I’m Jason Trigg, CEO of Cardinal Security, and I’m incredibly excited by the possibilities that modern technology offers this industry, so I try as much as feasibly possible to maximise the potential of it throughout my company. However, we mustn’t forget that above all else manned guarding is a people orientated service and I believe the key to long-term success involves bringing the two worlds together.
If a manned guard hasn’t got the skills, talent and basic training needed to use the technology-based tools at their disposal, the concept of intelligent guarding will never progress. In some cases there has been a distinct reluctance, or inability, to move on from the ‘cops and robbers’ mindset that has prevailed for decades and most clients now question what tangible benefits they get from their manned guarding provision. The bottom line is that until they start to see measurable value, they are unlikely to pay any more money for these types of services.
Security is perhaps unique, as charge rates have gone down while pay rates and costs have gone up due to regulation. The National Living Wage (NLW), the Apprenticeship Levy and auto-enrolment pensions are having a significant effect. Brexit is likely to have a serious impact too, as the changes to employment regulations could leave our industry significantly exposed to massive costs. Furthermore, changes to immigration rules could affect how we obtain personnel and at the moment we are all recruiting from a diminishing pool of talent. The problem is getting worse and the lack of diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and age in the industry is nothing short of shocking.
I think that security service providers need to wake up and react positively to this challenge and, in order to lead the way on this issue, Cardinal Security is preparing for the launch of the Cardinal Training Academy – an initiative that will redefine what it means to be a manned guard.
Security training schemes have existed in the past, such as the Sabrewatch model, and the Cardinal Training Academy will follow a ‘back to basics’ classroom-based approach and on-site approach. It introduces a new intelligent guarding model that integrates the duties of a security officer with technology, electronic systems, and the resulting data as well as an understanding of customer service and the importance of a client’s brand.
It will be a five-day residential course hosted at Cardinal’s headquarters in Essex and will cover modules in loss prevention, report writing, crime partnerships, behavioural analysis and profiling, data and intelligence gathering, as well as customer service skills. The training will also focus on the psychology of good manned guarding and how to work as part of a team with non-security based personnel. When people finish the course they will be fully rounded and equipped with the skills needed to exploit the technology at their disposal.
Not everyone will be suitable for the course, which is why there will be a rigorous pre-selection process with minimum entry criteria, and we will aim to attract bright, dynamic and motivated people who haven’t worked in manned guarding before.
We know that private policing is a boom industry at present and the police service is now looking to outsource to the security sector as a preferred means of balancing the books. In my view, the manned guarding sector generally falls short of the standards required but the Cardinal Training Academy will equip people with the expertise to act as an auxiliary police service. Just as importantly, it will help engender a sense of pride, loyalty, and commitment to the role, while offering a defined career path.
There’s no denying that these are tough times for manned guarding and the sector needs to up its game. We need to move forward by adopting a more professional approach that can give customers a true return on investment – and that’s exactly what the Cardinal Training Academy aims to achieve.
To find out about how training will drive a new approach to your guarding provision, please email JTrigg@thecardinalgroup.co.uk