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Principles for the Security Professionals Registry

The Security Professionals’ Registry (Australasia) has been established to meet the desire of the security advisers, managers and leaders to achieve, through the process of registration, an overarching standard of professionalism as required by the community. It will register just such security practitioners who are determined to be “fit and proper” for registration and who aspire to and demonstrate this standard.  It is not aimed at creating an additional association or licensing regime of which there are sufficient to meet our needs.

 

THE SECURITY PROFESSION

Accordingly, the purpose of the Security Registry is to support the development of the professionalism of security practitioners, and overtime to establish and enhance the professional status of security practitioners as “a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to high ethical standards and uphold themselves to, and are accepted by, the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised, organised body of learning derived from education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to exercise this knowledge and these skills in the interest of others.” (Definition of ‘professions’ - Australian Council of Professions)

In order to achieve professional status for security practitioners, the Security Registry must undertake certain tasks. Firstly, the Security Registry will need to establish a framework for the competencies and practices of security practitioners. Secondly, the Security Registry will need to ensure that security practitioners meet high ethical standards in providing their service to the community. Thirdly, The Registry will create and maintain a register of such persons who meet and maintain these standards. 

Service to the community is universally recognised as an essential element in achieving the status of a profession.

Ensuring that security practitioners serve the community cannot however be undertaken effectively if the concept of ‘security’ continues to be defined only in its traditional form as “the preparedness, protection and preservation of people, property and information both tangible and intangible” (Standards Australia: HB 167 2006)

This definition of security will not suffice for the purposes of the Security Registry. This is because the definition implies ‘protection’ from a ‘who’ or a ‘what’, thereby potentially creating division or segregation. The concept of security is more than just protection. Security also means enabling individuals to live in their communities free from fear. The definition of security for the purposes of the Registry must also address the physical and psychological needs of a people to form communities.

The Security Registry, in meeting the objective of professional status must recognise and achieve a balance between providing the competencies and ethics of ‘protection’ on the one hand with the social need for ‘belonging’ on the other. Accordingly, the Security Registry should ensure that the primary competency for security practitioners be the capacity to solve problems.

The capacity to solve problems must be both proactive and reactive. In terms of pro-activity, it must merge the concepts of protection and community. Proactive problem solving is risk reduction in action. This can often mean breaking down barriers, including cultural, social and political, as much as it may mean the need to establish boundaries and barriers.

 

“FIT AND PROPER”

The concept of a “fit and proper” test generally incorporates considerations of 'integrity', 'knowledge', and 'ability ': integrity to execute the role without malice or partiality in the service of the community; knowledge to know what should be done; and ability to execute the role diligently and not neglect it because of incapability or limited resources.

These three concepts ‘integrity’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘ability’, form the basis of a “fit and proper” test.

Fitness and propriety are most often equated with 'competence' and 'integrity' as well as 'diligence and professionalism'. However the four concepts can be condensed into two - integrity (in relation to character) and competence (in relation to ability).  The Federal Court of Australia has stated on being fit and proper as follows:

"In determining whether a person is a fit and proper person the enquiry is directed not only to whether improper conduct has occurred, but whether it is likely to occur again, and whether the community will have confidence that it will not occur."

         See Toohey v Tax Agents Board of Victoria (3) (2010) FCA 356

Reputation is however not only important in relation to individuals. Reputation also is essential for security organizations and accordingly this focus on a “fit and proper” test should be essential for marketing the Registry and its purpose.

The purpose of the Security Registry is not only to enable the registration of security practitioners. The purpose is to establish effective competencies and ethical standards that enhance the capacity of security practitioners to meet their primary duty to the community and facilitate their transition to and maintenance of professional status. 

 

 

 

Principles for Security Officers

In their discussions members of the Australian Council of Security Professionals and the Security Professionals’ Registry (Australasia) has considered the importance of values and ethics in guiding the behaviour of security providers.

Accordingly, the Council and the Registry support the development of the professionalism of security practitioners, and overtime, to establish and enhance the professional status of security practitioners as “a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to high ethical standards and uphold themselves to, and are accepted by, the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised, organised body of learning derived from education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to exercise this knowledge and these skills in the interest of others.” (Definition of ‘professions’ - Australian Council of Professions)

Service to the community is universally recognised as an essential element in achieving the status of a profession.

Ensuring that security practitioners serve the community cannot however be undertaken effectively if the concept of ‘security’ continues to be defined only in its traditional form as “the preparedness, protection and preservation of people, property and information both tangible and intangible” (Standards Australia: HB 167 2006)

This definition of security will not suffice for the purposes of the Security Registry. This is because the definition implies ‘protection’ from a ‘who’ or a ‘what’, thereby potentially creating division or segregation. The concept of security is more than just protection. Security also means enabling individuals to live in their communities free from fear. The definition of security for the must also address the physical and psychological needs of a people to form communities.  Security Officers on the front line are the first point of contact for the community and they set the tone and circumstances for creating an environment that is free from fear.

Security practitioners must achieve a balance between demonstrating the competencies and ethics of ‘protection’ on the one hand with the social need for ‘belonging’ in a community on the other. Accordingly, the Security Registry identified the primary competency for security practitioners should be the capacity to effectively solve problems.

The capacity to solve problems must be both proactive and reactive. In terms of pro-activity, it must merge the concepts of protection and community. Proactive problem solving is risk reduction in action. This can often mean breaking down barriers, including cultural, social and political, as much as it may mean the need to establish boundaries and barriers.

Security leaders and managers need to establish effective competencies and ethical standards that enhance the capacity of security practitioners to meet their primary duty to the community and facilitate their transition to and maintenance of professional status and continue to demonstrate that security delivery remains ultimately in the public good.

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