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Beware the Experts: The Importance of Qualified Professional Advice in Physical Security

In the ever-evolving world of physical security, the role of expertise cannot be overstated. Expertise, rooted in professional training and experience, is the fulcrum upon which the balance of security and risk turns. Yet, the rise of self-proclaimed 'experts' in the field threatens to undermine this delicate balance, posing a significant challenge to those seeking reliable, effective security solutions.

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What Defines an Expert?

Traditionally, an expert is someone who has comprehensive and authoritative knowledge in a specific field. In the context of physical security, this equates to a deep understanding of risk, security system design, emergency response planning, and a myriad of other crucial components. But knowledge alone is not enough.

An expert also brings hands-on experience to the table. This experience, hard-earned through years of practical work, enables them to see beyond the theoretical and make informed decisions based on real-world dynamics.

The Danger of 'Experts'

In the age of information, anyone can claim to be an expert. Unfortunately, many individuals and companies professing expertise in physical security lack the necessary qualifications, training, or experience. This is particularly concerning in the field of property protection, where the stakes are high and the risks manifold.

Physical security is a complex, multifaceted discipline that requires both hands-on experience and a solid academic foundation. While experience can provide invaluable insights into real-world situations and challenges, it is not a substitute for formal education and continuous learning. In fact, relying solely on experience to guide security decisions can lead to significant financial and reputational risks, particularly in the area of property protection.

The Limitations of Experience

The value of experience should never be underestimated. After all, there are lessons that can only be learned through direct involvement in the field. However, experience alone is not sufficient. As the old adage goes, someone can be incredibly experienced in doing something the wrong way.

Experience without academic training can lead to a reliance on outdated methods and approaches, an inability to adapt to new threats and technologies, and a lack of awareness of the wider theoretical principles that underpin effective security strategies. Furthermore, an experienced individual might be steeped in habits and biases from previous engagements, limiting their ability to objectively assess security needs.

The Role of Academic Training and Current Security Theory

Academic training provides a solid foundation in security theory, offering a deep understanding of the principles, methodologies, and best practices that inform effective asset protection.

This theoretical knowledge, when combined with practical experience, enables security professionals to devise comprehensive, proactive, and adaptable security strategies.

In addition, academic training exposes security professionals to the latest developments in the field, including new technologies, emerging threats, and evolving regulatory frameworks.

This ensures that their approach to security is not only informed by past experience, but also shaped by the current security landscape and forward-looking trends.

Mitigating Risks with Qualified Advice

The potential risks of relying on unqualified advice in the field of property protection are considerable. From financial loss resulting from ineffective security measures or costly compliance breaches, to reputational damage stemming from security failures, the wrong advice can have far-reaching implications.

Given these risks, it's crucial to ensure that security advice is obtained from professionals who not only have relevant experience but also hold the right qualifications.

Certifications such as the Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Physical Security Professional (PSP), or Certified Security Management Professional (CSMP) indicate that a professional has not only the necessary experience, but also a comprehensive understanding of modern security theory and principles.

What to look for when selecting a company or individual

When selecting a company to protect your property assets, it's important to look beyond marketing jargon and flashy presentations. Here are some key factors to consider:

Relevant Certifications:

Look for companies that employ professionals with CPP, PSP, or CSMP certifications. These certifications demonstrate a commitment to professional development and adherence to industry standards.


How long has the company been in business? What types of properties have they secured? Can they provide case studies or examples of their work? Past performance can often be a good indicator of future results.

Customised Approach:

No two properties are the same, and a one-size-fits-all approach to security is a recipe for failure. A reliable security provider will conduct a thorough risk assessment of your property and design a security plan tailored to your unique needs.

Client References:

A reputable security provider should be willing to provide references from satisfied clients. Be sure to contact these references to get a sense of the provider's professionalism, responsiveness, and overall performance.


In the complex world of physical security, a balanced approach that combines experience with academic training is key. The rise of self-proclaimed 'experts' in physical security presents a challenge, it also underscores the value of true expertise.

Professionals offering advice on property protection should not only have a proven track record, but also a strong academic foundation and an ongoing commitment to staying abreast of the latest developments in security theory and practice.

By insisting on these standards, clients can mitigate potential risks and ensure that their properties are protected by the most effective, up-to-date security strategies available.

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