This is my first article as your Risk Management Section Chairman, and I am delighted and honored to have been asked to represent IPSA on this subject matter.
Before being asked to write this article, I was reflecting on the lack of regulation in our industry, a fact that is ironic when you consider the importance the advice we provide to companies has on the safety of individuals and that in extremis, we are literally providing advice that can be the difference between life and death!
Risk Management has undergone little change in approach over the years and while the “Trust me I am Consultant” approach has largely disappeared it’s is still a predominantly middle aged and male industry where the majority of consultants, particularly in the UK are drawn from the ranks of the Police and the Military. Indeed, it is because if the latter and the professionalism of our Police and Armed Forces that there are not more cases of malpractice and bad advice! As for academia, there are some excellent academic programs in the UK; however these tend to self-funded and entered into after starting a security career, meaning take-up can be affected.
Continental Europe has more professionals starting their careers with academic qualifications with many senior security professionals under 40 years old, holding relevant degrees and regularly networking with their alumni, sharing experience and best practice.
Nevertheless as an international association, IPSA has a membership that is unbound by a universally recognised professional standard. Our North American members may argue that the CPP qualification is universal; however, it is only in the USA that the writers of Risk Assessments are required to hold the CPP qualification.
It was therefore with a great deal of interest that, in another professional capacity I recently reviewed and commented on the draft of a new standard aimed at Client Organisations. ISO/AWI 31030 Risk management – Managing travel risks – Guidance for organisations has been designed to help companies structure their approach to managing travel risk. I am sure IPSA Members will become familiar with the requirements of the standard, as it will, undoubtedly inform a unified approach to risk management solution design. What remains to be seen is adoption; one can draw the conclusion that a structured professional security department, aspiring to Enterprise Risk Management will approach the standard with alacrity and achieve accreditation easily. That said my suspicion is that businesses that lack rigour around their approach to managing risk will continue to bump along relying on blind luck to keep them out of The Headlines.
So, readers, for us at IPSA, our shared experience across countries and continents is as important as ever and I look forward to talking to our membership about this over the coming months and years and continuing our journey together.