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Surveillance Qualifications For Dummies

12/01/13 - Written by Peter Jenkins

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This is a bit long, so bear with me...... it will be worth it.

I have heard/seen discussions recently in respect of one training provider not recognising another’s qualifications in respect of surveillance, so here's my slant...

In respect of the CP Level 3 Certificate, the course was designed by various stakeholders in conjunction with the SIA who ‘rubber stamped’ it and had it accredited by Edexcel as a minimum 150 hour course. The course structure, lessons, topics and learning outcomes should be the same ‘minimum’ regardless of which training provider runs the course.

In respect of Surveillance Awards/Certificates/Diplomas, this is not the case. No governing body, the SIA (or anyone else) has had a say in what goes into surveillance training courses and qualifications.

Any training provider that offers these ‘qualifications’ in surveillance is offering their ‘OWN’ product in what is classed as a ‘Customised’ qualification (just like making widgets).

For example: Our (ISS) Btec Level 3 Award in Foot & Mobile Surveillance is classed by Edexcel as a ‘Customised Award’. It is a qualification that we (ISS) has designed and set a standard for our company. In some respects, it is OUR OWN course to which the level of training, the subjects taught and assessment has been decided by us and thus reflect in our specific high standards.

With me so far.....?

Now then... another surveillance training provider may also offer a Btec Level 3 Award (but their course will be called something slightly different to ours, as the title is copyrighted). Their course will also be a ‘Customised Award’ and it would have been designed by them to cover what THEY feel is right and to their own standards. In this instance, no two courses from different training providers give the same qualification or level of skills!

Let’s look at it like this: On a 2 week course, we (ISS) may carry out 60 hours of mobile exercises in the cars, where another TP only carries out 25 hours in their 2 weeks. Or they may spend 10 hours in rural OP’s practising camouflage whilst we don’t but teach Counter Surveillance or use public transport in the exercises... So each training provider sets its own course title, structure, content and level of qualification. As it is ‘Customised’, technically it is their own in-house training package.

In real practical terms if you have a Btec Level 3 in surveillance from ‘ISS’, another surveillance company might say that they do not recognise our training (and why should they, it’s our course?). On the flip side, why should we recognise any other TP’s qualifications? Especially when their standards and skill levels do not match ours (I can say this from experience).

Why am I mentioning all this? If you are choosing a training provider, the certificate that you have left your course with (if you passed) is only worth something to the outside world, if the company that you did your training with is respected and has credibility. It means that you can do what is says on the certificate....


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