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Industry Forum mandates training direction for Security Technicians

NZ Security, June/July 2017

34 attendees representing 26 providers and stakeholders were in attendance.34 attendees representing 26 providers and stakeholders were in attendance.


At the well-attended NZSA-hosted Industry Forum for Electronic Security providers in May there was strong support for bolstering training via the establishment of an apprenticeship framework.


The NZSA-hosted Industry Forum for Electronic Security providers was held during May and attracted strong attendance with 34 attendees representing 26 providers and stakeholders.

This followed a similarly successful forum for monitoring providers held earlier in the year. The forum model – specific issues focus, open invitation and Auckland airport venue (meeting room facilities at Auckland Domestic Airport) – has been met with widespread approval from security operators.

Whilst the agenda was wide ranging, discussion centred around progressing the stalled TRoQ (Targeted Review of Training) for security technicians, creating a training pathway with strong links to an apprenticeship programme and attracting new entrants to the electronic security sector.

The meeting commenced with a presentation by Gary Morrison, NZSA CEO, backgrounding the current state-of-play and the need for industry leadership in this area. Key takeaways included: 

  • Electronic security providers have limited knowledge of what training is available or how to access it.
  • Most providers talk of the need to reintroduce apprenticeships without realising they currently exist.
  • The industry training organisation (Skills) has viewed the security industry as exclusively manpower-based, with electronic security buried within the electro technology sector.
  • Skills projections for current-year security technician trainees is 25 (actual figure presented later is 26 but with 51% inactive).
  • NZSA projections based on member feedback indicate current vacancies for security technicians are between 1,000 and 2,000 nationally.

Subsequent presentations by Marius Schmidt and Eric Witty from Skills provided greater detail on the existing Level 3 and Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Electronic Security qualifications and on the draft programme detail prepared following input from those involved in the TRoQ that commenced in 2012.


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The speakers also explained the framework and requirements dictated by NZQA and clarified a number of misconceptions around developing new unit standards. “A key outcome from these discussions,” Gary told NZ Security, “was unanimous support for the direction and qualification goals provided within the draft programme detail.”

During this session and subsequent discussion, it was apparent that attendees viewed the formalising of apprenticeship schemes as a critical step towards creating a true employee pathway and for attracting new entrants to the industry.

Erica Quayle, Skills Industry Manager Security, expanded on how NZQA Apprenticeship Programmes work, and provided clarity on the qualification specifications and requirements that must be met.

Following further discussion, a motion was unanimously passed to support the current draft programme detail for Level 3 and Level 4 NZCES at a high level and to formalise it within an apprenticeship programme.  

“This level of support from a large number of industry stakeholders provides a clear mandate from a TRoQ perspective,” Gary said, “and it will now enable the formation of a smaller working group (comprising Skills representatives and volunteers from the Forum) to begin formalising the Level 3 and 4 unit standards within an apprenticeship framework.”

“To put this in perspective, and without making light of the efforts of those who have been part of the ongoing TRoQ process, the decisions made during this Forum will have more positive impact on the training direction for Security Technicians than what has been achieved in the preceding 5 years.

“There is obviously now a need to continue with the momentum, and with a strong working group providing industry input, the signs are very positive that electronic security training is heading in the right direction.”

It is hoped that the staging of more NZSA-hosted industry forums will help to focus energies to address the pressing issues facing other sectors within the industry.


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