South Africa Lacks Dedicated Security Risk Assessor Training

South Africa Lacks Dedicated Security Risk Assessor Training

There’s a critical gap in South Africa’s security industry: a dedicated training course for security risk assessors. Here we explain the current situation and the unique skill set required for this vital role.

The Missing Course

For many years, attempts to establish a security risk assessment course with the relevant authority, SESSETA, have been unsuccessful. Their focus leans towards health and safety or general risk and security management, neglecting the specific needs of physical security assessments.

Furthermore, they emphasize risk assessment in cyber security contexts, whereas we concentrate on physical security risk assessment.

We are currently working to change this mind-set, and it may be some time before we can establish unit standards for security risk assessments.

International Standards: Not a Perfect Fit

Current international standards, like ASIS certifications, rely on a health and safety approach where the matrix system is used to determine the risk level.

This method, while established, isn’t suitable for the intricacies of physical security risk assessments as we believe no level of risk is acceptable.

Educational Degrees Aren’t Enough

While universities offer risk and security management courses, they provide only a basic introduction to risk assessment and the role of the assessor.

This is evident in the applications I receive – impressive degrees in security or risk management, but a lack of practical skills for real-world security risk assessments.

The Skillset of a Security Risk Assessor

Effective security risk assessment goes beyond textbook knowledge. Here are the crucial qualities:

  • Understanding Security & Communication: This includes human interaction, communication within security systems, and interpreting body language – of people, property, and businesses.
  • Investigative Skills: Risk assessment is not about management; it’s about thorough investigation. Many confuse the two, leading to a focus on selling security hardware without proper diagnosis.
Essential Experience for Success

Years in the field are necessary. Here’s what a qualified security risk assessor should possess:

  • Crime Scene & Modus Operandi Knowledge: Understanding criminal methods is vital for effective security risk assessments.
  • Security Hardware Expertise: Knowing the capabilities and limitations of security equipment is crucial.
  • Security & Risk Awareness: A strong grasp of both security principles and risk management is essential.
  • Investigative Experience: The ability to conduct interviews and understand criminal environments is key.
  • Technology & Legal Knowledge: Understanding Artificial inelegance (AI), control rooms, court procedures, and evidence handling (master copy) prove valuable.
A Unique Approach

Currently, my 20 years of experience with a unique case-study-based approach sets me apart in South Africa and Africa. While other regions might use a matrix system similar to health and safety, this approach allows for a zero-tolerance stance on security risks, ensuring the safety of businesses and individuals.

This article by Andre Mundell, Independent Security Risk Assessor at Alwinco, highlights the current gap in security risk assessor training and the essential skills required to excel in this critical role.

Throughout South Africa, Alwinco performs Security Risk Assessments, boasting a strong presence in Gauteng regions such as Moot, Fourways, Midrand, Rivonia, and Centurion, in addition to Bloemfontein, Bluff, and Cape Province.

A better understanding of Security

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Written by Andre Mundell
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