Security Journal UK sits down with Claire Humble, Director of Nuology, to discuss her background in security and higher education and why eLearning is such a powerful tool.
Can you tell us about your career in the security industry?
I have been in the security industry since I was nineteen. I started in the local police force in Cleveland and I had a very successful time there. In the police, it gives you the opportunity to experience different elements of the security world. My experience is within intelligence, road policing and communities. I have also ran my own police district. At a strategic level, I have been given the opportunity to make some decisions that impact on communities and have done some really fantastic work with the wider community to keep people safe.
In 2017, I was fortunate to get a job at Teesside University as head of their Safety, Security and Facilities Team – this was the first time I stepped out of the policing family and saw the wider security industry. The team that I joined were an eclectic mix of security professionals. The higher education (HE) security setting is quite unique; not only do we have a standard security role which focuses on looking after buildings and making sure things are secure, locked and alarmed, we also have the added responsibility of looking after lots of young people who are away from home. At times, these people are vulnerable – this adds a different element, one centred on care, welfare and wellbeing.
Universities are very much being run like businesses right now so there is a competitive edge to things as well. What I tried to do at Teesside was take a really good group of people to the next level and make what we were offering far more strategic so that we were contributing to student recruitment, retention and student experience. What we wanted to do was show students that we cared about their safety and make our university, a university of choice. Safety is very important to students, particularly international students. We wanted students to see that our university genuinely cared about their safety, security and wellbeing. We did this through various means of engaging with the international students before they even came into the UK.
When you look at all the statistics, security is #3 on the list of factors that are influencing international students’ choice of university. We did some really cool transformational change within the team – this included changing uniform and focus. We were mental health first aid trained and we had a lot of interactivity with students. We wanted to also provide some training and that’s where my eyes were opened into the lack of training options within the security sector – particularly, ones bespoke to the HE setting.
What is Nuology’s mission?
Nuology is split into three elements – a training element, a consultancy element and a smart element. What we have managed to do is provide affordable training which is interactive and enjoyable. As we were starting the business, it became very apparent that eLearning and using the computer had grown. Security teams, particularly in the HE setting, were more used to using computers. In a smaller group however, it is more difficult to remove a security professional from their role to do an immersive training course. The eLearning allows you to do it at your own pace and when you want to do it. It gives learners the opportunity to learn an environment they are comfortable in, at a pace they are comfortable at. That is the driving force behind Nuology.
The language we use in the training can be easily understood by the learner and can be translated to the workplace. It is not just generic learning.
What are the eLearning modules Nuology powers?
Our first piece to the market is an introductory module which has been written for someone new to the security sector. It gives them an insight as to what they may have to deal with and face as an operator working within the industry. Equally, it is very valuable for those who may have worked in the sector for some time but have not necessarily learned the basics well. For example, a use of a radio may seem standard practice, but not a lot of people will learn this piece of technology, as well as the phonetic alphabet and radio etiquette, as they should have done.
We have also looked to build various levels, one, two and three – the second level is for more experienced officers which takes them through a variety of learning areas which you would expect i.e. patrolling and bomb threat procedures. The next level up from this is things surrounding the creation of a high-performance team culture. Once you have taken the introductory module, you can progress at your own pace.
What can you tell us about your relationship with IFPO UK & Ireland?
The people that are there and working on the IFPO UK & Ireland board are key professionals in their own right. We are honoured for them to look at our training, acknowledge it as leading and want to deliver it to their members in the wider security setting. For a new company to be aligned to such a prestigious organisation is amazing. Both Nuology and IFPO UK & Ireland are committed to raising industry standards; by delivering our training at different levels, we can help people progress.
What are your plans over the next 12 months?
We have got a really great relationship with IFPO UK & Ireland which we would love to continue building on. We are also working with lots of my ex-colleagues in the field of HE and what we want to do is understand the sector even more from a learning perspective. In doing so, we can build courses that really help people to progress. We also want to branch out and reach security professionals who work in sectors such as retail.
To find out more about the work Claire and the team at Nuology are doing, visit: www.nu-ology.com