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Case Study: RPL for Security – A $4.5 Billion Industry

Muhammad is a hard working man – by day he is an IT Manager for the Department of Education, Victoria, and by night he runs his own security business. In the following industry report, you will find out how he manages to work full-time, and run a business at the same time, how he got into security, why he loves it, how security RPL helped, and how you can get into the security industry too.

Given that security is a $4.5 billion industry in Australia (and growing) this is one industry report you don’t want to miss.

First Muhammad’s story…

How does he do it?

Security RPLHow does Muhammad work a full-time, and run a business? He’s one smart cookie, so while he’s managing the IT department, he has people working for him in his business.

But he’s also a hard worker, so when he gets home from his day job he spends a couple of hours each evening catching up on invoicing, communicating with clients, training new recruits, and all the other various demands that come with running your own business.

It sounds like a lot doesn’t it!

Muhammad says he likes to be busy, and likes a challenge, which is what attracted him to the security industry in the first place.

How did Muhammad get into security?

Back in 2008 a friend of his who had a security business needed someone extra to cover a job, and asked Muhammad if he’d be interested.

At the time Muhammad was working as an IT officer and wanted something that would allow him to get out from behind a computer screen and meet people.

Muhammad enjoyed the work and asked his friend to give him some regular weekend shifts.

“So weekdays, I was doing my IT job, and on the weekends, I was doing security.”

And how did he end up running his own security business?

He ended up working for one particular client for many years, and eventually the client asked if he would be interested in submitting a tender to manage their security as they were not intending to renew their current security contract.

Muhammad jumped at the chance. He registered a business, got his necessary licenses, submitted a tender, and was accepted.

How did recognition of prior learning (RPL) help?

In order to get the licences he required, he needed a Certificate IV in Security & Risk Management.

Like most of us these days, he searched Google for a course and that’s how he found Churchill Education.

Muhammad got in touch and spoke to Skills Recognition Advisor – John. When Muhammad explained that he’d been working in the industry for nine years, and why he needed the qualification, John said, “Oh, it sounds like you’re already doing what you’re going to study. Would you like to consider applying for RPL (recognition of prior learning)?”

Muhammad already had the skills and knowledge. He just needed the piece of paper to prove it, which is the beauty of RPL!

What was Muhammad’s experience of RPL with Churchill?

“It was very smooth, and very easy to apply. I gave them the information they needed, and they did the rest.”

We’ve been doing this since 2006, so we have definitely streamlined the process, but part of the reason it was so quick and easy for Muhammad is because he was organised.

He had his paperwork ready to go…

“Even though I’m an employer now, I keep my resume up to date. Every now and then I revisit my resume and update it with any new experience or qualifications I have. So luckily I had my documents ready and was able to submit them as soon as they were requested.”

Well done Muhammad! It’s a great idea for everyone to keep their resume up-to-date, along with gathering evidence of skills and experience along the way so that you can make the most of what you know with qualifications gained via RPL.

Why does Muhammad love security work?

Muhammad loves security work because he says each day is different and there are always new challenges. What he most loves about it is the people he meets.

He says, “The amount of knowledge I have acquired by meeting different kinds of people, is just amazing. I wouldn’t have gotten that kind of knowledge any other way.”

It is not surprising then that Muhammad says the main aspect to security work is customer service. He says it’s almost always about your ability to communicate. Rather than using force, he uses words to diffuse tense situations.

“No matter which person you are dealing with, whether they are a drug addict, an alcoholic, or just a person trying to trespass, we humans have basic requirements.

We all deserve respect, no matter what condition we are in.

So, if you give a person respect while you’re dealing with them, even in a difficult situation, chances are, they’re going to comply, they’re going to listen to you, and there will be no need to resort to physical force in the process.”

We can see why Muhammad runs such a successful business. Respecting others is such a simple rule to live and work by, but sadly it is often lacking.

Interested in a career in security?

In Australia, security is a $4.5 billion industry, with about half of that representing wages.

Gone are the days that security and risk management was essentially a close personal protection job. Now, there is a focus on protecting industries and businesses, not just protecting individual people.

According to the Australian Security Industry Association Ltd (ASIAL)…

“The industry employs over 170,000 personnel nationally and most of those are employed in two broad groups:
Manpower roles include bodyguard, crowd controller, gatekeeper, mobile patrol guard, security agent, security officer, loss prevention officer, concierge, etc.

Technician roles include security systems installers who fit and repair security systems in homes and businesses, control room operators monitoring alarm systems, or network administrators operating vast security systems.

There are also roles as a private investigator, security adviser or risk assessor.”

And there is a rise in security and risk management opportunities in the mining sector.

Mining information and training site iMINCO states:

“Safety and security of plant, equipment and personnel are top priorities for Australian mining companies, given the high-risk nature of the industry and the public interest mining activities attract.

Having the appropriate strategies in place to protect the mining company’s workforce, assets and reputation is critical to the ongoing success of mining operations.”

There are also security and risk management opportunities internationally. Governments and NGOs all around the world employ private security companies – with ex-defence from Australia featuring prominently in these companies.

It is a cheaper, more politically sensitive and readily mobilised option than placing regular armed services in multiple locations around the world.

With security jobs currently outstripping police numbers, and an ever increasing range of security roles available, now is a great time to consider a career in security.

What qualifications do you need to get a job in security?

For entry level positions such as working as a security guard for example, you’ll need a Certificate I or II in Security & Risk Management. But in order to open up a world of opportunity in the security industry you will require a Certificate IV or Diploma in Security & Risk Management.

Muhammad’s experience reflects the value organisations place on their security and risk management priorities – his whole company is built around delivering this service.

Where do you find jobs in the security industry?

Muhammad says, “Back in the day, it used to be through connections, through people you knew. But now the security industry is very tech savvy, so they all advertise jobs on Seek, Gumtree, Indeed, and various other recruitment websites.

Stay tuned for a full Security & Risk Management Industry Report coming out soon.

If you would like to get into the Security industry, or any industry for that matter, make sure your past experience is fully recognised by formal qualifications. RPL means you don’t need to study what you already know. Apply for a free assessment by completing the form below, and put your best foot forward!


Would you like to know what RPL qualifications you might be eligible for? 

You can either fill in the form below… Or call us direct on: 1300 793 002

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