Welcome to the February 2016 edition of the SPR-A Newsletter.
My apologies for the length of time since the last communication, 2015 was an extremely busy period for the Registry that saw many positive changes being implemented.
This newsletter will provide an update on the current status of the SPR-A, as well other related information.
Merger of the ACSP and SPR-A into SPA
As you will no doubt be aware, during 2015 the Security Professional Registry of Australasia (“SPR-A”) and the Australian Council of Security Professionals (“the Council”) merged to form the Security Professionals Australasia Ltd (“SPA”). In this merger, the Council has ceased to exist as a separate organisation, having been entirely absorbed into the SPA. The SPR-A has also been absorbed into the SPA, but has kept a separate and independent identity. This ‘independence’ is essential as the Registry and its processes must be independent of the SPA, particularly in relation to decisions about registration and the setting of competencies.
The SPA Ltd was established in February 2015 and the SPA held its first AGM in November. In the interim, a new Constitution for the SPA had to be drafted as well as documents for the transfer of assets. The Constitution was adopted at the AGM and an interim SPA Board comprising Jason Brown, Alex Webling, Matthew Curtis and myself was confirmed. The constitution ensures that the SPR-A registrar will always be a member of the Board.
The Constitution of the SPA requires there be no less than six members of the Board and no more than nine. At present we have received expressions of interest from a number of existing organisations with a focus on security as well as Universities and other tertiary educational institutions who provide courses and programs that enhance the knowledge and professionalism of security service providers.
As registered Security Professionals you are automatically voting members of SPA. At the end of this newsletter I have set out information about the SPA, including its Charter. If you do not wish to be a voting member of the SPA please write to email@example.com asking to be removed from SPA membership. This will not affect your Registration.
The SPR-A presently has 40 Registered Security Professionals, and we are actively engaged in increasing that number as well as attracting new associate members.
The restructure, which sees the SPR-A as independent of the SPA will enable the Registry to engage with the Professional Standards Councils ( www.psc.gov.au ) in the process of establishing a scheme under their legislation which will ultimately have direct benefits to Registered Security Professionals. A scheme will place us at the same level as other recognised professions. It will enable better deals for professional indemnity insurance and will support claims of professionalism when dealing with clients.
This year we intend to push the benefits of registration to both practitioners (‘proving your capabilities and qualifications’) and to clients (‘why wouldn’t you use a Registered Security Professional’). I would welcome any ideas, suggestions and feedback on the Registry, the registration process and how we can best present ourselves to the public and private sectors. I encourage you to promote registration to those who you think may meet the criteria and to those who need professional services.
Speaking of which, I am comfortable that the peer review process is working. We have yet to reject an application, reflecting the quality of the applicants, but a few have been asked to provide additional information and not all sub-disciplines sought have been granted. If you do gain additional skills we are always be willing to consider requests to add sub-disciplines to a Registration.
With Jason Brown having taken up the Chair of SPA the position of Deputy Registrar is currently open. I welcome expressions of interest prior to 31 March 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of our early registrants are reaching their three year renewal period. While recognising that the last couple of years have been quiet I can assure you that your support in the early days has been greatly appreciated and that the future is both positive and exciting.
Steve Mark AM
The Security Professionals Australasia Ltd (“SPA”)
The merging of the Council and the SPR-A was a tremendous feat. After lengthy discussions throughout 2014, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Council and the Registry was held on 27/2/2015. At that meeting it was formally agreed that both the Council and the Registry, as separate independent entities, would merge to create the SPA, and both organisations would transfer their assets to the new entity.
The SPA Ltd was established on the 24/02/2015 however it wasn’t until the 05/11/2015 that the SPA held its first AGM. This was because a new Constitution for the SPA had to be drafted as well as documents for the transfer of assets. The Constitution was adopted at the November 2015 AGM and an interim SPA Board comprising Jason Brown, Alex Webling, Matthew Curtis and myself was confirmed. My role on the SPA Board was a result of a provision in the SPA Constitution that the Registrar of the SPR-A be a permanent member of the SPA Board.
The Constitution of the SPA requires there be no less than six members and no more than nine. At present we have received expressions of interest from a number of existing organisations with a focus on security as well as Universities and other tertiary educational institutions who provide courses and programs that enhance the knowledge and professionalism of security service providers.
As the peak regulatory body, Security Professionals Australasia sets be highest professional standards for security practitioners and promotes their vocation to serve and sustain the security of the community.
Purpose and Goals
In pursuit of this vision the SPA:
- Supports the development of professionalism in the field of security
- Leads debate and thought on matters relevant to the security of the day, to security as a discipline, and to professional issues such as ethics, professional standards, knowledge and education
- Presents the voice and thought leader of the profession, and its advocate in government, business and the wider community
- Defines and maintains competencies appropriate to the range of security services
- Provides a world-class registration system and maintains a transparent register of practitioners who meet the high ethical and professional standards that it sets
- Encourages the development of professional security career paths and provides the mechanism to achieve this and
- Works to ensure the sustainability of these arrangements.
- To achieve this, over the next five years SPA will:
- Complete the body of work necessary to attain formal status as a profession covered by a Professional Standards Council (PSC) Scheme, and deliver the benefits to participating members that this entails
- Work with government and international and national standards to grow the recognition of the Profession in employment, procurement and other key decision making
- Grow the number of registered security professionals by at 25% in 2015 and by 20% in each of the following 5 years
- Achieve recognition across the wider community by 2020 as the peak organisation for security professionals in Australasia through implementation of an effective marketing strategy, continuing to engage with government national and international standards organisations to ensure ongoing relevance and compatibility, and to engage with the Professional Standards Council to develop and present a scheme for recognition and approval.
As a ‘federated’ body, the Board, Committee and Membership of SPA will be inclusive of the profession, and will, in particular include the key organisations including ASIS, ISACA and ASIAL. The registry function and the position of the Registrar are necessarily independent, although the Registrar is a member of the SPA Board.
(a) Individuals – there are four categories of Individual Membership.
- Registered Security Professionals – these members are made of up those who have become registered, and would ultimately be covered by a Professional Standards Council (PSC) Scheme;
- Enrolled Security Practitioners – these members include those who had registered in the ‘second tier’ of the Registry process, and any others the Board considered appropriate. They would not however be covered by the PSC.
- Ordinary Members – these members would include those who work in the security industry including management of security companies (e.g.: some of the existing Council members), and also including academics with specialties in the security space.
- Associate Members – these members would include students studying security related topics for appropriate security degrees.
(b) Associate Entities and Sponsors – entities whose purpose, code of conduct and principles are consistent with SPA may be endorsed as Associate Entities. These entities are typically companies that operate within the security domain, for example security advisory service providers, enterprise security advisory divisions within companies, or technology or manpower companies.
The Benefits of Membership
Security Professionals, and those seeking to be recognised as such, for the first time are able to have their skills, qualifications, experience and attributes assessed, recognised and registered. This is a powerful enabler for professionalising the industry and a substantial public benefit – registering security practitioners against established competencies and ethical standards enhances their ability to meet their primary duty to the community and to maintain recognised professional standards.
The benefits of a nationally consistent registration process for Security Professionals that incorporates a robust ‘fit and proper’ test are many and are not limited to the following:
The new arrangements for the first time provide a means for the validation of claims regarding professional standards and competencies made by organisations and individuals tendering to provide services. The various licencing regimes that exist in some State and Territory jurisdictions do not provide this.
This will be a very substantial benefit in government and private sector procurement decision making. The Council is seeing examples of this emerging in Commonwealth procurement and is of the view that it is entirely appropriate for such preferences to be encouraged in all Government procurement.
Mobility of Security Professionals within government and between sectors is also served by the ability of employment decision making processes to validate claims regarding professional standards and competencies.
Again, this has been difficult in the past and decision making processes in this regard can only benefit from the new arrangements.
(3) Free Flow of Skills and Experience
A nationally recognised means of recognising the competency and professional standards of practitioners will promote a deeper understanding of the essential nature of security services within the community and will enhance ‘cross border flows ‘ of skills and experience across the security domain.
(4) Professionalism and a Body of Knowledge
SPA provides thought leadership and policy in key areas, including education, certification and continuing professional development, professional conduct, and national and international standards. Input and policy development regarding these matters are provided for the greater good and, in particular, in support of the work of the Registry in its registration decision making.
These critical areas of work will enable the Security Profession as a group to align itself more closely with the public good and the needs of the community.
The SPA has established the following Advisory Boards:
· Education and Certification
· Government Relations,
· National and International Standards, and
· Ethics and Behavioural Standards.
Through these Boards SPA has initiated a range of projects, including:
· Identification of the courses (specifically tertiary-level) delivering security-specific and security-related qualifications and determining if there is a requirement to develop additional qualifications and courses to meet the needs of the security profession and the broader community.
· Compilation of security-specific and security-related standards to identify gaps in standards and make recommendations.
· Identify and discuss with relevant government and other agencies the role of security in disaster planning and response.
Action Going Forward
The new arrangements are a powerful step towards cementing professional standards within a critically important profession.
Further details about the SPA can be found on the SPA website at: