Satia Rai, Chief Executive Officer, International Professional Security Association (IPSA) and Head of Belonging at Securitas UK shares her perspectives on the key areas that will define our industry this year.
In my nearly three-decade-long journey in the security industry, from frontline operations to strategic leadership and Head of Belonging for Securitas, I have witnessed its remarkable evolution. As we navigate into 2024, I share my perspectives on the key areas that will define our industry this year.
The professionalisation of the industry is a focal point. The Security Skills Board, on which I proudly serve, is central to this mission. We aim to develop a workforce that is not only skilled but also equipped to meet the dynamic challenges of modern security. This initiative is not just about training; it’s about elevating the entire profession to new heights of excellence and relevance.
Another critical area for the security sector is attracting and retaining talent. As chair of the Security EDI Forum, I am committed to ensuring our industry is inclusive for all. Our strapline, “We Reflect Who We Protect,” encapsulates this commitment. Diversity and inclusivity are not just moral imperatives but business necessities in today’s world. We collaborate closely with key industry stakeholders to make security a desirable and accessible career choice for a wide and diverse talent pool.
It is important to remember in 2024, the heart and soul of our industry are the frontline officers. Recognising and rewarding these individuals, who are often the first line of defence in ensuring public safety, is paramount. Their well-being and welfare are central to our initiatives. By understanding their concerns and mental health status through the data we collect, we aim to better support and acknowledge their crucial role.
The astronomical growth of IPSA as an organization is a testament to our impact and relevance in the industry. Today, with over 7000 members, we stand as the largest and fastest-growing membership organisation representing the frontline. This growth is not just in numbers; it represents an expanding influence, a broadening network of professionals, and a deepening commitment to the principles we uphold.
I believe over the next year collaboration within the industry is key to our success and growth. IPSA is at the forefront of significant industry collaborations. Our involvement in events such as International Women’s Day, International Security Officer Day, and Pride showcases our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce. These collaborations are essential to the industry’s development, highlighting our dedication to a comprehensive and unified approach.
Finally, the upcoming implementation of Martyn’s Law will have a profound impact. This law is a stark reminder of the critical role security plays in public safety. It reinforces the need for rigorous and consistent security measures across public venues, emphasising our commitment to professional standards and vigilance.
Looking ahead, I am optimistic about the potential of the security industry to adapt and thrive. Through our collective effort, driven by professionalism, inclusivity, and collaboration, we are not only poised to meet the challenges of today but also well-prepared for the future. We must not forget to celebrate and thank front-line officers, the heroes of our sector, for their dedication and achievements.
Satia Rai has enjoyed an extensive career in the security profession, starting on the front line in the retail sector nearly 30 years ago. In a voluntary capacity she is a member of the Security Skills Board and is Chair of the Security EDI Forum. She is also member of the International Security Expo Advisory Council, participates in the Security Industry Authority (SIA) stakeholder forum and is a committee member of LGBT+ Facilities Management (FM).