News Archive

Clarke Back

by msecadm4921

Ray Clarke was the chief executive of the Security Industry Training Organisation until last year when he and SITO parted company over a disagreement over how a soon to be regulated security industry should position itself on training. Now he is back .

Ray Clarke, while he does not mind talking about the past, would rather look to the future. He’s set up his own company, Security and Facilities Education (SAFE) and hence was at IFSEC meeting various folk. At the exhibition, it’s possible to walk from biometrics and electronic security stands to those offering fire, and health and safety, products, and facilities management-related goods such as office furniture and mailroom equipment. You could argue that’s a vindication of the Clarke view a year ago that the security industry should line up with safety and facilities folk to make a Sector Skills Council bid, to take SITO into the age of industry regulation. To cut a long story short, it did not happen, and Clarke and SITO went different ways. Clarke is not one to re-fight the battles of last year: ‘I don’t intend to be involved in policy at all. SAFE is just a provider and it’s for others to set policy. Our job is to respond to policy.’ He says he is enjoying what he is doing now: ‘There’s a lot more freedom in terms of just concentrating on providing services and responding effectively to customers. One of the things that comes with a national training organisation [like SITO] is that you are continually having to balance a wide range of views. One of the things I am enjoying is that I get the opportunity with SAFE to back my hunches completely … I am not being critical of SITO because I was responsible for SITO … I had 14 very happy years at SITO and I am proud of what was produced. Time moves on.’ Clarke, who launched officially on May 1 (and featured in our May issue) reports his company will bring out a range of products over the summer. The company has a link with BTEC: ‘We will be looking at developing a series of qualifications with BTEC, whereby we are providing the technical input and BTEC are providing the access to internationally recognised accreditiation.’ One advantage of him going it alone is that he can start with the proverbial blank sheet of paper, aware of the needs of the contract guarding industry (where the Security Industry Authority will most likely set minimum training requirements for a licence, for officers, supervisers and managers alike) and in-house guards (not subject to licences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, but with their own needs for training, maybe multi-skilling, depending on the organisation). Clarke adds:’It’s just nice to go back to first principles.’

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