Tavcom Training, a subsidiary of Linx International Group, is celebrating the first anniversary of its Certified Technical Security Professionals (CTSP) Register, which aims to raise standards in the security and fire industry.

In the last 12 months more than 500 engineers, contractors and vendors have applied to have their competence officially recognised. The Register has been endorsed by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) and Dubai’s Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA).

Assisting security professionals

David Wilkinson CTSP, Director of Technical Services at BSIA, states: “We are proud to support the CTSP Register to promote the technical competency and professionalism our security personnel have to offer. Such recognition is important in ensuring the fire and security industry can demonstrate its proposition as an attractive career path to what is a highly technical and diverse industry sector.

A new Vocational Application Pathway has been created in collaboration with SSAIB

Since its launch, the CTSP Register has continued to evolve to assist security professionals and those who depend on their capabilities, including employers, end-user organisations and households. In June, it was announced that auditors and consultants who fulfil technical roles in electronic security and fire systems would be eligible to apply. In addition, a new Vocational Application Pathway has been created in collaboration with SSAIB that enables engineers and consultants with relevant security systems experience but without recognised industry qualifications to apply. 

Recognising qualified professionals

There is a real appetite across the security and fire sectors to raise standards,” states CTSP Registrar Kevin Matthew. “The CTSP Register is being seen as a way for professionals with the right qualifications and experience to be recognised for their dedication to technical best practice, and hopefully that translates into winning more business.

All CTSP applications are assessed by the Registration Manager, and successful applicants appear on the publicly searchable Register. The application process takes place online and costs £25, with a £50 annual fee payable on acceptance.

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Unifying the mobile experience: cloud, IoT and the AI evolution of access control in 2019
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What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry?
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Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?
Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?

A futuristic alternative to plastic cards for access control and other applications is being considered by some corporate users in Sweden and the United Kingdom. The idea involves using a microchip device implanted into a user’s hand. About the size of a grain of rice and provided by Swedish company Biohax, the tiny device employs passive near field communication (NFC) to interface with a user’s digital environment. Access control is just one application for the device, which can be deployed in lieu of a smart card in numerous uses. Biohax says more than 4,000 individuals have implanted the device. Using the device for corporate employees Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the deviceCurrently Biohax is having dialogue with curious corporate customers about using the device for their employees. “It’s a dialogue, not Big Brother planning to chip every employee they have,” says Jowan Österlund, CEO at Biohax. Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the device. Data capture form to appear here! “Proof of concept” demonstrations have been conducted at several companies, including Tui, a travel company in Sweden that uses the device for access management, ID management, printing, gym access and self-checkout in the cafeteria. Biohax is also having dialogue with some big companies in the United Kingdom, including legal and financial firms. Österlund aims to have a full working system in place in the next year or so. A Swedish rail company accepts the implanted chip in lieu of a paper train ticket. They accept existing implants but are not offering to implant the chips. Österlund says his company currently has no plans to enter the U.S. market. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive Access control credential The device is inserted/injected below the skin between the index finger and the thumb. The circuitry has a 10-year lifespan. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive. The only risk is the possibility of infection, which is true anytime the skin is pierced, and the risk is mitigated by employing health professionals to inject the chip. Use of the device as an access control credential or any other function is offered as a voluntary option; any requirement by an employer to inject the device would be illegal, says Österlund. It’s a convenient choice that is made “based on a well-informed decision by the customer.” Aversion to needles, for example, would make some users squeamish to implant the device. More education of users helps to allay any concerns: Some 10% of employees typically would agree quickly to the system, but a larger group of 50% to 60% are likely to agree over time as they get more comfortable with the idea and understand the convenience, says Österlund. Protection of information The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rightsIn terms of privacy concerns, information contained on the device is in physical form and is protected. The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. There is no battery. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rights. With use of the device being discussed in the United Kingdom, there has been some backlash. For example, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has said: “Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers.” A big misconception is that the chip is a tracking device, says Österlund. It isn’t. “We love people to get informed,” says Österlund. “If they’re scared or apprehensive, they can just read up. It’s not used to control you – it’s used to give you control.”