Header Image

Stuart Grainger-Smith

  • You recently wrote an article “What’s the relationship between: training, knowledge, regulation and professionalism?”. Can you give as a brief introduction?

The UK has one of the lowest number of Mandatory required training hours in Europe, coupled with no requirement for Continued Professional Development. This means that from a requirement of qualification point of view, there is little to no reason for anyone to train further than that base requirement. Taking that a stage further to the discussion of Security being a profession, The article takes as a basis of contrast the field of Health &  Safety, and the requirements that must be achieved to take on those roles.

Roles that have their own specific requirements that must be achieved before even getting the job. Within Hotels the Security Manager is invariably the Health and Safety Manager, as a safety “competent person” there is a set of criteria that needs to be complied with, yet for the security side of the role there is no “competent person” criteria. The paper then analyses the differences and similarities between the 2 fields to develop a thought around what is needed to improve standards and professionalisation of the industry. Within GLH for example we have an eclectic mix of Security Managers of differing backgrounds but where development is primary, both for ourselves and also to feed into the development of each other.

  • How important are safety and security considerations to leisure and business guests when they choose a potential destination, venue or hotel for their stay?

Safety and Security standards within hotels are a key factor to any discerning guest. More people are now switched on to, news to issues and therefore when they travel are more keyed into what they expect to; see, have and find. This goes from local crime though to international terror issues within the country or region that the person is going to. As such staff, and that is all staff not just a security department per-say needs to be aware of what is going on around them and to ensure that as part of customer service, our guests feel appreciated and safe without feeling that they have booked a room in an armour plated fortress. Getting the balance right is what is needed to find the measured way forward. To this end hotels are now tuning in to understand this to ensure that hotels are the safe place.

  • In your opinion, are hotels today aware of possible risks associated with security policies? Is safety in tourism, for now, taken for granted?

Safety and Security of guests is now, more and more becoming a selling point for a hotel and with say the events in the UK last year, nothing can be taken for granted. This goes from the Technical and Technology side through to access control systems and control measures and onto how we train our staff to ensure that, whilst guests do not feel overly imposed on with security the reassurance of it is there. There are also industry specific groups organisations working together across Hotel chains to ensure that, as an industry, we are working to ensure that risks are mitigated against regardless of what that risk maybe.

  • What do you most look forward regarding your participation at Safe Stay event in London?

Any event that attracts a high level of interest from such a wide range of professionals within the industry is always good for cross-pollination of ideas and processes. I am looking forward to seeing that in play for myself so that I can both help others and take some ideas away to implement.