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A Typical Security Consulting Project

I have often been asked how a security consultant determines their recommendations.  Let me walk you through a typical consultant project.

The first step is to meet with corporate management to determine the scope of the project.  They may want only a segment of their business examined or the full meal deal.  We then get management to make an announcement or provide a document to inform all of the staff that we have management’s permission to examine material and interview staff members on their duties, and how their departments function.

The assets that we examine can be broken down into four groups.

  1.  Facility
  2.  Physical assets that are used in the day to day workings of the organization.
  3. Merchandise or product that is produced and how it is handled.
  4. Most important asset the employees.

We would begin by looking at the organization’s structure and scope of work, their Mission Statement and Operating Principals and any future growth plan.  Any existing audit program for corporate security would be evaluated.  The information flow of policies and procedures, the chain of command with regard to the security function would be reviewed.

Any past threats, incident history, other emergencies that could arise, local crime census, past insurance claims and any lawsuits would be examined.

The physical assets of the company and procedures in place to protect them would be reviewed.  This includes fencing, cameras, including covert, security alarms, access control, key control and card access systems. We examine the movement of people around the facility and parking lot to control access and speedy evacuation if necessary.  Fire control and signage to control movement of individuals would also be looked at.

We would work with the Human Resources Department to examine hiring and termination policies, conduct an examination of present employment forms,  levels of security checks for employees, code of ethics, discipline policy, and contract service procurement.

 A number of areas concerning the company’s liability would be checked. They include; legislative requirements, civil laws, insurance, poor hiring practices, duty to warn, in adequate training for responsible positions, dismissal procedure, employee retention policies and practices, claims procedure.

Regarding safety and personal security, we examine present policies including OHSA, programs and liability issues, senior management protection.    Recommendations are made for physical changes to improve personal security with possible personal safety training for staff. This information is often collected through focus groups, and staff interviews to determine needs.

We will look at internal communication, in the area of emergencies, documentation security incidents, communication between staff and any guard service. We would also examine any system for staff to express safety and security concerns.

In the area of workplace violence and harassment, the present reporting system for complaints would be reviewed along with past incidents to ensure compliance with existing legislation.
Working or traveling alone policies would be part of the review.   We will determine: who, what, and where aspects of working alone compliance, staff’s knowledge on safety and security issues. We determine the amount of travel alone time and locations and examine any physical security solutions. Recommendations are made to ensure the necessary policy changes.

 In the area of emergency response, we review all types of past responses, the response times for both internal and external service response. Determine and list the types of emergencies that could occur and prepare a list of recommendations, policy changes and scope of training for emergency response to these situations. The situations could include medical or first aid incidents, natural disasters, bomb incidents, fire, hazardous material and demonstrations. We would ensure that there is a critique or debriefing process when emergencies happen.

If there are contracted security services, a review would be conducted of the present contract in place, guard duties and post orders. Review of the present training of the guard service to determine if additional training is necessary. We would examine communication and leadership structure to ensure they are up to best practices and industry standards.
With regard to cash control and other negotiable documents we examine how they are handled and safeguarded. All safes and strong boxes are examined determine if they are suitable for intended purpose. All methods of cash transport and bank depositing would be examined. Determine any training needs with regard to cash handling, robbery prevention and identification of bogus bills and cheques.

We examine inventory control of both non-consumable and consumable assets. Also procedures on shipping and receiving and recommend any necessary changes. The protection of employees’ personal property is examined. Security personals’ lockers and desk, transportation issues are reviewed.

After all the reviewing and examination is completed, the consultant will prepare a document listing his findings and recommendations. Should management desire a cost analysis, may be attached to each recommendation. Additionally the recommendations would be prioritized based on a number of concerns, including most negative impact on the company or organization, urgency and liability concerns.

Pretty extensive isn’t it.   But the safety of your employees and protection of the company assets are imperative.

If you have any questions about a security review, or have an interest to have one at your place of business or organization, please contact Dave Rodwell at 780-460-3028 or dave@daverodwell.com

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