Training, Why Is It So Important?

Training is a familiar concept and one that should be embraced by all security professionals. However, the value of training is often underestimated. This article outlines some of the real benefits of training with the hope of inspiring and encouraging more people to actively engage in professional development.

Why is training important?Good quality training is integral to establishing longevity in the security industry by remaining relevant. The security industry is constantly evolving and operators need to keep up to date with new developments, technology and qualifications to survive, particularly in the current economic climate. Traditionally, training is often associated with learning systems and processes (e.g. induction training) or how to implement a new practice (e.g. training in new medical procedures). However, training should extend much further, not only boosting knowledge and skills but also teaching people how to apply their knowledge and skills effectively in a given operational theatre.

Many security companies already recognise that investing in training has a positive impact on improving their operator’s knowledge and skills. However, some are less aware that good quality training has much wider reaching benefits than teaching core skills or ensuring compliance with mandatory training requirements. Providing good quality training for operators demonstrates that the team are valued by the company and this is instrumental in boosting team morale as well as the bottom line (Clients see and feel the benefit of a motivated operator and are more likely to use and refer your company in the future). It is unsurprising therefore that research by Cranfield University found training improves retention rates (thus reducing recruitment spend and expertise loss) and individual motivation. The added advantage of investing in training for existing team members is that they will already be familiar with the company culture, the existing clients, and the company mission and vision, and company goals. They will, therefore, be more likely to transfer what they learn in training to the operational environment.

There are, of course, a wide range of benefits for the individual attending a training course, including gaining a new skill or qualification, refreshing knowledge, and keeping in touch with new developments in the wider industry. However, the reasons why training is so important extend to include improved self-esteem, motivation, and confidence. Perpetuity Training strongly believes in lifelong learning and argues that everyone (ourselves included!) should strive to improve their knowledge and skills. Learning through experience is beneficial; however, there is also an obvious place for training in supporting the achievement of lifelong learning goals.

Common barriers to trainingUnfortunately, many people have had negative training experiences, typically where training has been poorly planned (e.g. with inappropriate or inadequate learning objectives) and/or delivered by an inexperienced, unqualified, and/or unprofessional trainer. This can lead to feelings of resistance (“I don’t really want to go on this course but I need to get the qualification”), ambivalence (“It’s just routine training, it doesn’t really matter”), or just seeing training as an excuse to not be on task (“Excellent. A training course, I’ll get to go home every day this week”). These negative attitudes towards training clearly limit its potential.

How do we break down barriers to training?Everyone should be seeking to continually improve their knowledge and skills, and so it is important to tackle anything that acts as a barrier to training. From a security company perspective, it is important to develop a training programme that is clearly linked to the training needs of the guys and girls on the ground and in line with the company’s policies and operating methods. This will help to ensure operators will acquire skills and knowledge that are relevant to the operating environment and the client niche, leading to greater client satisfaction. Clearly communicating the benefits and goals of training are key to ensuring individual buy-in to the training and arrive at training courses with enthusiasm and an open mind.

It is important to implement a well-planned training programme and ensure this is delivered by an experienced trainer. This will help to ensure that goals are met. Furthermore, a good trainer will recognise underconfidence or nervousness in learners and adapt the pace and style of delivery accordingly, thereby ensuring all learners have a positive learning experience.

Accessing trainingMany people can access training through a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme. CPD schemes are designed to ensure committed professionals have access to adequate training to maintain, improve, and broaden their knowledge and skills, and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives. A well-implemented CPD scheme will identify training needs and provide sufficient opportunities to attend relevant training programmes. Similarly, some companies use Personal Development Plans (PDP) to help operators identify goals and the steps they need to take to reach these goals, and training can play a major role in supporting staff to achieve their PDP goals. However, engaging in a CPD scheme or having a formal PDP are not the only ways to access good quality training.

Individuals can seek training for themselves based on their personal goals and targets. There is a multitude of training programmes, covering a range of diverse topics, available through colleges, universities, and independent training providers. In fact, there are now more options than ever to learn, particularly with the advent of the internet providing a range of distance learning options. Furthermore, part-time courses are now more widely available allowing individuals to fit learning in around their existing commitments.

SummaryEveryone should seek to be a lifelong learner and set themselves goals to improve their skills and knowledge and to learn how to apply these in a real-world setting. Training is integral to ongoing personal and professional development, and hopefully, this article has whetted a few appetites for training.

Training, Why Is It So Important?

By: Amy Burrell

About Perpetuity TrainingPerpetuity Training offers a range of short courses, including Level 4 professional awards in Managing Security Surveys, and Security Management. All of our short courses can be adapted to meet the needs of individual businesses and delivered as an in-house training course. We also offer bespoke training services. Perpetuity Training is proud to be associated with the Security Institute (SyI) and to be the provider of the Institutes two membership qualifications – the Certificate in Security Management (Level 3 Advanced Certificate) and the Diploma in Security Management (Level 5 Professional Diploma).

For more information contact us on 0116 222 5550 or email  [email protected]


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