Quality Control/Quality Assurance is something we might sooner associate with widget manufacturing or transit operations, than with physical security operations. In fact, quality is very important to security services. Too often, security is evaluated according to its failures, and not by its successes. Success in security is when it appears that nothing has happened – and that’s just not sexy.
We know that quality control aims to prevent problems through systematic processes. Quality assurance is used to maintain the quality of a product, process or service. How does this translate to the security industry? Just as is the case with esteemed brands like Apple computers and Rolls Royce automobiles, we can set quality standards by creating clear objectives, equally clear procedures and then in implementing these objectives and procedures as standards for performance.
Many security systems with weak standards lack the following operational requirements:
- Understanding what it means to succeed and/or fail (objectives)
- Understanding what it takes to succeed or fail (threat oriented procedures)
- Accountability for meeting or not meeting the objectives and adhering or not adhering to the procedures (quality control)
Organizations known for high quality security, such as the U.S. Secret Service, the casinos of Las Vegas and El Al airlines, have integrated these operational requirements into the way they conduct business. The key to these organizations’ success lies in their clearly defined objectives, their focus on the human element in the security process, and their carefully articulated, threat-oriented procedures. They work ahead of the curve and more importantly, ahead of their adversaries. Security Quality Control
Chameleon Associates has been providing QA/QC for a variety of its customers with great results and high client satisfaction. They bring us in not only for our expertise but because we are an objective third party. Here are the secret steps to this proactive, cyclical QA/QC process:
- We conduct a comprehensive threat assessment with an adversarial orientation.
- We identify the AMOs and suspicion indicators for the client’s protected environment.
- With the client, we define primary and secondary security objectives.
- With the client, we create standards which are integrated into an SOP.
- Personnel are trained and drilled.
- We red team the security system.
- Using the red team results, we evaluate performance and re-instruct as needed.
- And so on … reassess, evaluate and modify as needed, on a continual basis.
Today’s marketplace for security services is competitive. Customer budgets are tight. Incidence of attacks and criminal activity is up in many locations. When valuable assets and human lives are at stake, decreasing security levels and ignoring standards is wrong minded. Operating to a quality standard addresses all this. What’s more, it offers security executives and management a metric with which to justify their department’s existence. Maybe it is sexy, after all.