The Value of Security Qualifications
Lee Vincent has experienced a hugely successful military career spanning 3 continents and multiple countries. After 12 years guiding troops through highly skilled procedures and operational training around the globe, Lee finally decided it was time to hang up his boots and become a full time ‘civvie’. Bolstered by his army training, he found himself drawn to the world of security.
Like many individuals, adapting to civilian life was a challenge after so many years in the army but Lee noticed a lack of formal qualifications in particular was holding him back: “I had a small insight into the civilian aspect of security but not much more; I wanted a decent security management qualification on my CV before I started interviewing. I wanted more of an understanding, I wanted to develop, but the idea of going back to school was daunting.”
Lee spent time researching and reaching out to trusted connections through his social media platforms to seek advice on which security training would be best suited to him. Through various conversation, Lee quickly managed to narrow it down to two courses: the BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Security Management with PerpetuityARC Training, backed by The Security Institute, and the Level 6 Diploma in Certified Security Management Professional (CSMP) with ISMI.
“The Level 6 got a lot of shout outs on LinkedIn, but the BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Security Management with PerpetuityARC Training sounded more manageable. I spoke to people who had completed the Diploma and they all backed it.” He adds: “The main appeal was the backing from The Security Institute. The SyI is so well recognised as an institution, having a qualification from them shows credibility.”
For many people, getting back into training after being away from school since completing GCSEs feels like a daunting task, but the key lies in the support: “I was still in the military when I completed this course, but luckily I was fully coached and supported throughout. The Level 5 is thorough, but there was assistance on hand from the PerpetuityARC Training team when I needed it, and the tutors were really helpful in explaining tasks that I wasn’t sure about. I definitely learnt a lot.”
However, Lee admits that it’s not all daisies: “You do need to manage your time. Long distance learning is great in its flexibility, but it takes dedication and discipline; you have to plan your time effectively if you’re going to get anything from it.” But he also acknowledges the changing scene across the security sector in a growing necessity for formal qualifications– a trend echoed by other students: “the need for qualifications is becoming more and more apparent. Since gaining my Diploma from The Security Institute more doors have opened for me and interviews have progressed. It’s even been a talking point after they’ve spotted it on my CV – something which my colleagues have also experienced.”
Since completing the course Lee’s noticed not just an improvement in his professional career, but also in his confidence. He says: “having credible qualifications not only makes you more competitive in an increasingly competitive market, but it also backs up your knowledge. For me, it’s laid the foundations for professional development and future learning. My confidence in my ability to learn by ‘going back to school’ has grown hugely since this course.”
When I asked him where he sees himself in five to ten years’ time, Lee says: “I would like to move to in-house security and risk management. Maybe even be head of security for a large company.” In terms of furthering his qualifications, he says: “I would love an MSc or an ASIS qualification. They carry such recognition in the industry and would be a great platform to help me move up in my career and give me even more confidence in my role.”
Returning to training after being away from education shouldn’t put people off. Lee’s testimony is proof that no matter your age, background or experience, choosing to re-study and gain qualifications can provide more than just better career prospects. We hope it’s reassuring that no matter the circumstances, learning can and should be a positive experience for everyone.
For more information on PerpetuityARC Training and the courses they run in partnership with the Security Institute head to https://www.perpetuityarc.com/syi/