Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Prof Alison Wakefield, Professor at University of West London and Chairman at Security Institute (UK)
Dr. Glen Kitteringham, Research Criminologist and President of Kitteringham Security Group Inc. (Canada)
Kevin Peterson, Principal Consultant-Partner at Innovative Protection Solutions, LLC (US)
Terry Hanley, Director of Security at Interserve Service Operations

Key points

Glen Kitteringham starts by making a helpful distinction between education and training. He makes the point that people need to adapt. He laments that in the largely unregulated world of security training only at the guarding level is it mandatory.

Yet he argues that security is complex. He makes the point that security professionals cannot claim to be experts when there is no training requirement; that is contradictory.  He also makes the case for soft skills and a better commitment on technology. He believes that any courses can be done on-line.  In response to a discussion about the need for funding he starkly invites companies to cut turnover; the finances are already there he argues.

Kevin Peterson opens up by talking about security objectives. Here he draws attention to the move over the last 25 years towards an emphasis on practical skills away from theory and research and makes the point that Covid-19 reinforces the value of applied knowledge, yet, he argues, how can security possibly deal effectively with changing dynamic risks without research? You will then hear him discuss content, and here you will witness him arguing the case for business continuity, which he says, is important in its own right but also unites the value of a whole range of topics. On delivery he promotes the case for remote learning and the enormous opportunities it creates. His belief is that education and training may receive a funding boost post the virus, let’s hope he is right.

Terry Hanley notes that the strong performance of security during the crisis is evidence that training programmes have worked. Despite that he calls for a response from across the sector, at the guarding level he promotes the need for knowledgeable and flexible personnel, and you will witness him calling on trade associations to help and for employers to do more. There needs to be baseline standards that are then supported by procurement, that are endemic to practices.

Alison Wakefield makes the point that things need to be done differently. She outlines examples of impressive innovation during the crisis and points to the impressive range of free webinars that have provided a base for learning; the downtime (for some at least) has been good for acquiring knowledge. She makes the point that education is wide, it goes from basic right through to doctorates, all in security. You will witness her point to areas of development, that include, for example, critical thinking, complex problem solving, intelligence and political security risk analysis. There is an interesting reference to the fourth industrial revolution. Her priorities are: those on the frontline; the next generation; and the global south.

What we do know is that the working from home mentality has sparked a monumental amount of on-line offerings, in all sorts of areas and security is no exception. But harnessing that, and learning from it is a different challenge. This panel paints some ways forward; let’s hope their optimism is justified and their advice is heeded.