-specific programs could meet these needs.

Training programs may be appropriate, partly as symbolic rites of passage, to make clear to the staff member and his or her colleagues that the appointee has achieved a certain level. There is value in these programs for developing knowledge and authority. In many countries particular status derives from being sent abroad for training.

Lateral staff transfers. These individuals may have the most easily defined training needs. They should have the necessary organizational knowledge and understand the nature of service. Persons transferring from engineering, accounting, computing, or marketing will know their needs and seek security knowledge and skills. Furthermore, the employer is likely to expect that the employee has security training.

Staff promoted through the security department. The training requirement for such staff will match that of the officer with 10 years' experience who has climbed to that level.

THE MOST COMMON APPROACHES TO purchasing training include the following:

* The security manager learns of a seminar on a subject and registers himself or herself and department deputies. It is essentially an opportunistic purchase. It may not meet a training priority. A significant part of the benefit will be contact with his or her peers. The seminar is short, and the cost generally falls within the budget.

* A manager has a strong personal commitment to his or her professional development. He or she identifies a program and requests permission to attend. This may be fully supported with time off and payment by his employer, or it may be only partially supported. The program may be part-time, such as a few hours a week or days a month, or perhaps full-time for weeks or months. The key factors in the decision are the individual's personal commitment and the employer's commitment to professional development.

* A security manager or director, in conjunction with the training department, identifies training needs and seeks programs that meet them. These programs are planned into the staff's career development. An enormous variation exists in the extent to which detailed analysis of training needed is done and in the matching of the need with a program.

Probably the majority of management-level security training is bought through some variation of the first approach. The most positive feature of this method is that many personnel do receive exposure to new knowledge. These events are, however, unsuitable for any type of skill development, as the format is one of presentations to large audiences with limited time for questions or discussion.

Many security staff want to devote energy, time, and money to their development. However, they generally lack a background in training needs analysis and are at risk of failing to identify their real training needs.

The security manager, working with training providers, can do a training needs analysis that creates a logical plan for training. This plan should match needs with programs, prioritize needs, and establish training timetables.

Timing is a common problem. Frequently the person who needs training and identifies a program takes years to gain approval to take it. By the time he or she does, the program is inappropriate.

In some instances personnel training is held up until senior staff have had the privilege or reward of being sent. People are sent to inappropriate courses for status reasons. Less frequent is the delegate who is not yet ready to undertake a course and thus cannot gain full advantage of it.

In all three of these cases it is likely to be security-related training that is purchased. Organizational training must largely be undertaken in the organization.

SECURITY MANAGERS DO NOT GENERALLY purchase enough training to gain expertise in the process. Training managers are seldom asked to work on security management training. Consequently they are likely to accept the security manager's assessment of the need and seek training to match that rather than start with a training needs identification.

The security manager who can get support from his or her training colleagues to undertake job and training needs analysis should do so. Once the needs have been identified, trainers can be sought. Information should be collected from all possible training providers. Those who appear to have relevant programs should be asked to relate what they do with the requirement identified. The manner in which they do this will indicate both their security and their training professionalism.

A serious training provider should

* understand exactly what the client organization requires,

* explain what it does and how,

* draw attention to possible gaps between the need and the programs it has, and

* outline what it can do in the program to increase its relevance to the needs.

If possible, the client organization should visit the training provider to learn more about what it does and how. If substantial training is required, the trainer should visit the client to understand the client's actual situation.

This process should leave the security manager reasonably confident he or she knows what training is bought and for whom it is suitable. The program content, training methods, style, and attitude of the training provider will have been explored.

One or two staff members should then be sent for training. They should need the course as well as have the experience and ability to comment about it analytically. All members should be briefed on why they are being sent for training and what they are expected to gain from it. They should also be briefed on the organization's need for feedback on the program for the future. On return, they can be debriefed.

If this training is a success, other staff can be sent in the future. If it is only partially successful or is unsuccessful, the reason can be analyzed and either different staff sent or the course not used.

Whatever the staff's reaction to the course, the training provider should provide an assessment of the match between training need and training content.

More personnel may be sent on proven courses. Other programs may be used for different needs. As the provider trains more of the client's staff, the training personnel involved will become more effective in relating to the environment the client's staff works in, their training needs, and this style of operation. This involvement will improve the quality of training.

When a security manager has only one or two individuals to train, he or she cannot experiment and build a relationship. He or she should look for potential providers and ask the training organization who else it has trained, and take references. The security manager should also ask around the industry to evaluate the best training providers.

SECURITY MANAGEMENT TRAINING HAS a long way to go in most countries and organizations before it can be professional. The major factors slowing its development are the lack of appreciation by senior security personnel that training is needed and the lack of awareness by organizations of what security should mean for them and do for them. The two are inextricably linked.

The petrochemical industry is probably best placed to demonstrate what security management should be and what training it requires. The purchase of good training calls for professional job and training needs analysis. Such analysis requires a joint effort by training professionals and their security colleagues. Trainers should research needs rather than accept them as defined by the security manager.

Care must be taken in identifying training providers who can meet identified needs. In many countries they are not available, but as the demand for appropriate training grows the range of providers develops.

(1) Paper presented by W. T. Reddaway to the First International Security Exhibition and Conference, New Delhi, India, October 1989.

(2) Paper prepared by W. T. Reddaway for the National Health Service Security Directory, May 1989.

Frank Connaughton, CPP, is security advisor of Group 4 Securitas Training Ltd. and a member of the British Institute of Management. William T. Reddaway is manager of group services for Group 4 Securitas Training Ltd. Both are members of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:security personnel training around the world
Author:Connaughton, Frank; Reddaway, William T.
Publication:Security Management
Date:May 1, 1991
Words:2935
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