Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 20, 2023


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed


The 2023 Security Institute Conference emphasises the widening remit of security leaders

Delegates at The 2023 Security Institute Annual Conference heard insight from the National Protective Security Authority, the Protective Security Centre and its Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, on 26 October.

Held in the Edwardian building that has served as the home of the Royal Society of Medicine since 1912, the conference provided a proportionate blend of learning and networking opportunities for 200 Institute members and distinguished guests.

SecurityInstitute-AnnualConference-23The Security Institute Chair, Julie Nel MSyI, opened the conference by welcoming delegates and providing a brief overview of the changes at the Security Institute. But, as Nel explained, so too has the professional landscape. Security leaders now have new remits, covering organisational resilience and risk, and are more integral to businesses than ever before.

She then promptly invited The Security Institute’s President, Baroness Ruth Henig of Lancaster CBE, to share her considerable insight and sector knowledge. As always, she left the audience with much to reflect upon, pointing towards the conference’s theme ‘The Domino Effect’, and emphasising the links between security and public emergency services.

What followed throughout the day was engaging, thought provoking, and meaningful discussion around the evolving challenges that lie ahead for the public and private security profession.

The Security Institute’s Interim Chief Executive, Frank Cannon, provides an overview of the remainder of the day…

The Domino Effect – Plan, Protect, Analyse

As should be the case, the conversation commenced with a senior representative from the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) sharing the strategic perspective on the adversarial threat assessment and showcasing a library of tools to help the security practitioner address the subsequent risks.

Underlining Nel’s earlier point on the widening risk scope, the NPSA provided a geopolitical threat summary for delegates. The absorption of the CPNI’s responsibilities to the NPSA was also explained to better reflect the broader threat picture and wider audiences the Authority is now working with and providing advice for.

After a busy networking session over a cup of coffee, the delegates returned to the auditorium to listen to Rob Kennedy CSyP FSyI, from the Protective Security Centre, debate the need to develop tomorrow’s security professionals.

Chairing a panel of experts, they discussed the merits of a Level 4 Apprenticeship that converges the four traditional strands of protective security to provide the student with an awareness across the profession for those at an early stage of their career.

City-TerrorismThreat-20Toward the end of the day, the conference delegates were reminded of the consequences of a successful terrorist attack when Pauline Cranmer QAM recited her personal experience of being the London Ambulance Service Gold Command during the Westminster Bridge terror attack that occurred on 22nd March 2017.

She spoke of her learnings when coordinating the emergency medical response to an incident that resulted in the loss of life for five members of the public and one on-duty police officer who was protecting the Houses of Parliament.

Welcoming royalty

On arrival, and accompanied by Mr Stuart Shilson LVO DL, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of London, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was met by The Security Institute Chair, Julie Nel; Vice chair, Sarah Austerberry; Interim Chief Executive, Frank Cannon; and the Institute’s Board Adviser, Bob Martin.

Prior to taking her seat for the afternoon session, The Princess Royal met with several of the conference speakers; a selection of those who chair The Security Institute’s Special Interest Groups, as well as selected members of the Institute’s head office staff.

Her Royal Highness then joined the conference and listened to an informative session from Michelle Russell, the Chief Executive Officer of the Security Industry Authority, during which she set out how the industry regulator aims to help prepare the industry to protect our communities and raise professional standards across the profession.

This session was followed by Mike Croll who is a Senior lecturer at Buckingham New University. Mike took the conference audience on a fascinating and humorous journey of generational communication styles, illustrated through music, methods of communication, and the choice of underwear!

Whilst satirical in nature, Mike and his panel highlighted the diverse styles required when communicating across the generations, from the Baby Boomers, through the Millennials and Generation Z, to today’s Gen Alphas.

When addressing conference delegates immediately after Mike’s panel session. Her Royal Highness spoke to the assembled security professionals with knowledge, empathy, and humour — often having to pause to allow the laughter to subside.

The speech proved to be the highlight of the conference, with The Princess Royal weaving in her obvious understanding of the need to protect those at risk with her personal experiences, and those developed whilst supporting her charitable organisations.

Acknowledgement was also given to the lengths the Security Institute is taking to ensure, that on a broad spectrum, including Governmental, it is assisting in the development of standards for the expanding professional security sector.

Before departing, The Princess Royal had the opportunity to meet with some of the corporate partners and sponsors of the annual conference. One highlight was the search dog in training Obi, who was impeccably behaved as they met with Her Royal Highness.

The Princess Royal concluded her visit by meeting with Stuart Bratt, the founder of ‘Tough Enough to Care’, a suicide prevention charity and The Security Institutes chosen charity for this conference; for which a useful sum of £3645 was raised through a raffle and auction.

The conference concluded with Sarah Austerberry CSyP FSyI (Vice Chair of the Security Institute) and Frank Cannon CSyP FSyI (Interim Chief Executive) providing the membership with an insight and opportunity to ask questions about The Security Institute’s future strategy.


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