Continued Professional Development – Why Bother? By Bob Martin

Times they are a changing. 

It would be very fair to say, that back in ye olde days, when officers were not called officers, and the job of being a security officer was, well shall we say, less professional, there was little, if any, need to demonstrate professional development.

Actually, professional and development would never have been associated with the trade that today, we correctly term as professional security officers.

But, hang on, Continued Professional Development, lets call it CPD for ease, or for our North American readers CPE, is only for other people, bosses and the like, right?  WRONG!

True enough, there are across all professions, certain people who are required, on an annual basis to demonstrate that they are maintaining their professional awareness.  Chartered Security Professionals (CSyP); Fellows of Institutes and the like of course, but not front-line officers surely?

Well, you are no doubt by now very aware of ‘Get Licensed’ the new SIA licensing criteria which was published in February 2019?


Training, training and training and what a really good way of demonstrating you are ahead of the game – CPD points of course.

So YES – CPD is something that every Professional Security Officer should be obtaining.  And let us be very clear here, that is from the very top of each and every company down to the officers on the front line.  Owner; Manager or Supervisor; Regional Manager or Officer.  Every single one should be making sure that they can continue to demonstrate their CPD.

Let’s go back a bit to some basics first – What actually is CPD?

A definition could sound like this:

CPD is the holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers.

Or it could sound like this:

CPD is proving to your customers; bosses; peers and most importantly, yourself, that you are standing out from the crowd, and making a true impact in your day to day life.

In its simplest form, CPD recording (we will come on how to do that later), enables an Officer to demonstrate that they are actually engaging in developing and enhancing their abilities in a proactive way.

CPD points can be achieved in a whole range of different ways.  Perhaps your organisation runs training workshops?  Maybe you dabble in e-learning?  In your own time you decide to attend events such as IFSEC, or perhaps in your breaks at events you take the time to visit the stands?  Perhaps even while performing your ‘day to day’ duties, you can actually demonstrate you are learning?

All these will add up, and even bothering to read this article in this magazine is going to earn you points.  So just carry on reading!

There are two types of points – Formal and yep you guessed – Informal.

Formal would be things like attending security events; training courses (including those run by the employer); lectures; workshops; conferences.  Even studying for or better still gaining a recognised security qualification.  Plus, many more, including for managers the organising of events.

Informal, you are doing one of them right now, reading this trade magazine; visiting exhibitions or trade shows; even if you are so inclined giving an interview.  There are just so many ways of earning points, there is no reason not to.

So, the earning of the points, may just not be as tricky as you first thought. 

Don’t forget though, points can be earned in lots of different ways, from lots of different organisations, it is not just the Security Institute.  Look out though for that CPD logo, which is used by the SyI and its 14 CPD partners.  It guarantees the event will earn you CPD points.

How do I keep a record of all my CPD points for FREE?

Many of you will be working for one of the SIA’s Approved Contractor members.

So, you are working for a company who already is subscribing to raising performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities.

It maybe they are running their own system of recording CPD, or more than likely they have adopted the Security Institutes toolkit. 

Any proactive employer will be encouraging the benefit of CPD, as once all the staff can demonstrate their commitment to the industry, what better promotion to an existing or prospective client?

However, if they do not, and you still want to get on, the Security Institute have made available the toolkit, which is available to you for FREE.

Go to and on the right-hand side of the screen you will find a ‘Download the 2019 CPD Toolkit’.

It is an Excel Spreadsheet, where you will not only find a sheet to keep your records, but also how to get started, what earns points, and how many points you will earn for each activity.

The Security Institute is here to help you.

Within the Security Institute we are committed to raising standards in the security profession and encourage everyone to think about how they can continue to develop and how they help and support others.

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Toolkit is an essential way to track how you keep up-to-date with latest issues and developments in security and management, giving you a competitive edge over other practitioners, enhancing confidence and competence.

If you are a member of the SyI then the members-only CPD Mobile App is a free-to-use method of keeping up to date with your annual CPD activity – you can download it from the Apple and Google Play stores (look out for the logo) 

The SyI Toolkit helps you plan your personal development activity and tracks your achievements to reach set standards year on year. The CPD Toolkit is updated and published each year and is a self-administered method of identifying and recording learning.

Sounds good, but what do I get out of it?

Whether you own the company, or you are a front-line officer, at the very least you will get out of it this much:

  • Demonstrate you and/or the company are keeping pace with changes in the Security Sector.
  • You will get a certificate each year, and therefore achieve recognition, within your current role.
  • You will be clearly able to identify your competencies
  • Become more employable, yes, it is true.  You, or the company/person without the certificate, who has the edge?
  • Help you motivate yourself to improve your skills
  • Achieve your goals and progress in your career.

An Employer of a Manned Guarding Sector Service?

If you are reading this, and you employee, or are thinking of employing the services of a Manned Guarding company, why not add to your tender requirements, that the successful company, and its officers, must demonstrate Continued Professional Development on an annual basis?  Just a thought to help you get the best!

CPD does not mean “Can’t Possibly Do it!”

You are challenged to achieve 36 points or more each year. Do It Now

I Dare You!

Bob Martin JP CSyP FSyI

Bob has been in the security industry for over 30 years.  He started off in the Petrochemical business, where he introduced and installed a standard security solution across the world, for one of the largest petrochemical companies.  He then moved on becoming an independent Security Consultant, vowing to travel no more on business, and not work on a Friday!  His first role was for a Middle East Royal Family!

The same applied to his next role, for a large American Wealth Management company, where he became their global security consultant – travelling the world again.  So much for vows and semi-retirement!

He has worked across many sectors, from health and education to retail and of course the oil industry, not forgetting the odd Grade Listed building around the country. He is a Director of the Security Institute with a portfolio for Professional Development. He is also a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) and a Fellow of the Institute.