The International Foundation for Protection Officers provides professional learning opportunities for security practitioners, to impart the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to maximize job performance and enhance career potential.

Purpose:  to make a positive difference in the quality of the participant’s job performance and elevate the professional status of students who partake of our learning opportunities.

Business: to supply committed security practitioners with a quality education to help achieve their highest potential and provide recognized accreditation for successful completion of educational goals.

Values:  commitment, integrity, responsibility, and standards of excellence, provide the platform that supports our journey as we pursue our mission.

Meet Our Board

Mike Hurst CPP CPOI MSyI

UK Director

Mike Hurst has spent over 30 years in the security industry. An experienced volunteer leader, he is a member of the IFPO global Advisory Board and Director of IFPO UK and Ireland.

He was for 6 years a Main Board Director of The Security Institute, was for 10 years Co Vice Chair / Co Chair of the UK Chapter of ASIS International and a member of its European Advisory Council. He still sits on the Working Group on the Security Institute Validation Board (VBWG) and is Secretary of the ASIS International Extremism and Political Instability Community (EPIC) and a member of the ASIS International Awards Committee. .

He is a director of HJA Consult specialising in security and fire recruitment, strategic consultancy and events management. He is a founding director of AllsecurityEvents.com.

Yolanda Hamblen
Yolanda HamblenAdvisory Board Member
Yolanda is a dynamic experienced and enthusiastic Senior Security Management professional with a proven track record in Security and Client Management in a range of different management positions all underpinned by 7 years in the British Police Force as both a Constable and Detective.
Yolanda is a strong advocate of all things Security and is keen to promote diversity and inclusivity in the industry.
Nicholas Reed ASMS, MSc, FSyI, TechIOSH
Nicholas Reed ASMS, MSc, FSyI, TechIOSHAdvisory Board Member
Nicholas has worked in both in-house and consultancy capacities across a range of organisations, public and private sectors, including Police and the Safety & Security Audit field on London 2012 Olympics. He has been involved in the development of SIA security qualifications, consulted on the refinement of British Standards for the sector and written material used in national security training programs. He has also held board positions in a number of charitable organisations, in the Search and Rescue field, and presently sits on the board of a local Business Crime Reduction Partnership (Community Interest Company).
Nicholas is the Trust’s PREVENT Lead, Chair the Health & Safety Committee, an internal Freedom To Speak Up Guardian and sits on the Strategic EPRR Committee. He is a qualified TRiM Practitioner and an ASIST Suicide Intervention practitioner. He is also the SW regional Industry Sector Lead for the healthcare sector for the CSSC.
Dr Peter Stiernstedt CPP CISM
Dr Peter Stiernstedt CPP CISMAdvisory Board Member
Peter Stiernstedt is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of West London. He holds a PhD in Criminology on the Perception of Corruption awarded by the University of Portsmouth. Previous academic achievements are a BSc in Physics from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, followed by an MSc in Security Management from the University of Portsmouth. Prior to the current academic career Peter was working as a consultant providing Strategic Solutions within the realms of risk, security and crisis. Peter is also an active member of ISACA, and ASIS International.
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyIAdvisory Board Member
In November 2000, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today (SMT) by The Builder Group having spent ten years in engineering journalism at the same company working across two titles – Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. Brian received the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Chairman’s Award for ‘Promoting The Security Industry’ in 2005 and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector’. In 2008, as Group Content Editor for UBM Live’s Security Portfolio, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize. Brian became Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in 2014 having spent the prior four years organising and chairing the conference programme for IFSEC International and project managing and hosting The Security Excellence Awards (having worked on the latter since 2001). In 2015, Brian was responsible for launching The Paper – a dedicated fortnightly business newspaper for the security and fire profession produced by Pro-Activ Publications. Brian joined Western Business Media as Editor of its dedicated security magazine Security Matters in April 2020. Brian is an Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute and a Member of the International Foundation of Protection Officers (UK).
Jayne King FSyI, ASMS, PgDip
Jayne King FSyI, ASMS, PgDipAdvisory Board Member
Jayne King joined the NHS in 1991 and has extensive NHS experience in managing Security Services. She is currently the Head of Security and Site Services at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London which is one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the UK.

She is Chair and Executive Director of the National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS)

Prior to her NHS career Jayne spent 9 years in the Royal Air Force assigned to both National and NATO Forces.

Chris Middleton CSyp Dip ML
Chris Middleton CSyp Dip MLAdvisory Board Member
Experienced, passionate and results driven senior leader with 17 years of proven and demonstrable experience in the FM sector, having held senior security & facilities management posts running UK wide contracts. The vast majority of my career has been spent working for large professional services firms and leading property agents within corporate real estate or retail sectors.

Having had great success working in recruitment for Michael Page, I wanted something with more career options and stability, following the birth of my first son when I 22.

So I started my career as a young security officer at Freshfields international law firm and went on to hold senior manager positions at Ernst & Young, Pricewaterhousecoopers, Deloitte, and Marsh & McLennan Companies. I am now a security director back with ABM providing strategic direction of our ever growing 74+ security contracts across the UK.

Chris has been admitted to the Register of Chartered Security Professionals.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens
Darren Chalmers-StevensAdvisory Board Member
Darren Chalmers-Stevens is a senior executive with proven success in business development, partner management and building world-class teams to accelerate growth for technology companies. As Managing Director, Darren is responsible for the end to end delivery of sales, operations, support and strategic partnerships in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Attracted by the company’s dynamic founders and innovative software which he believed would upend the industry and transform the lives of millions worldwide, Darren joined CriticalArc in 2013 to lead their international expansion.

Before joining CriticalArc, Darren served as Vice President, EMEA for VidSys, Inc where he led year-on-year triple digit growth for three years. Prior to that he was the Technology Development Lead for ADT Fire & Security, and he also held senior leadership positions at IBM and CNL Software during his 20+ years in the security industry.

Darren’s expertise is advising large organizations how to respond to the increasingly complex threat and risk landscape by using best-practice technology to deliver value to both security operations and corporate bottom lines. Darren regularly participates in speaking engagements at high profile security events across the globe.

Les Allan
Les AllanAdvisory Board Member
Les is one of the most experienced leaders in the security profession today. With 43-years of dedicated service in police, government and senior security roles he is an inspirational team leader and a persuasive advocate for investment in the sector. Currently serving as Director of SafeGuarding Services at Heriot-Watt University.

He has helped spread best practice across the wider university sector, speaking at conferences, contributing to professional journals and encouraging collaboration with government and law enforcement agencies.

Les acts as a mentor to those just beginning their careers and is actively investing in the next generation of professionals working to progress up the ladder. Les shares his time generously too, taking on committee roles in associations and participating in professional networks. This year Les will serve as the incoming Chair of the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO).

Abbey Petkar
Abbey PetkarAdvisory Board Member
Abbey Petkar joined the security industry while studying a post-graduate degree in operational management. He was working for one of the largest security companies in the country but was constantly frustrated by the lack of professionalism and transparency which seemed to permeate the industry. He decided that the industry could, and should, be far better than was being offered and set up his own security company over 26 years ago, to prove that achieving success in the security industry could be guaranteed by focusing first and foremost on customer service and professionalism. Today, Magenta Security is a multi award-winning company which is recognised not only as a leader in its field but by the wider business community.

Abbey goes to significant length to promote best practice within the industry, particularly in relation to corporate social responsibility and environmental issues. As a result, CSR has become an integral part of Magenta’s business strategy. Magenta was the first manned guarding company to achieve ISO 14001 with the British Standards Institute back in 2002 and since then has gone on to create a business founded on sustainability and ethical business practices that include extensive charitable programmes and outreach.

To maintain Magenta’s success and promote his vision for the industry Abbey is a vocal commentator on a host of industry issues and is regularly featured across the media.

Iskandar Jefferies CPP MSyI
Iskandar Jefferies CPP MSyIAdvisory Board Member
Iskandar is an accomplished security professional with experience of effectively managing security operations in complex, hostile & high-risk to fast paced corporate environments. His experience spans almost 20 years in the Security industry, starting as a security officer and working up to director level. Iskandar has a colourful background of experience from overseeing operations in Afghanistan as well as managing ex-British special forces (SAS/SBS) to organizations specialising in guard-force solutions. Iskandar has a unique lens on leadership, mentorship, coaching and support. Iskandar specialises in servicing Technology clients and has a proven track record gained from working closely with the globe’s top technology organizations.

Outside of his role with Pinkerton as a Regional Strategic Account Manager – EMEA Iskandar is a valued; Advisor to the Board of International Foundation for Protection Officer (IFPO) having previously held positions on the Board of Directors for ASIS UK: Director for Diversity Equity & Inclusion; Director of Young Professionals.
He attained his ASIS certified protection professional (CPP) in 2013, is a member of the UK security institute (MSyl) and is an active member within the UK security industry.

Iskandar was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in July of 2019.

Professor Mark Button
Professor Mark ButtonAdvisory Board Member
Mark Button is Director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Portsmouth. Mark has written extensively on counter fraud, cyber-fraud, security and private policing issues, publishing many articles, chapters and completing eight books. He has written 10
books, including Private Policing, published by Routledge; Security Officers and
Policing, published by Ashgate; and Private Security (with Bruce George), published by Perpetuity. He has written dozens of articles and chapters. Mark has also acted as a consultant for the United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime on developing international standards for Civilian Private Security Services, co-writing a UN handbook on regulation of private security; and the United Nations Development Programme/European Union on enhancing civilian oversight of the Turkish private security industry. Mark is also a Fellow of the Security Institute and a former board member. Before joining the University of Portsmouth he was a Research Assistant to the Rt Hon Bruce George MP specialising in policing, security and home affairs issues. Mark completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Exeter, his Masters at the University of Warwick Business School and his Doctorate at the London School of Economics.
Paul Kellett DSM PC; MSc; CPP® CPOI®; EMII-M; M.Sec.I.I
Paul Kellett DSM PC; MSc; CPP® CPOI®; EMII-M; M.Sec.I.I Advisory Board Member
A Peace Commissioner appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality in Ireland, Paul is a highly skilled and qualified professional with over 32 years front-line uniformed service, including 15 years of strategic management experience in a leadership role. He also has 14 years military experience, during which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) and the Spanish Cross of Naval Merit with White Distinction by the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, on behalf of the King of Spain. He holds a MSc in Emergency Management from Dublin City University (DCU).

• Current Secretary of ASIS Ireland (Chapter 216)
• Director, Board Member and Lecturer with the Security Institute of Ireland
• Board Member of the Emergency Management Institute of Ireland (EMII)
• IFPO Certified Protection Officer Instructor (CPOI®)

Garry Bergin PC MSc CSyP CPP® CPOI® FSyI F.ISRM M.Sec.I.I EMII-MAdvisory Board Member
A Peace Commissioner appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality in Ireland, Garry is a highly qualified and experienced security professional, with over two decades of security management experience across a variety of security industry sectors. He holds an MSc in Security Management and is currently studying towards a Professional Doctorate at the University of Portsmouth focussing on the development of training syllabuses for the security industry internationally. Garry currently works as a Commercial Manager and Security Consultant at Manguard Plus. He has extensive security operations management experience and has previously managed some of the largest multi-national security contracts in Ireland.
• Current Vice-Chair of ASIS Ireland (Chapter 216)
• Director, Board Member and Lecturer with the Security Institute of Ireland (Since 2011)
• Fellow of the Security Institute (FSyI)
• Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management (F.ISRM)
• Member of the SIA Expert Committee on Close Protection
• IFPO Certified Protection Officer Instructor (CPOI®)
Damien Mc Donough MSc. CPP CPOI
Damien Mc Donough MSc. CPP CPOIAdvisory Board Member
Damien is a highly qualified and experienced security professional with over 19 years’ experience across a variety of security operations. Both within the Military and the Private Sector and with direct experience of counter-terrorism, surveillance, close protection, HR, physical security auditing, business continuity management policy & process design, training, customer service. He has a vast experience working at the strategic level and advising within government departments.
He holds a MSc in Security and Risk Management from the University of Leicester, He also holds a PG Cert in Healthcare in Austere Environments, from the University of South Wales. He is a Registered Security Consultant and Trainer with the Security Institute of Ireland.
 Finbarr McCarthy Dip F.C. Psych, CPO, CSSM M.Sec.II,
Finbarr McCarthy Dip F.C. Psych, CPO, CSSM M.Sec.II, Advisory Board Member
Finbarr has spent over 25 years working within the private security industry, holding security leadership roles at US Fortune 500 companies for the past 18 years. With a personal mantra of “doing what’s right and not what’s easy” Finbarr specialises in developing dynamic and sustainable physical security programs across the globe. He has gained extensive experience in technical systems design, project management, policy development and risk identification and mitigation. Finbarr is a member of the Irish Security Institute, ASIS Chapter 216 and the Irish Institute of Training & Development.
Claire Humble
Claire HumbleAdvisory Board Member
Advancing to senior leadership level in Cleveland and New Zealand Police, Claire has transitioned over to the corporate world, co-founding a Safety & Security Consultancy, Learning and Development and SMART business, Nuology. As an accomplished transformational change agent, Claire has positively impacted many organisations’, culture, people, and processes, nationally and globally.
An engaging speaker who captivates multicultural audiences, presenting on topics that resonate with others, such as ‘Transformational Change within Security Sector’, she is frequently invited to attend webinars as a panel member. She holds a Master’s in International Security that complements her vast experience in security, risk and resilience. Advocating Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Claire sits on multiple ED&I working groups in renowned international security institutes.
Pat Finucane CPP CSSM CPO
Pat Finucane CPP CSSM CPOAdvisory Board Member
With over 28 years experience within the Private and Public security sector, Pat is an experienced security professional and transformation driver with a demonstrated history of physical security program design and execution across global markets. He was recently appointed Global Physical Security Operations Manager at Pinterest.
Prior to joining Pinterest, Pat has held senior leadership roles at Dropbox, Global Risk Solutions and the Irish Defence Forces. He has served on operational deployments to the Middle East, Africa and across the Balkans.

A keen advocate for Veteran affairs and continuing professional development, Pat is the Co-President of the Veterans Employee Resource Group at Pinterest, where he is actively involved in helping to encourage former service personnel transition from service and retrain to new careers in the tech sector.

Pat holds several postgraduate degrees from Dublin City University, University of Saint Andrews, National University Maynooth and Institute of Technology, Carlow. In addition to academic credentials, he holds IFPO CPO, CSSM certifications and ASIS CPP certification.

Baroness Harris of Richmond DL
Baroness Harris of Richmond DLAdvisory Board Member
Baroness Harris was born in Lancashire in 1944, the daughter of an Anglican clergyman. She attended what is now the University of West London then became an air stewardess before marrying and having a son.

She divorced, then re-married and moved to North Yorkshire where she quickly became a Town Councillor, then District Councillor and finally a County Councillor. She was Mayor of her Town, Chair of her District and was the first woman to chair her County Council.

She joined the Police Authority of NYCC in 1981 and in 1994 became chair and also deputy chair of the Association of Police Authorities until 2001. She was a Magistrate for 16 years and chaired an Advisory Board.

She became a member of the House of Lords in 1999 taking on the Policing brief for her Party (the Liberal Democrats). She was also a front-bench spokesperson on Northern Ireland – concentrating on policing issues.

She is President of the Police Treatment Centres, High Steward of Ripon Cathedral, Companion of the RAF Regiment SODC and member of the RAF Regiment Association also patron of a number of other charities.

Ally Leonard
Ally Leonard
Ally has been in the private security industry for coming into 18 years and has worked her way from the bottom up. Training and education are very close to her having completed many safety and security courses including a post grad with Loughborough in Security & Risk Management and have written bespoke courses for clients which have subsequently been accredited on the OfQual framework. Integrating risk management into security operations – Ally is very policy driven ensuring that in all fronts the paperwork is in line with current (and up and coming) regulations and best practices. Ally also volunteers time across 2 police services in non-frontline roles.

In February 2021, Ally was voted “Security Manager of the Year” for 2020 in the Women in Security Awards.

Committed to the support and professional development of protection officers and supervisors