New Zealand Security Association CEO’s March newsletter

New Zealand Security Magazine - Update

New training hub, schools events, and fee changes.

In his March update, NZSA CEO Gary Morrison discusses the online Training Hub launch, a new short-term contract with MSD supporting employment of entry level technicians, commencement of school visit programme, membership fees, and more.

A catastrophic life changing event. There is no other way to describe the devastating impact Cyclone Gabrielle has had on many people’s lives and livelihood.

Whilst the daily updates that we see through the media are shocking in their own right, talking to those who are on the ground provides a better understanding of what many are facing, with whole communities obliterated and the constants of thick mud, piled uncollected rubbish and the stench of rotting food, vegetation and often raw sewerage.

Those I have been in touch with all talk in awe about the way communities have come together to assist each other (other than the small minority who have resorted to crime) and what has been achieved, however there is also a growing realisation and resignation that they are only scratching the surface and that the necessary rebuild of infrastructure and property will be a massive task over a considerable number of years.

The other issue at this time is that of mental trauma and stress and the longer-term impacts on residents.

We are pleased that we have been able to provide some support for our members in the impacted regions – helping to facilitate Emergency Licencing requirements through the PSPLA, coordinating offers of additional resources and forwarding 20,000 face masks to the Hawkes Bay region for use by staff, customers and community groups involved in clean up duties.

Our thoughts remain with all those who have been impacted and our commitment is that they will not be forgotten in coming weeks and months.

On a different note, we have some exciting developments and initiatives covered within our newsletter this month, including the Saved a Life Medal programme, the launch of our OnLine Training Hub, a new short-term contract with MSD supporting the employment of entry level technicians, the commencement of our school visit programme and the development of a Security Awareness Passport for MSD candidates who go through the virtual reality (VR) security scenarios.

NZSA Saved a Life Medal

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we launched this programme early this year whereby we recognise and celebrate those workers within our industry who have saved a life, or lives, through their actions.

During February we received three qualifying nominations, and we will issue a profile of the individuals and their stories, including photos of them receiving their medals, in coming weeks.

The nomination process is very straight forward with qualification criteria outlined on our website. Nominations can be submitted on the NZSA website.

Launch of NZSA Online Training Hub

We are thrilled to advise that our online training hub is now live and can be accessed via the NZSA website.

The NZSA recognises the importance of continued professional development and the training hub has been designed as a single repository for non NZQA training and learning programmes and materials, that can easily be accessed by our members, their employees and the wider industry.

The training hub currently comprises the following learning and training materials:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Modules (free access)
  • Electronic Security Good Practice (chargeable with preferential member rates)
  • Entry Level Security Technician Foundation Training (chargeable with preferential member rates)

We will continue to add further training and learning programmes and materials, either developed in-house or by external parties, and would welcome feedback from our members with regards to what training resources they would like to be able to access.

Launch of new MSD contract for placement of entry level Security Technicians

Over the last five years, the NZSA has provided our members with in excess of 550 employees through our SFI (Skills for Industry programme). Whilst our programme is non role specific, the focus has been targeted towards Security Officers and Monitoring Operators.

We are very pleased to announce that we have signed a new short-term trial contract with MSD that specifically targets entry level (school leaver or limited work experience) candidates seeking employment in the electronic security sector.

The contract recognises the continued resource shortage for Security Technicians and the importance of developing apprentices locally rather than bringing in workers from off-shore.

Under the contract the NZSA will provide candidates successfully placed into work with a comprehensive tool kit, a laptop, safety boots and enrolment in the NZSA-developed Foundation Training Programme for Entry Level Security Technicians.

The contract also recognises the importance of the employer providing support and pastural care and includes an obligation that they will enrol candidates into the NZCiES Apprenticeship on successful completion of the Foundation Training Programme.

Whilst the contract was signed mid-February and is only for a four and a half month trial, it is pleasing to note that our first candidate placement commenced employment in late February and we are very hopeful that with continued success, MSD will extend the contract for a further year on completion of the trial.

Members support School Career Pathways Programme

Late last year we reported on our attendance at the CATE (Careers and Transition Education Association) Conference and how we would use that as a stepping-stone into developing a formalised program for 2023 where we could match school career advisors (and school career events) with our members.

We are pleased to advise that the initial engagement for this year has been confirmed and both Red Badge Group and Alarm Solutions 2002 will be attending a “speed dating careers event” at St Bede’s College in Christchurch mid-March. Hopefully we will have some photos to include in the next newsletter.

We will be confirming other engagements in coming months as the schools become more active with their students and will contact and arrange representation from our members who have expressed interest in participating.

As a separate project, we are also investigating the opportunity to develop a school Gateway Programme that we can introduce to the schools to promote the security industry as a career pathway.

Development and launch of MSD Security Awareness “Passport” Certificate

Traditionally MSD have hosted regular Job Expos around the country where those seeking employment can talk to a range of industry and employer representatives about career opportunities and potential job openings. Whilst the expos have been valuable in matching candidates with employers, they are “low touch” and provide the candidate with very limited information on what the jobs entail.

Late last year MSD introduced VR (Virtual Reality) Job Expos where the candidates have the opportunity to register interest in a range of industry roles and to then through the VR headset to actually experience what the roles entail. Where appropriate, candidates can also receive a “Passport” or certificate verifying their participation and completion of the industry experience.

Utilising materials from the NZSA CoA VR Training Platform, one of the industry experiences covers security officers and guarding roles. Participants are provided with an overview of the industry and an understanding of the principles around managing conflict before they are placed into two real life work scenarios that include identifying risks and dealing with aggressive individuals. Participants are required to utilise appropriate skills, but the platform provides corrective guidance when necessary.

To date, Security has been the third most popular industry, closely behind Tourism and Kiwifruit picking.

Moving forward, those candidates who undertake and complete the Security VR experience will be provided with an NZSA Security Awareness Passport Certificate that confirms that they have an awareness of security roles and duties.

The Security Awareness Passport Certificate is not a NZQA qualification or evidence of competency, but it does provide potential employers with the knowledge that the candidate has shown the initiative to undertake the experience and has an awareness of what a role in security will entail.

NZSA website resources

It was pleasing to recently receive a LinkedIn communication from one of our members, complimenting us on the quality and breadth of resources available on the NZSA website.

In the words of our member “it is a fantastic resource for all who work in, or engage with, the security industry and provides comprehensive information on standards, guidelines, training, licensing and much more. I’m happy to direct my colleagues to the site for any security related matter”.

The reason for mentioning this is that whilst our website statistics show the site is well utilised, it is evident from the number of the email and phone enquiries that we receive that many members are unaware of the information that they can access directly.

With recent updates to include the Saved a Life Medal programme and the Online Training Hub, it may be a good time to check that your member details are correct, ensure that you are utilising the range of member benefit programmes, review the information available and remind your teams that they can access the resources available.

PSPLA complaint process and outcomes

We regularly hear comments that the PSPLA complaint process is ineffective and has no teeth. Whilst those comments might have been valid some years ago, our current Registrar, Trish McConnell, has implemented a number of changes and improvements that have resulted in a far more effective and transparent complaint process. In conjunction with this, the CIPU (Complaints, Investigation and Prosecution Unit) team within the Department of Internal Affairs that is tasked with investigating complaints has had its resources strengthened and is adopting a more proactive approach, including random checking of staff at venues and events.

For those who are interested, it is possible to see a record of all complaints received, and resulting outcomes, detailed on the PSPLA website under “Decisions”.

We would also like to pass our thanks onto Trish and her team at the PSPLA for their responsiveness in enacting emergency licensing procedures to assist with Covid, and more recently the flooding events in the North Island.

Increase in Membership fees

As an industry association we are very mindful of the difficult trading environment that many businesses are facing and the ongoing pressures of cost increases.

We have been able to avoid any increase in our membership fees for the last five years through a combination of cost controls and additional revenue generating activities, such as the MSD SFI Programme. However, we do need to advise our members that we will need to apply a 7% increase to the membership fees for the upcoming 2023/2024 subscription period.

We are confident that our members will view our contributions positively and recognise the importance of having a strong and effective peak body representing the industry. Should any member have concerns, we are happy to discuss those directly.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

As always, we welcome all comments and feedback on NZSA or industry issues and activity.