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Security Insights – Train to gain – that is the message from ICTS

Ryan Frost, Training Coordinator at ICTS has provided a really fascinating account about his role and shares his perspectives to our Security Insights series.  We think you will find this insightful.

I am currently a Training Coordinator in our Corporate Security Division – I started my career by obtaining a SIA license through the DWP, this resulted in me gaining employment with ICTS in a Distribution centre as a Security Officer for a well-known online retailer. My duties started with guarding a fire exit door for access control whilst the area of the building was under construction. As the months progressed, I worked my way up and became a senior member of the team. My duties included audits and investigation, and I became the onsite Trainer and Supervisor proxy. When in 2019 I was offered the role as a Supervisor, the task was challenging but rewarding and assisted me in obtaining skills I was unaware I could possess.

Covid then arrived and along with the challenges presented by the pandemic I voluntarily stepped up to fill the Manager’s position whilst also fulfilling my Supervisor duties. The pandemic presented new and unforeseen hurdles, but also highlighted how much of an essential service the Security Team provided.

As restrictions were slowly lifted, I found myself being invited to the opening of new sites and training the new employees for these sites. Although this was hard work and I also found myself to be away from home most of the time, this gave me essential experience and confirmed the experience I had gained in previous years.

I was then offered a position in our company’s Training Department where I was able to confidentiality produce material that would raise standards and provide security teams across the county with relatable and useful material.

Why did you first join the security industry, and why did you carry on?

I first had an interest after speaking with friends who work in the industry and in different areas. Given my history in the homeless shelters and social housing, I was used to finding myself in difficult situations. For a large majority of it, I found myself involved in unpleasant and difficult situations. This undoubtedly tailored me to be more security conscious and I found myself developing conflict management and more attentive to verbal and nonverbal observation skills. An opportunity then presented itself from the DWP during a “sign on meeting” to obtain an SIA license.

After obtaining my own license and working as a Security Officer I found the work gave me a sense of pride knowing that I was responsible for the protection of a very valuable client and of their facilities and employees. There was a sense of professionalism and responsibility that gave me the motivation to come into work every day. Although hours were long and there were difficult situations to deal with, I continued with the industry as I felt this line of work was something I was good at, and would improve not only my professional career, but my interpersonal skills too.

What do you think the public’s perception of the security industry is – and how does this compare to what you’ve experienced?

In my experience, there are numerous perceptions depending on who you’re talking to. Overall, the generic perception is of a Security Guard with a radio at their hip and usually staring at a CCTV monitor. Although to a certain extent this is true, I believe some people do not understand what it is exactly the guard is doing and the purpose and level of skill required to do this.

Prior to my own experience, I used to see Security operatives and wonder what their day-to-day life was like – Why did they rely on gut instinct and what makes a good Security operative? In comparison to what I have experienced, there is so much going on behind the scenes: the training, the responsibility, and without a doubt, the support package that it all comes with.

What do you like and dislike about the industry – and what has surprised you?

I like the people: down to earth and supportive all the way. I like the training and development of skills that will support you both professionally and in your personal life. I also like the integration of personnel and technology. It’s always refreshing to have data that reflects your performance and hard work. I also like the trust the public, the client and fellow colleagues have in you.

I dislike that there have been poor experiences from people with the Security industry. This is due to operatives that do not understand the values and responsibilities and it is difficult to understand that social media mainly shows negative experiences rather than the success stories and heart-warming stories that circulate from within.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

It’s difficult for me to explain what challenges I have experienced. The reassuring fact that there has been support has made situations not feel like challenges.

 What is a day in your working life like?

Every day feels like a new day. It’s rarely the same. I wake up and think about what I will learn today. I do what is required and take the experience on board. I think about the best way of contributing to my team.

What advice would you give anything thinking about joining the security industry today?

My biggest advice is given in one word, be consistent. If you’re consistent in the way you work, there is no doubt that you will thrive. There is always something to learn, and nobody knows everything.

You will learn a lot and ask yourself how you can work to not only give the best service but experience the best service. Take every day as a learning experience and remember that the skills you gain from the security industry will support you throughout your life.

Who do you think would suit or enjoy working in the security industry?

Those who are analytical and those who want to learn about people, but also those who want to learn throughout their career.

I have also worked with those who are former members of the Armed Forces and they have been the greatest mentors and colleagues in my career. There is no doubt there are transferable skills.

I would also say those who are driven by teamwork and with a sense of responsibility would be suited or enjoy working in our Industry.

For more information about a career at ICTS and to search all their latest vacancies see here

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