Security as a profession varies in terms of qualifications depending on the nature of the working situation (Simonsen, 1996). As a career, security is quite diverse since numerous factors must be put into consideration when defining the profession. In this case, there is no single definition that can stand out to define the profession. However, when considering the contemporary issues facing the profession, it is advisable to include professionals in the private and public sectors (Spirovski, 2011). Security as a career involves consistent management of facilities, people, systems, and activities (Ernest, 1998). Therefore, professionals need sufficient training to enjoy a certain level of prestige in the occupation. This paper analyzes some of the contemporary issues facing security as a profession alongside discussing proposals and measures that are being taken to resolve emerging issues in security.
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Contemporary issues affecting security as a profession
It is apparent that security as a profession has been disparaged and thus not accepted as a full profession (Ernest, 1998). According to researchers, a complete professional must meet certain criteria. Usually, such criteria have not been fully met in security as a profession. For instance, there is a lack of a governing body to enforce the expected code of ethics among security professionals. In most cases, security professionals fail to depict the expected code of standards (Manuta, 1996). According to empirical-based evidence, malpractices among security professionals are hardly followed up due to a lack of a governing and disciplinary body. In this case, security employers handle disciplinary cases through alternative means such as discontinuation or prosecuting offenders in courts (Spirovski, 2011).
Another contemporary issue associated with security as a profession is the level of education attained by professionals (Simonsen, 1996). Therefore, comparing the duration of study and attainment of training for security professionals with other occupations reveals a lot of challenges. It is evident that trainees are subjected to short periods of training to become professionals and thus skills obtained are not sufficient. Moreover, resource materials for training are scarce. In this case, only a small number of scholarly magazines and journals are available for students to infer information from. The scarcity of academic materials deprives trainees of additional information obtained outside the classroom (Ernest, 1998).
Another issue of concern is that security professionals lack interest groups and associations that can represent and air their grievances (Simonsen, 1996). Moreover, if there is any that exists, there are no specific requirements to be fulfilled to become a member. Nonetheless, it has been found that such organizations exist in the United Kingdom. Pointless to say, the associations should be able to represent the security industry. Noticeably, there are specific terms and conditions in which every member must attain to be enrolled as a stakeholder (Manuta, 1996).
Besides, another issue of apprehension is on certification programs in the profession. Normally, almost every profession has a certification program and is highly respected and strictly followed. Although security as a profession has a certification program, it is not often followed up to the letter (Simonsen, 1996). In this case, certification of the program is optional and thus considered irrelevant to some extent. Even the existing certification program is being doubted since it is discretionary. In this case, no one is fully certain that the program test rightly the theoretical and technical know-how before one get acknowledged as a professional. Needless to say, there is no evidence indicating that the certification program has been competent in declaring individuals as professionals (Manuta, 1996). Ironically, in some countries, such programs do not even exist.
That notwithstanding, educational discipline is also an issue of concern for the profession (Simonsen, 1996). Numerous courses are being offered within the security sector. Nevertheless, research conducted indicates that most of the courses do not provide a solid academic foundation as recommended by academic regulations (Ernest, 1998). This implies that the levels of study need to be raised significantly such as a degree level to increase competence. Comparatively, there are rare courses that are specified up to masters’ level as opposed to the case in other professions (Spirovski, 2011).
Proposals and solutions to the emerging security issues
One of the proposals made is that all the issues of concern in the profession be put into consideration to raise the status of security as a career. In this case, certain criteria can be applied to see that contemporary issues are solved (Manuta, 1996). For instance, in the process of upgrading the status of the security profession, it has been proposed that there should be a specific code of ethics to be strictly followed. This will assist security agencies to decimate malpractices among professionals in this field (Simonsen, 1996). Moreover, there is a need to have a governing body that will be able to deal with irregularities and represent the pleas of the security professionals in the government.
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Suggestively, a significant body of knowledge should be established to guide new security trainees in the occupation. Such include academic journals, websites, workshops and magazines for guidance purposes (Simonsen, 1996). Besides, it is proposed that the certification program should be followed regularly to ensure that only competent members join the professional workforce (Spirovski, 2011). Finally, there is a recommendation that there should be an educational procedure of preparing students to specialize in specific security courses.
Measures required for successful implementation.
There are specific measures that the security management systems need to take to ensure the successful implementation of the proposed solutions. To begin with, the security management agents need to take a keen interest in ensuring that before one is declared as a professional, he/she must fulfill the occupational criteria. Such criteria include a required code of ethics, certifications and adequate education on the area of specialization (Simonsen, 1996). Additionally, though governments of specific states have increased the level of educational discipline, there is need to implement other frameworks that will enhance students to pursue optimum studies. In line with this, explicit security courses being studied should be raised up to master’s level to increase competence. Security agents need to enforce that, there be distinct associations or pressure groups that will act on behalf of the security professionals (Manuta, 1996). Moreover, certification programs should be established in states where they do not exist (Ernest, 1998). States; governments should also have the prerequisite that they should use when issuing professional certificates of approval. In line with this, security management agencies should bridge the gap between private and public security professionals to ensure that all the regulations suit all of them. This implies that, academic policies and philosophies should be subjected equally to all (Simonsen, 1996).
In a nutshell, security as a profession has not attained full status in comparison to other occupations. This implies that the profession must meet certain criteria to achieve an identifiable status. These requirements include a specific code of ethics, security associations, certification program, a body of knowledge, and a recognized educational discipline. In this case, security management agents need to make every effort to improve the professional status of the course. This can be deduced from the fact that security has become the most popular and demanding profession in the world
Ernest, J. (1998).The Time Has Come to Acknowledge Security as a Profession. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 498 (1) 98- 107.
Manuta, G. (1996). The case against: Private security is not a profession. International Journal of risk security and crime prevention, 1(3), 233-240.
Simonsen, E. (1996). The case for security management as a profession. International Journal of risks and crime prevention, 1(3), 229-232.
Spirovski, B. (2011). Information Systems: Security as a Profession. Web.