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Published: September 4, 2013

International risk management and security specialist Pilgrims Group has been selected as finalists for an impressive four awards at this year’s Security Excellence Awards.

Pilgrims, which took home the award for Training Initiative of the Year at last year’s event, has reached the final stage in all four of the categories that the company entered.

The categories are: Training Initiative of the Year (Fastrack™ HEAT), Security Consultant of the Year (Pilgrims Consultancy Division), Security Manager of the Year (David Humm, Grimsby Site) and Enterprise Security Risk Management Project of the Year (Pilgrims/FCO Training & Information Awareness Programme).

Finalists were carefully chosen from an extensive number of entrants across the security world by a judging panel consisting of leading industry figures, including Alex Carmichael (Technical Director at the British Security Industry Association), Emma Shaw (Chairman of the Security Institute), Don Randall MBE (Head of Security, Bank of England and Chairman, City of London Crime Prevention Association), Jeff Little OBE (CEO of the National Security Inspectorate) and Richard Childs (Managing Director, ACPO Crime Prevention Initiatives).

“It’s absolutely fantastic news for the team to be shortlisted as finalists in four different categories,” said Pilgrims Group Chief Operating Officer, Dave Freear. “To be recognised by industry experts as operating at the very top of our profession in so many areas is real testament to the hard work and effort our team has been putting in place over the last several years to achieve our aim of becoming market leaders in the areas we specialise in. We have focused on innovation and quality and this independent recognition of what we are doing is so important.”

Brian Sims, Chairman of the Judges and Media Solutions Manager for UBM Live’s Security and Fire Portfolio, commented: “Every year it’s extremely inspiring to learn of the magnificent achievements realised by security professionals right across the sector. It’s the dedication of everyone in this community that helps to ensure so many companies’ people and assets are safe and secure. Leading the Security Excellence Awards Judging Panel is a role I enjoy tremendously and I’m very much looking forward to celebrating the industry’s finest success stories at the Awards Ceremony in October.”

Winners will be announced at a fully staged awards ceremony on 23rd October at the Hilton Park Lane, London. To book tickets or see the final results, visit:

Pilgrims Nominations

Security Consultant of the Year
Pilgrims Group - Consultancy Division

“Business is about delivering a service that delights your customer at a price they accept as reasonable. When the risk is loss of life, there should be no short cuts. Pilgrims ability to recommend and explain the right solution to our clients sets us apart and has produced the track record and reputation we have,” says Bill Freear, Managing Director of Pilgrims.

This extract is taken from the BBC’s hour long documentary ‘Britain’s Private War’ which was broadcast last October. In the programme, Bill was interviewed and Pilgrims singled out for praise and named as one of the best risk management companies. This is a strong indicator of how Pilgrims Consultancy service has become an industry leader.

Pilgrims Consultancy provides risk management services, comprising risk analysis and mitigation. Pilgrims has leveraged its capabilities and experience in global challenging environments in response to the rising client demand for compliance with international regulation and standards.

In Afghanistan, a new law in 2012 began a process of Private Security Companies (PSCs) being replaced by Risk Management Companies (RMCs) and the consequent demand for risk management consultants to train, mentor and support the newly formed Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), simultaneously with our clients.

Pilgrims prepared early and was the third to be awarded a RMC licence. Since then, as one example, Pilgrims Consultancy’s delivery for International Research & Development (IRD) in Afghanistan has included:

·         A new, ground-validated, highly tactical intelligence analysis product.
·         A comprehensive ISO31000/31010 compliant documentation set which includes:
o    risk assessments of five primary sites and six satellite sites.
o    resulting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and actions on how we deal with emergency situations, including incident, trauma and journey management, medical response and tracking.
·         Taking on and developing the APPF workforce, including providing new security and medical skills training and a mentoring regime.
·         Provided the client with 80 seats on Pilgrims online hostile environment course, in response to a critical needs assessment.

"Speaking of consultancy, Pilgrims adopts an integrated approach to this particular discipline in the firm belief – and it’s a wholly correct one – that no single element of security can be totally divorced from another, whether you’re talking about human security, physical security, technical/IT security, guarding, business continuity management or disaster recovery. All are underwritten by intelligence and thorough analyses."
Brian Sims, Editor of Info4Security and Security Excellence Awards Chairman of the Judges.

Security Training Initiative of the Year
Fastrack™ HEAT

Pilgrims turned the industry standard Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course on its head by stripping out the theory from the conventional five day course and reducing it to bite sized, online modules supported by a high intensity, scenario based, shorter and practical course.

This unique blended training programme prepares personnel for working in hostile environments, covering various topics, including Personal Safety, Vehicle Safety, Conflict Management, Trauma Medical and Abduction.

Even though the time the delegate spends attending the course is 60% shorter than previously, Pilgrims is able to ‘fastrack’ their knowledge and significantly increase their practical skills by more than doubling the number of practical scenarios. Knowledge retention and delegate focus improved significantly due to intensity, resulting in higher levels of absorption and competency.

Activities enacted within Pilgrims purpose built and fictitious state in conflict concept, supported by video briefs, maps, and actors, have facilitated delegates full immersion, making the whole experience more like real life and less like training.

The success of this new approach has resulted in Pilgrims almost trebling the numbers trained per annum from clients in NGO and defence sectors as well as from the media, including Sky News, NBC Universal, Fox News and ABC.

A number of clients have been so pleased with the results that they have expanded their initial numbers to be far more encompassing.  In some cases, client numbers have doubled. Furthermore, as a result of this success, Pilgrims has expanded its client base within the UK, USA and Middle East by 300%. Courses are now held in seven overseas locations outside the UK – USA, Iraq, Afghanistan, DRC, Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan.

“One of the best hazardous environment courses I have ever taken. I have covered conflict for over 30 years and I still took away plenty from the course.”
TV News Correspondent, London.

Enterprise Security Risk Management Project of the Year
FCO Training Information & Awareness Programme

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) approached Pilgrims for an enterprise wide solution to the management of their overseas travel and residency risks, with a focus on training. The critical factor, for both the FCO and Pilgrims, is that security and confidence in security is underwritten by risk analysis and that training is implemented as a result of that analysis.

The FCO was experiencing security incidents in hostile and semi hostile places, where individual and local management responses were sometimes insufficient. There were also disconnects appearing between these responses and the enterprise crisis management plans.

It was discovered that, although the FCO’s security team was successful in its remit, an enterprise approach to training needs and consequent solutions would achieve better local responses. It would also give overseas staff and their families more confidence in the FCO’s daily and long-term security regimes.

This resulted in a joint initiative being implemented, capitalising on Pilgrims previous success with FCO training now being rolled out globally. It is already being leveraged to the advantage of other UK government departments.

The training implemented focuses on:
·         Threat recognition
·         Personal safety
·         Medical
·         Conflict management
·         The integration of personal and team responses into wider response plans.

Bespoke training that includes interventions targeted at staff and their families, pre and post deployment has also been put in place. The key modules are:
·         Conflict management
·         Basic self defence
·         Overseas security risk awareness for personnel and families already in situ
·         Bespoke offerings for senior officials.

Security Manager of the Year
David Humm

After being promoted into the role of Security Manager at one of Pilgrims Grimsby sites, David’s leadership and commitment are a shining example to the security industry. He has achieved much in a short period of time after becoming responsible for managing a multifaceted security provision on a multi-million pound installation with over 1,000 employees and approximately 1,600 vehicles on site every month.

Immediately after taking on the role, David had to recruit 80% of the team, which was previously outsourced. David had to devise the training for his team which involved writing a technical 32 module training programme for all the new recruits and delivering it within a two week timetable. Thanks to his tremendous achievement, all 120 monthly team KPIs have been met month by month since the start of the contract.

David manages a team of ten security officers and an emergency control room and is also responsible for all physical security systems, including CCTV, access control, Level 3 police emergency response intruder alarms and electronic visitor notification and delivery/collection systems. He controls the busy front of house security centre which sees a footfall of 3,500 people per month administrated by his team, including the vetting of 300 contractual staff every day.

In addition, David has implemented a complete review and update of all site security, developed an ID access control verification and reconciliation programme, implemented a new incident reporting process to speed up investigation and corrective action timelines and established a programme for monthly officer audits and tactical evaluation exercises to ensure correct competency levels. He is the site’s security trainer, responsible for all security awareness and professional training, and coordinates all CTSA/NaCTSO training when on site.