Axis: In conversation with the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals
Hi Russell, many thanks for joining Axis: In conversation. Please can you provide some background information about the WCoSP?
Of course, and thank you for having us. The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP) is the 108th Livery Company of the City of London. We seek to create and nurture a culture that secures the principles which protect people, property, and liberty. In the UK, up to 500,000 are employed in security-related employment. The company provides a link with 900 years of City traditions, whilst seeking to establish a charitable body for a profession that is also at the forefront of UK technology.
The company is a non-profit organisation providing education, support, and networking opportunities to members of the security profession, as well as undertaking charitable fundraising initiatives. We are governed by our Royal Charter, granted in 2010, with a vision to be ‘an inclusive organisation for security professionals; to raise standards of excellence through education and fellowship; to further our charitable endeavours and to support the Lord Mayor and the City of London Livery.’
And how has Axis’ support helped the WCoSP meet its charitable objectives?
Axis has been a long-term supporter of the company, helping to facilitate a broad range of events and projects and engaging in charitable initiatives.
In recent years, support has included exclusive sponsorship of the Affiliates Lunch, which celebrates service personnel going above and beyond their day-to-day job, and joint sponsorship of the City of London Commissioner’s Charitable dinner, alongside Kings Secure Technologies. Our partnership with Axis and other sponsors is always greatly appreciated as without them we could not achieve our charitable objectives.
Why are professional standards so important in the security industry and how does the company help maintain them?
Before 2010, there wasn’t an independent professional accreditation in the UK based on assessments that were carried out in the working environment. Nor was there a professional standard that had been universally recognised and met the same levels of attainment as, for example, accounting, finance, social care and health and safety.
Yet, we know that successful security management requires proven competencies across a range of technical disciplines including strategy, cyber security, risk and project management, leadership, regulation, communications, and reporting.
So, the powers granted by the Royal Charter gave us an obligation to create and maintain such a Register of Chartered Practitioners, ensuring high standards industry-wide. We created the Register of Chartered Security Professionals in 2010, with successful applicants becoming Chartered Security Professionals who earn the right to use the post-nominal CSyP.
Today, the Register for Chartered Security Professionals is recognised across the UK and beyond. This includes the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), as well as membership organisations including ASIS International (UK Chapter) and the Security Institute and the Association of Security Consultants (ASC).
Can you provide some examples of the fantastic work carried about by the livery company?
Absolutely. We undertake numerous activities to support and recognise those working in the security industry, especially with the WCoSP Charitable Trust which includes the Security Benevolent Fund, which can intervene and provide much-needed support when individuals who have worked in the security profession need somewhere to turn. Some are in low-paid roles, could have been injured at work, or their lives become chaotic for certain reasons.
We also established the Sheriffs’ Award for Bravery, which we launched almost two decades ago. The award was initially introduced to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the aftermath of the London bombing in July 2005 – most of whom were members of the public.
Today, it has evolved into an incredibly prestigious award honouring ordinary members of the public who act spontaneously and bravely in a way that goes beyond what would be expected of them. The principal recipient receives a trophy, a framed certificate, and a cheque for £5,000. Plus, by order of the Sheriffs, their names are permanently inscribed on an ‘Honours Board’ and in a ‘Book of Honour’ which are on permanent display at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.
And of course, the security industry wouldn’t be the same without our canine friends! That’s why we started the Security Dog Awards, empowering us to acknowledge and publicise the valuable work carried out by dogs and their handlers in the UK. In the last 30 years, we have witnessed phenomenal growth in the use of dogs by the police, military, and the security industry, from general duties to specialist detection of drugs, explosives, firearms, and money. This is a great opportunity to recognise the dedication, hard work and bravery shown by dogs and their handlers in their efforts to protect the wider community.
And I hear there are some excellent opportunities for young members to grow within the industry?
That’s right, our Young Members Group (YMG) comprises members of the company between 21 and 40. The aim is to build an engaged, social group that actively participates in company activities and events. It’s a fantastic opportunity for new members, apprentices, and young members to network with true industry experts within the security industry, helping to grow their careers and improve their knowledge. We hope it’s an inclusive environment whereby our young members feel they have a safe space to ask questions and be inquisitive in a relaxed, non-formal setting.
We also have a fantastic apprenticeship scheme, originally formed in 2008. The scheme recruits skilled and promising young people from a wide range of security organisations and delivers them a well-structured programme to help begin developing career skills, whilst also obtaining an understanding of the city of London, the London Livery, their history and traditions.
And to conclude, why is it so important for companies such as Axis to lend their support?
The support of businesses within the security field is invaluable. Without their and other sponsorships, we would simply be unable to cover the breadth of projects and initiatives that we currently support. It’s a chance for organisations to help those in need, who often have direct links themselves to the security industry, while also having an opportunity to give something back, which for many is a key reason to become involved. We are always looking for additional help and interested parties should certainly get in touch.
Axis has been vocal in its recognition of our efforts to support the industry, both in terms of education as well as helping to benefit those who have fallen on hard times. Axis support has been fantastic, and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership to help make the security profession better for all.
Thank you for your time, Russell!