Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Individuals in the Healthcare Security Sector by Mike Lees

Foreword by John Currie, Executive Director NAHS

It is agreed that we should all embrace our own personal and professional development and growth and strive to improve our skill set as this not only enhances our employability but also improves our chances of progression and promotion within the Security field.  For those officers employed in the Healthcare Security area this becomes more of a challenge as Healthcare specific CPD is somewhat limited, verging on the non-existent. 

The cessation of the NHS Accredited Security Management Specialist training following the dissolution of NHS Protect, the suspension of all external training provision and the withdrawal of the accrediting University from the process, all mean that there is no NHS led development or Security Management CPD.  NAHS is exploring a number of options and has recently set up a working group which will be looking at training, CPD and how the association can assist and support its members.

Mike Lees, NAHS Executive Director responsible for Governance has written an article, first published in the NAHS Members monthly newsletter in June 2019 that may help Healthcare Security professionals ‘see the wood for the trees’ and come to a decision on the CPD pathway that best suits them.  In his article, Mike talks specifically about the CPD opportunities provided by the Security Institute. 

Continuing Professional Development and the ‘Move to Prove’
Author – Mike Lees, NAHS Executive Director

During my years as a NHS security manager (ASMS) working for an acute hospital Trust, but with some experience in a former PCT, I am proud to be associated with some of the most professional security personnel in the public sector. It is awesome to work with people who have years more healthcare experience than me, a better handle on the NHS and have commitment where occasionally I feel I fall short. Alongside this I carry equal feelings of disappointment, head banging and gobsmacking frustration. Why?

As NHS security managers we need to ‘Move to Prove’ how competent we are in protecting huge rafts of the critical national infrastructure and our valuable staff. In saying this I include both our accredited and non-accredited security colleagues. How do we do this? One sure-fire way forward is to consider joining a professional body, via membership validation, completing annual continuing professional development (CPD), networking and moving through that professional development. Two organisations come immediately to mind for healthcare security, ASIS and The Security Institute, and this article will focus on how the Institute can provide you with that capacity to ‘Move to Prove’.

My friend and colleague Mike Hurst will be only to willing to advise on the ASIS International pathway. It also goes without saying that NAHS will provide any advice and support and is looking to adopt its own competency framework in the near future.

As I am a member and regular attender of the Security Institute’s Validation Board and Validation Board Working Group, John Currie asked if I could give some advice on the essential ‘Move to Prove’ on how qualified and competent you are:

Application is easy via the Security Institute’s website and depending on individual qualifications and experience has fast-track routes to membership The Institute has a full-time Membership Secretary Paula Stanbridge, the most pleasant and helpful person you could ever contact. Paula is always willing to have a look through individual CV’s and can be emailed at:

The Validation Board meets monthly so your application will be dealt with quickly and as Paula personally attends each one; all feedback and results are quickly communicated. The Validation Board is made up of 36 highly qualified, experienced security professionals from various backgrounds and each application is considered on merit and scrupulously scored.

Each meeting has an average attendance of between 10 and 16 Board members. The validation process is completed anonymously, so even if an applicant is known to members of the Validation Board, it is only possible to award membership grades based on the information and supporting evidence submitted.

The Institute also provides the following opportunities:

  • Access to the Professional Development and Mentoring Portals
  • Qualifications in Security Management at RQF Levels 3, 5 and 7
  • Young Members Forum
  • Opportunity to participate in Special Interest Groups
  • A varied programme of events throughout the year including those organised by CPD partner organisations
  • Access to job opportunities
  • Discounted rates with partner organisations for conferences, training and education
  • Members only LinkedIn Group for networking, advice and support
  • Bi-monthly e-news and regular email updates

Most NHS security colleagues should successfully attain Associate member (ASyI) status with many aspiring to Member (MSyI) status. Members can look to achieving Fellowship (FSyI) of the Institute following 2 years and submission of annual CPD submission. The Institute also provides mentorship and guidance towards Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) status and inclusion on the register of security professionals.

I am certainly aware of NHS colleagues who could accomplish what is internationally considered the qualification gold standard. Your ‘Move to Prove’ is a very cost-effective method of demonstrating and authenticating your professional competences to senior managers, medical/nursing colleagues, key stakeholders and all service users. I can unequivocally confirm that following my registration, a number of colleagues now approach me differently in respect of security problems and many of our Trust self-proclaimed security experts are less confident of advising me which access method or lock is better. It’s also great to wave a current CPD certificate about at your annual appraisal.

My Director now automatically asks for this every year which in itself tells a story. It evidences development, learning and that maybe we do a reasonable job. I also appreciate that my views are not necessarily mainstream in that I have always believed that your professional development is an individual responsibility that doesn’t come without some small cost and personal sacrifice.

On recent occasions I have attended national security events and conferences and on checking delegate lists find only a small number of public sector representatives and even less from UK healthcare. One I distinctly remember last year had 285 attendees of which 8 were public sector and only 3 from the NHS. Could we be missing great development and networking opportunities in ensuring we keep our staff, patients and assets safe and secure?

Membership of a professional body is a great way to self-evidence that ‘Move to Prove’.