With the increasing introduction of more powerful security systems, is ease of use easy to believe? As threats get more serious because of terrorism, crisis management and workplace violence, enterprise security leaders and their in-house and contracted staffers must up the ante, too. Then there is the increased emphasis on attitude, what security executives at high-rise office buildings and healthcare facilities, to name two areas, see as a growingly important need for a service attitude to respond correctly to everything from a recommendation for a restaurant in the area to handling of a bomb threat.

Training is a continuous commitment, according to Tom Davis, manager, support services safety officer at the University of Colorado Hospital, with numerous locations throughout the metro Denver area. It’s a culture of caring that is reflected in training. “We do not have set visiting hours. Family and friends are welcome to visit at any time, as long as the patient is OK with it. Though there may be times when people visiting will be asked to leave the patient’s room for safety reasons,” says Davis.

A caring, safe and secure environment also is often measured through patient and visitor satisfaction in healthcare facilities as well as tenant surveys for high-rise facilities. Training, from entry level to on-going, is
a key tool to meet metrics and improve performance.


From General to Specific

Most enterprises and their security operations expect base level knowledge and skills of staffers but also expect training specific to facilities, locations and various organizational cultures. Kenneth Bukowski knows the needs. As vice president of healthcare at AlliedBarton Security Service, he and his team design customized security programs for hospitals and work with healthcare systems to implement standardized programs that help support their corporate initiatives.

Healthcare, as compared to some other organizations, has some unique training requirements. Take, for example, patient restraint training, points out Bukowski, as well as the compliance needs as directed by the Joint Commission. A so-called “ambassador program” stresses training for handling of visitor, patient and guest handling.

Bukowski’s aim, shared with other security executives serving a variety of types of businesses, is to empower security team members to do their jobs with skill and confidence.

That is also the aim of training events designed for top enterprise security leaders, too. Professional organizations and annual events ranging from ASIS International, the International Security Conferences and the annual Security 500 event, hosted by Securitymagazine, offer hundreds of training sessions at local, regional, national and even international levels. Security businesses also are a solid source for executive training. 

One example: To help top security executives achieve sometimes complex technology integration goals, training is offered to walk people through the basics of asset allocation, alarms, access control systems, intrusion detection and other systems, says Marquis Laude of Integrated Security Solutions. The firm, which serves many critical infrastructure projects, also trains on cost estimating and project planning, which describes different equipment options, such as using perimeter detection or infrared cameras to see beyond the perimeter line.

One interesting twist is that Laude gives a pre-training test and a post-training test so the participants can see a measurable increase in the knowledge they have attained during this week long course. There are four one-week long sessions this year. 


Keeping Up With Technology

In today’s new age of security, with its growing reliance on technology, training has to keep up with advances so that staffers – from the boss to operators and officers – can keep up and confidently handle system and operation changes, observes Chris Prickett, president and CEO at Acrux Security.

David Cullen of ISI Intelligence Security International knows that higher level technology is both more important for enterprises, government agencies and law enforcement and more of a training challenge. He sees a continuing shift to contract and their ways of hiring, training and providing benefits. In this case, the account manager or contracted security supervisor is a great training resource, he says. Still, enterprise security executives should never forget the security training advantages across all employees, not just security.

One new age threat that deserves more security staff and across-the-board employee attention is social networking sites training programs, adds Cullen. Technologies are often much farther ahead than the people and sometimes training is neglected.

While enterprises have in-house training programs and most contract officer firms have invested heavily in educational efforts, many states – which license guard services – are loosey goosey when it comes to training requirements, except when it comes to armed officers as one example.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and post-9/11 activities are, however, making a difference. Firms such as G4S, with its deep penetration into government agencies, know sometimes better than some of its clients as to regulation-driven training requirements and changes.

Organizations such as the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) and the foundation’s relationship to the High Impact Training Solutions (HITS) Institute continue to make a visible impact, too.

Distance Learning and Classroom, Too

IFPO’s mission has consistently provided cost effective training for security and protection officers. Its training programs work on their own or as part of an organization’s existing curriculum. Frequently, institutions of higher learning will include the programs in their courses of study. Among IFPO certifications:

  • Certified Protection Officer Program
  • CPO Final Challenge
  • Certified In Security Supervision And Management Program
  • CPOI - Certified Protection Officer Instructor

HITS has partnered with the foundation to provide security supervisor training.

The CPOI program recognizes security program instructors, educators, and administrators for their efforts in bringing professional development programs to career security officers.

In an advice-filled column in an IFPO newsletter, long-time training expert Michael Stroberger talks about “real training for real life.”

His good advice: “In the initial stages of development [of a security training program], a facilitator should identify any mandated aspect of the training program, based on prevailing law. In addition to this, a familiarity with the industry standards, formalized or otherwise, should also be pursued vigorously. Regardless of the specific legal requirements and industry standards, some underlying threads must be present.”

Among the details:

  • Are the trainees required to pass a certain examination at the end?
  • Are they aware of this?
  • How long are the trainees asked to sit in lectures in each session?
  • What is the average level of education and previous training of the trainees?
  • What is the average age and employment history of the trainees?

Once these types of questions have been considered, continues Stroberger, the training facilitator must then ask: What types of visual aids and methods of delivery are best suited to the trainees, based on the above considerations? Training must cater to the audience, if it is to be received well and retained. Depending on the specific mix, some forms of delivery can greatly increase the attention span, providing the ability to move into more detailed topics.

A key element is to demonstrate application to duties. According to Stroberger, a trainee who is shown a technique, after being told that he or she is to perform this technique on a daily/hourly/constant basis, is far more likely to memorize and retain the details of that technique. This serves to anchor the theory in daily routine.

Documentation is also critical. “So, you’ve designed a program which meets the legal requirements, exceeds the industry standards, kept them on the edge of their seats in the classroom, cleverly fed them the background concepts behind their duties, then shocked them with an alarming level of realism in the final stages of training. Now what? Well, as they say in many fields, ‘if it’s not in writing, it did not happen.’ Make sure that you have been documenting every step of the program, and each individual’s progress. The proof of training is almost as valuable, in some cases more valuable, than the training itself,” he concludes.


A Diversity of Training Programs

It’s not your father’s or mother’s training topics anymore. Check out these training and awareness topics as provided by David Cullen of ISI Intelligence Security international.

  • Security Staff and Management Training
  • How to Protect Against Identity Theft
  • Strategic Planning
  • Succession Planning and Mentoring Programs
  • Computer Security Training Programs
  • Social Networking Sites Training Programs
  • Personal Protection/Self-Defense Training
  • Terrorism Training Programs (Behavioral Pattern Recognition Training)
  • Youth Security Training Programs
  • School Security Training Programs
  • Travel Security Training Programs


Security Dispatch Training? Technology Can Help

Adispatch and tracking tool, based on easily bringing people and end users together based on consumer-like communications systems, makes it simpler to provide ongoing, “while you work” training,

The Security Center, for example, provides security equipment and service for banks and credit unions throughout Texas. With technicians installing and servicing equipment such as alarm systems, camera systems, safes, vaults and bullet-resistant glass, the company needed a way to increase dispatching efficiency and monitor its employees to ensure their safety and accountability. The Security Center chose TeleNav Track as its dispatching and tracking tool. They can see where technicians are in every corner of the state. Using converging technologies familiar to workers, the system employs reliable GPS data to ensure employees are doing their jobs as expected.