Looking at a career in the security industry

Looking for a training provider (TP) can be an exhausting exercise. 


Experience: You have to look at the backgrounds of the trainers themselves. Have the trainers got the experience to deliver what you require? Is someone that has been involved with convoy work in the Middle East training you? Does this experience really make them the most suitable people to be imparting on you the skills required of a professional security operative? Perhaps they have been involved with static security in the UK and are now fully-fledged trainers helping to run a Close Protection training course! It is not actually that difficult to become a ‘qualified’ trainer so be careful and delve in to the experience of those who are going to be training you.

Longevity: How long has the company been in existence? Will your certificate mean anything in 2 years time when said company has gone out of business? This has happened many times over in the security industry over the past 5 years. Can a new startup company deliver great training? Of course they can but there is something to be said for having been in the business for a good amount of time.

Reputation: Does the company have a good reputation? People will ask you whom you completed your training with. It does matter and can make all of the difference when it comes to people offering you an opportunity.

Course Setup: Are you going to be sat in a classroom listening to endless hours of boring lectures with limited practical exercises? Generally speaking this is done for two reasons, the first being to save money, the second relates to the experience of the instructors, it may well be that they simply do not have the experience to run realistic training exercises.

How many instructors are there? A CP course should have a good variety of trainers all able to impart their specialist knowledge on to the students. Training is not for the 1 man band.

Duration: Courses ran over 10 days are just not practical. Not only do you have to consider the minimum learning hours (making for extremely long days) but also the fact that you just cannot expect to impart so much knowledge over such a short period of time in an effective manner. It is simply unrealistic.

Value for money: we all need value for money, it is just a factof life that you must get good value for your hard earned money. Achieving good value for money does not simply mean opting for the cheapest course, not at all; it means that the training provider invests a good proportion of your money in your training.

If you end up sitting in a classroom for days on end they are simply not doing this.

Close to home: Is it wrong to opt for a course based on the fact that it is located close to your home? Absolutely not, providing it ticks enough of the other boxes then going local is totally fine and can assist in other areas such as being able to manage family maters more effectively during the period of your training course.

It can also cut done costs on accommodation and this will help you achieve good value for money, just makes sure that this is not the only reason you book with a local provider.

Post course support?: Is this the hardest area for a training provider to deliver? What does it actually mean? Most TPs will tell you that they will support you after your course, many will even tell you that you are guaranteed an interview or indeed a job with them or their associates but how many actually deliver on this? We would suggest that in most cases this is absolute b/s and should signal as a huge warning to you! 

So what is post course support? It can range from something as simple as taking calls from former students and listening to their problems to actually offering them work and everything in-between. 

Are they willing to help you out with your CV? Do they have connections that can present employment opportunities to you? Do they have an online area where former students can network with each other? 

When you finish your course you will have many questions and what better place to be able to ask them than amongst people that have gone through the same training course that you yourself have been through? This can create great camaraderie and foster opportunities for all.

Quite possibly the worst thing you can do once qualified. You absolutely must continue to invest both time and money in yourself throughout your career or you will soon fall behind your contemporaries and this is a slippery road to be on. You must look at your strengths and weaknesses and consider what you most need to improve upon andthen move forward with a plan. 

Perhaps you’d like to improve your academic qualifications with some relevant courses pertinent to the security industry but feel that before doing so you must become more proficient with your IT as it is an area of weakness. 

In this instance an IT course would be the first step. If you’ve been out of academia for some time then perhaps a Level 5 Security Managers course would be more appropriate than a Level 7. Be honest with yourself before committing and again, speak with the provider and take advice from them.

Take a look at the industry and try and see where it is going. Gaining complementary skills can be a great idea. Are security and health and safety related? Absolutely. Would business owners in the security sector gain from knowledge of H&S? Absolutely but this may not be the most appropriate avenue for you to go down so an honest assessment is required before commitment.

Do not be that person that has every Gucci qualification going but never implements any of them in anyway.

Right down your plan in black and white and there is so much more chance that you end up completing the plan and making progress. Do not be scared to alter and amend your plan as you go.

Reflect on your progress and have the courage to change the plan if it is not working out as well as you thought that is would. One thing we must be in the security industry is flexible and adaptable; if you are not then you will not succeed!

We all need a bit of luck, it is part of what will make you succeed or indeed fail and you will experience both good and bad throughout your career. Successful students vary greatly, they come in all

varieties that you can imagine, and there is simply not one type but being positive, proactive, flexible, adaptable will serve you well. Having a supportive family is an absolute must have, without that you will really struggle. 

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