Stephen Porter, Regional Tutor Delivery Manager – North, BSI, tells us his resettlement story…

Returning to civilian life following service in the armed forces can be daunting and stressful. Not only do veterans have to reconnect with their family and adjust to a new structure, they may have to prepare themselves to set up home in a new area, return to a job or potentially re-skill in order to adapt to a new role.

For a lot of people it may feel like starting again. It’s important not to panic – around 20,000 people leave the British armed forces each year and according to the MOD, 96% find a job within six months.*

I spent 23 years in the Royal Navy before joining the team at BSI (British Standards Institution), starting off as a Weapon Engineering Mechanic and then progressing to a Communications Technician. I understand the challenges that veterans face when leaving – the moment when you walk out of the gate with your civilian possessions and start the next chapter of your life can be overwhelming and a bit worrying.

It’s worth thinking about your next steps before you leave so that you’re well prepared. For example, do you need any additional qualifications to help you move on? What skills have you learnt that could be transferred to a new role? What job roles might you be interested in applying for? What training might be available to support you? Don’t overlook the experience you’ve gathered during your time there – an ability to work under pressure, strong communication skills, flexibility, adaptability and a proven team player are all qualities that a future employer will look for.

Prior to leaving the service, I chose to complete the ISO/IEC Lead Auditor course to support my next move. The ISO 27001 Lead Auditor training course is a highly-regarded qualification for anyone leaving the armed forces who currently works in Information Security and wishes to continue to do so on transition to civilian occupation, as I did.

The training consists of a combination of tutor lectures, individual assignments and group activities. It covers how an audit is to be conducted from initiation right through to formal reporting and subsequent follow up action. It isn’t just a knowledge-based course, the delegates carry out audits of existing Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) documentation as well as conduct audit interviews in a stress-free environment.

I now design, deliver and evaluate Information Security training at BSI. Information security is becoming increasingly important for organizations in today’s environment and one of the most rewarding parts of my job is speaking to our customers face-to-face and being able to understand their challenges. The number of risks around information security are evolving as new technologies are introduced, therefore part of my role is ensuring that organizations adopt information security-minded practices to allow stakeholders to gather, store, access and use information securely and effectively.

BSI has been working with those facing resettlement for several years by understanding the needs and challenges of individuals and ensuring that those leaving Service make the most of their ELC (Enhanced Learning Credits) entitlement to prepare for the future. Generally speaking, most Armed Forces personnel can apply for funding after registering to join the scheme.

As well as Information Security, we offer a wide range of business auditing courses from Quality Management through to Health and Safety to help ex-military develop the necessary skills and competencies to transition.

Don’t just take my word for it – for more information about which course is suitable for you, please contact our ELCAS training specialist on 01908 814887.