Towards security professionalisation: The cultural journey to employ and develop future security professionals


Therefore, corporate and private security groups must embrace the notion of the journeyman.

The security industry and its associated bodies believe they are moving towards professionalisation; however, one sign of a true profession is the employment and development of graduates. Unlike established professions, the security industry lacks such graduate employment and this situation has to change. The time organisations can just rely on employing ex-police or defence persons without higher education credentials may be coming to an end as a higher professionalisation is required within the security domain.

Today’s modern society relies on professionals to solve complex problems. Such professionals commenced their careers as university graduates. University education imparts a foundational, abstract body of knowledge that is contextualised and further developed into professional competence and ultimately, refined over time into expertise within the work place.

In many of the traditional professions such as medicine or engineering this occurs through formalised graduate programs. Graduate programs seek to provide mentoring so that those entering the workforce from universities are taught the art of transferring theory into practice. That is, they undertake their professional apprenticeships. For these more traditional professions graduate programs are a cultural norm, as it is well recognised that graduates need professional development prior to achieving the status of competent professional. However, for the security domain graduate programs are not the norm; rather, the exception.

Nevertheless, the notion of graduate programs within the security domain is not a completely alien proposition. For many years, large engineering consultancies have employed graduates from various security programs. Such organisations put graduates through a developmental program tailored to the context of their areas of focus and method of business. Graduate programs are also found in government organisations, which recruit graduates from a diverse range of university programs including security studies.

In the intelligence domain the graduate developmental process has been referred to as the journeyman, the term used to articulate the formalised process used to take a graduate from university and develop them into a competent professional. This journey embodies a systemised process with clear time frames along with formalised criteria established to move graduates along their professional path, initiating junior professionals… Click HERE to find out more about this article