Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Greg Hurd – Director, Security Programmes (Canada)
Dana Adams – Director Security Services at TELUS International (Canada)
David Cresswell MSc – Director at International Security Management Institute (UK)

Key points:

Greg Hurd notes a number of ways in which accreditations have been good for profession, this can be most poignantly evidenced by the feedback which is firmly positive. He makes the point that it is important not to lose sight of the journey people make which is key, not just the end certificate. He also emphasises that accreditation is not for everyone; people are different. Greg outlines the key components of a good programme: it draws upon a dedicated body of knowledge; it is assessed in some way; it includes some form of ongoing professional development. He highlights the importance of consumer awareness in choosing a program, the best sales promotion for a programme are the positive feedback of former attendees. Good third party audits add credibility, at least when they are done well and when they move beyond administration to assess content.

David Cresswell also highlights to advantages of certification but accepts it is not for everyone, and there are many capable people in high office in the security sector who have not followed this route. David does not see himself as a driver of change as much as a follower of demand and gives an example. Having in his early career been persuaded of the value of residential courses lasting weeks, he was then influenced by producing content in less time and finding it effective, and then by on line delivery, which now is what people demand in part because it is cheaper but he also believes it can be at least as good. For David, the journey to accreditation is key, with a focus on how to increase competence, and being aware on how this helps individuals to progress. On that point he is noting a greater emphasis by large companies on recruiting the young and females which bodes well. The quality of accreditations is ultimately judged by what an audience thinks about them, hence the importance of following demand.

Dana Adams is a big supporter of accreditations and has placed an emphasis on them in both his professional career and in his voluntary activity. The key is all accreditations are not equal, albeit there are many out there that have been created with rigour, the key is to identify them. Evaluation plays a part here. Dana makes a point that for every accreditation, as for every individual, there is a need to have a differentiator and this drives up quality and standards. Who offers the qualification can matter but it is a matter of keeping abreast of developments and being aware. You will hear Dana making an observation about the potential value of Artificial Intelligence and the balance between education as theory and training as practice.

Another engaging webinar with a lot of audience discussion. We learn that accreditations only sometimes have a value, for some people and just some types. Choosing something credible, that suits you, are key criteria and consumer awareness is paramount. The standard of trainers is an area that merits more consideration.

Martin Gill
27th April 2021