Everything You Need to Know About Security to be a Great Facilities Manager

Author: Managing Director of the Linx International Group, David Gill

The security of people, processes and places is featuring increasingly heavily in the remit of the Facilities Manager. They are often expected to make important high-value decisions without any prior knowledge or experience in the area of security. Consequently, more and more people from the FM world are seeking out training that will give them a broad understanding of security and risk, without needing to become highly proficient, accredited security professionals. This type of training has not been available until now.

You don’t need to be a security expert to better protect your facilities

You do however need to be able to robustly assess the risks and threats that your facilities face, where they are likely to originate from, and how you as a Manager, are instrumental in implementing efficient countermeasures to mitigate their impact, or even prevent them from happening.

In speaking with many Facilities Managers, I have heard countless instances whereby they have been expected to inform on decisions that could have significant implications for the safety and security of an organisation. Through no fault of their own, they have been left at the mercy of the suppliers, service providers and installers (CCTV cameras, guarding and access control are all good examples) to specify what was needed, how it should be implemented and costed. Of course, it makes sense to heed the word of the experts (if they are from a trusted party), but to make a well-balanced choice about what is right for your needs, you must have a greater understanding of the whole picture – to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Poor security decision-making can have costly consequences

Making the wrong decision can be costly in terms of injury, loss of life, damage, theft, as well as the organisation’s reputation. It can also be expensive.

For example, you may have a new facility that ‘requires’ a perimeter fence and a 3m chain link fence, with barbed wire topping selected. This type of fence can easily be scaled, burrowed under, or cut through, in a matter of seconds (depending on the sophistication of the intruder). So, if there is little protection, what is the point of the fence, other than to simply demarcate the boundary? I am aware of one organisation that erected 35km of boundary fencing, wasting millions of pounds, when what was required was protection around facility buildings. Fences have little deterrent or delay capability, and unless linked to perimeter detection systems to alert security personnel, can be an expensive outlay for little return.

The first security training course for non-security professionals

A ground-breaking new eLearning course is now available to help Facilities Managers that have received no prior formal training in security-related areas. The course, entitled Essential Security Practices, incorporates twelve key areas that every Facilities Manager needs to help meet their duty-of-care obligations to the organisation, employees and stakeholders.

The core modules covered:

·        Security Risk Assessment

·        Security Surveys

·        Perimeter Security

·        Building Security

·        Access Management

·        Video Surveillance Systems

 

·        Security Lighting

·        Protection Against Explosive Devices

·        Procuring Security and Managing Guarding

·        Cyber Security

·        Crisis Management and Business Continuity

·        Workplace Investigations

The ‘Essential Security Practices’ course is the first of its kind and has been created by the leading international provider of security management training – ARC Training (a Linx International Group company). Participants can choose their own path through the course, choosing the order in which they take each module.

Giving managers the security knowledge the need to do their jobs better

The objective of the course is not to make Facilities Managers certified security professionals, but to impart the core security knowledge that is increasingly needed in their daily tasks. While it is highly unlikely (I hope) that you, or your team will encounter a potential explosive device on your estate, it is vitally important to know the tell-tale signs that help identify such devices and subsequent best practice to manage the incident.

It is worth noting that if your organisation has a dedicated security team, it is proable that you will already (or will in the near future) be engaging with them on a daily basis, as building management systems (lighting, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems) are often located in security control rooms.

A more common issue is addressed in the Workplace Investigations module, which provides the essential key elements of law, practice and ACAS approved procedures. All too often Managers undertake investigations that result in unfavourable outcomes, even though the individual is undoubtedly guilty, as the investigating manager was unaware of the processes to follow. Even if evidence is there, has it been collected and handled correctly? To make matters worse, the organisation may then be exposed to potentially costly employment tribunals and potentially negative publicity.

Facilities Managers still need training when the organisation has a security team

The threat landscape for organisations is constantly changing and evolving. Regardless of whether it is an SME, large enterprise, public or private sector, risks (whether physical or cyber) are ever present and if you are unware of them, you cannot plan for, or attempt to prevent them or reduce their impact.

Being tasked with securing a facility can be a daunting prospect to the uninitiated, but the ‘Essential Security Practices’ course presents the ideal opportunity for Facilities Managers to learn from security experts. In doing so they will have the confidence and skills to conduct security assessments (and reassessments), identify areas for improvement, implement and follow due process, engage with suppliers and installers, to make the right investment in the right systems at the right times, as well as to train others in the organisation to be more security aware.

For more information about the Essential Security Practices course visit: www.http://arc-tc.com

The Linx International Group provide a comprehensive range of security, risk management and investigative functions, together with the provision of operational, procedural and strategic advice and training. Through its group companies, Linx Consultancy, ARC Training International, Perpetuity Academy and Tavcom Training, it offers world class consultancy and award-winning security management and security systems training programmes from entry level through to MSc.

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