Insights from Dan, a seasoned close protection officer and SIA trainer
Security operatives play a crucial role in maintaining safety and security in various settings. However, they often face challenges that hinder their professional growth, overall effectiveness and financial stability. During the cost of living crisis we are all currently experiencing, never has there been a more opportune time to address these issues in the security operative marketplace.
In a recent conversation with Dan, an experienced trainer in the field, we discussed three significant issues: Continual Personal Development, Duty of Care and Protection of Pay. In this article, we explore how the Surely platform addresses each of these concerns, providing security operatives with the tools and support they need to excel in their roles.
Continual Personal Development:
The first point that Dan emphasised was the importance of ongoing training and personal growth for security operatives. In an ever-evolving landscape, it is crucial for security professionals to stay updated with the latest industry knowledge, techniques and best practices. Continuous learning enables security operatives to enhance their skills, adapt to new challenges and deliver their services more effectively. They are also more valuable to clients, more versatile in the roles that they can successfully deliver, and can take greater satisfaction from a more interesting and diverse range of work opportunities. All security operatives are not alike – just having the SIA licence is the bare minimum – qualifications and experience count for a lot more, and should be recognised and rewarded by those clients who value all the additional benefits a good security operative can bring to the party.
Surely recognises the value of personal development and enables security operatives to highlight any non-statutory qualifications over and above their SIA license that demonstrate their ability to do a better job as a security operative, as well as adding any relevant career information on their profile. But that’s not all, Surely is also incorporating an additional training module within its platform that focuses on five key areas of competence – SurelyPro badges focus on customer service, radio communication, conflict management, vulnerable people and substance abuse. By prioritising continual personal development in all these ways, Surely empowers security operatives to be at the forefront of their field, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle diverse situations with confidence. Those security operatives with the best CPD credentials in place will stand out from the crowd and will command higher rates of pay.
Duty of Care:
Another critical concern mentioned by Dan was the importance of “duty of care” by clients towards security operatives, who often find themselves in challenging and potentially dangerous situations while carrying out their duties. It is essential for employers to prioritise the wellbeing and safety of their security personnel rather than to just pay lip service to their legal responsibilities to do so. Dan’s belief is that security operatives will do a better job if a considered duty of care package is in place, because respect for their wellbeing provides both physical and psychological benefits for the client. Also, it is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees (be the full time, contract or freelance) affected by their work activities. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this – providing hot water making facilities, shelter, toilet facilities, protective clothing and so on. Nothing in this list is unreasonable or particularly problematic.
Surely recognises this responsibility and has implemented various features within its platform to address the issue of duty of care towards security operatives. Clients – be they agents or employers – are encouraged to provide detailed explanations of their requirements when posting a job on then platform. One such feature is the establishment of duty of care obligations. Effective communication channels are also enabled through the chat function that records all text, audio and video conversations between both parties. This allows security operatives to report incidents promptly and efficiently, ensuring that necessary support and assistance can be provided without delay. Through these communication channels, security operatives can also convey any concerns, share feedback, and engage in open dialogue with their employers, fostering a supportive and mutually beneficial work environment. By offering comprehensive support, Surely ensures that security operative wellbeing is a priority, enabling them to perform their duties as effectively as possible, while feeling valued and cared for at the same time. The benefits to the client will far outweigh the cost of providing an appropriate duty of care package that is legally required anyway.
Protection of Pay:
The third issue that Dan highlighted was the importance of ensuring fair rates of pay and timely payment once a job has been completed. Delays or discrepancies in receiving payments above and beyond the agreed terms can cause significant financial strain and anxiety – especially so at this time of high inflation. Employers must have robust systems in place to ensure that security operatives are paid accurately and promptly for their services.
Surely understands the importance of protecting the pay of security operatives and encouraging swift payment, and has implemented a secure payment system within its platform. These systems ensure that payments are processed promptly and transferred to the rightful recipients securely. By streamlining the payment process, Surely minimises the risk of payment-related issues, providing security operatives with peace of mind and financial stability. Clients are required to submit a deposit when confirming a security operative for a job. This deposit can vary from 0% for blue chip organisations like Tesco or Mitie up to 100% private individuals, with a sliding scale between these two extremes that is set according to the level of confidence that Surely places on each client when they sign up, set by a manual vetting process. Any deposit paid into escrow will be automatically released by the system within three days after the security operative submits an invoice. Payment terms for the residual amount will be set at 10 days as standard, but clients will have the option to set terms from 0 days to 30 days, and the security operative will always be aware of what these terms are before they agree to take on a job.