BSIA: Question and Answer with Mike Reddington
As Mike Reddington marks his first month at the helm of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), he has set out his priorities and reaffirmed the association’s vital role in raising standards in the private security industry.
In the interview below Reddington, who has worked in the sector for more than 25 years, reflects on the value of BSIA membership, how the professional security industry is evolving and the importance of collaboration between the police and private security sector in protecting the public and tackling crime.
He also offers guidance statements for potential and established members regarding future BSIA plans.
IFSEC Global: The BSIA is well established and respected within the industry. What is your proposition as incoming Chief Executive to continue to add value to the BSIA for both established and potential members?
Mike Reddington: To ensure the BSIA remains the leading voice of the private security industry and membership of the association is clearly recognised as the kite-mark for quality and professionalism in the sector. This will be achieved through our continued participation within relevant standards and approval organisations coupled with close working relationships with insurers and police authorities.
IG: What makes the BSIA important and necessary for the security firms it represents?
MR: The BSIA provides its members with a vehicle to collectively provide input and feedback on standards and potential enhancements within the security sector. It also enables it members to develop and share best practice that develops, enhances and progresses the services the private security industry delivers.
IG: What are the challenges within the security sector can the association address?
MR: Ensuring a high level of quality and professionalism is maintained in the private security industry through appropriate standards and best practice. With changing attitudes and fast-approaching tech disruptors, it has never been a better time for the entire sector to work together to ensure the professional companies stay one step ahead.
IG: Training is a key component of the BSIA offer. How will its ‘Skills for Security’ reach out to the engineers of tomorrow and plug a much needed skills gap?
MR: The BSIA has a training section with a number of leading industry training members and also has its own, wholly owned subsidiary, Skills for Security (SfS) which specifically focuses on apprenticeships. SfS and the Training Section members are continuing to develop specific industry related training programs in order to make these more accessible to companies and individual candidates whom want to operate in the private security industry. These initiatives will ensure the industry has the appropriate trained and skilled employees to meet the requirements of the industry in the future and support our growing market.
IG: What changes do you feel are necessary in the security industry at the present time?
MR: Given the increased pressure on our police force resources and the increase in recorded crimes rates, it’s critically important that the general public recognise the role that the private security sector can provide to support and protect them. Through developing increased partnerships between the police and the private security industry, members will help reduce crime rates and make people feel safer and more secure in their homes and businesses.
IG: How do you feel the traditional notion of security is changing and why?
MR: Technology is developing at a rapid pace and with that the solutions available to protect people, property and their possessions has significantly improved. It is therefore important that both the private and public sectors are aware of these developments. All stakeholders should embrace them and work with recognised quality companies to deliver the latest solution to meet their security needs. BSIA members are ideally positioned and capable of doing this.
IG: Do you have any plans you would like to share for the BSIA members/industry and the journey ahead?
MR: I would actively encourage all existing members to engage with the BSIA and their fellow members to continue to develop standards and best practice. These initiatives deliver quality and professionalism to the private security industry and meet the 21st century market requirements. I would also encourage companies that are operating in the private security industry – that are not currently members of the BSIA – to join the association so you may have an input into the positive development of the industry you are operating in.
IG: What will be your primary focus in the role of Chief Executive of the BSIA?
MR: To increase active engagement of existing members and recruit new members which will ensure enhanced development of the private security industry in terms of standards, quality and best practice. The BSIA will continue to be recognised as the leading voice of the professional security industry through active engagement of its staff and members with governing bodies, Police, Insurers, press and the general public.
IG: We are told we never stop learning. How has what you have learnt in your past experience prepared you for success in this role?
MR: I have been fortunate to work with many quality organisations and some very talented colleagues and learned many things from them. I feel this has enabled me to develop a deep knowledge base and a large toolkit of skills that I can draw upon no matter what business situation I am faced with.
IG:What would your ideal work day look like?
MR: Actively working with BSIA colleagues and members of the association to deliver clear value and positive results to our members and the overall private security industry; by doing so, demonstrating quality and professionalism.
Author: Adam Bannister, Editor, IFSEC Global