March 27, 2019

The GCHQ Certified Training scheme provides a benchmark for the UK’s cyber security awareness training by assuring the quality of both content and its delivery.


Yes, that’s right – this means that the UK’s secret service has continued to endorse The Defence Works’ security awareness training, as The Defence Works recently passed their surveillance with flying colours.  So, if that counts for nothing in your book, what possibly could? It’s proper 007 stuff!

GCHQ recently turned 100-years-old, having been founded just after WWI in 1919. It continues to defend the UK from all manner of threats, online and otherwise, ranging from counter-terrorism and organised crime to cyber security and intelligence gathering And, by working with The Defence Works, your employees can sit firmly alongside James Bond himself, helping to combat cyber-security from the comfort of their office chair.


What is GCHQ-accreditation?

For those of you who don’t know, GCHQ accreditation is given when the GCHQ (the Governments Communications Headquarters) formally gives the thumbs-up for the security training in question, via an independent assessor – it’s an official scheme to provide a benchmark for cyber security training, by assuring the quality of both content and its delivery.

It’s a seal of approval that marks The Defence Works out a market leader providing security awareness training to UK businesses.


What does accreditation involve?

The accreditation process is robust and demanding, but provides you with assurance as to high quality cyber security training courses delivered by experienced training providers.

  • Content Assessment

As part of the accreditation process, The Defence Works voluntarily submits our security awareness training materials for a thorough and independent audit, against a strict assessment criteria written by GCHQ, which is based on the IISP Skills Framework – and forms part of the National Cyber Security Programme.  This helps to ensure the content is not only accurate, but as cyber-crime evolves so quickly, helps ensure that the our security awareness training is accurate and right up to date.

  • Delivery Review

The delivery of the training can be just as crucial as the content itself, so our online delivery style has been assessed, analysed and tested to make sure it meets consistently high standards.

  • Training Provider’s Technical Knowledge

It’s important that your training provider knows what they’re talking about.  That’s why, as part of the accreditation process, our team have had their knowledge prodded, poked and tested by the best in the industry.  Trusted training, by a trusted provider, accredited by the UK’s government communication headquarters? What’s not to like?

  • Quality Management Processes

Not only have we had our content, delivery and our knowledge tested, independently, but we’ve also had our quality management systems reviewed to ensure we manage your organisation’s data – and your employees’ personal data – in a secure, efficient and effective way.

The Defence Works’ MD, Eddie Whittingham, explains more:

“It’s something that we sought out to do voluntarily  – at our own time and expense – and is evidence of our passion for what we do. 

Accreditation requires that we submit all of our learning content through an independent assessment process on a yearly basis. So, that means that, in addition to our team’s expert knowledge, the training benefits from being reviewed but independent assessors who are some of the UK’s leading specialists in cyber and data security.  All of our training materials are held up and rigorously assessed against the strict exacting standards that GCHQ has developed.

As well as our training modules themselves going through that independent accreditation, it also means that we have our quality management system reviewed regularly, providing assurances to our clients that we have structure in place through which our training content is regularly updated in line with emerging cyber risks and that we’re dealing with their data appropriately”.

You can find The Defence Works on the list of approved courses here.


Why does The Defence Works push for this accreditation?

We do it because we care!  You can read more about our accreditation, here.

We want you to trust the training we give, and what better way to put your mind at ease than getting the people who cracked the enigma code to give us the official government seal of approval? That way, you know that our training has been independently tried and tested by one of the highest authorities in the land.

In our goal to make employees your strongest defence, up to date training is key. Ensuring that the content doesn’t get a chance to stagnate means that we keep up with the constantly evolving world of cyber security.

This is important because it sets a benchmark for both us and our competitors that people we train must get the most up-to-date information and be set against a proven framework. If your current training provider has not submitted their resources for independent assessment or working against a set framework – or your employees are regularly repeating the same training – there is a danger that the service is not in keeping with modern cyber risks..

Whittingham said why we pushed for the accreditation:

“I think it’s really important to have the accreditation because it demonstrates our commitment to improving what we do.

First of all, it gives our clients, and prospective clients, a benchmark as to what they should expect from security awareness training and the fact that it is built to a trusted, official, framework means users receive appropriate, accurate and evidence-led learning.

As well as it being a benchmark, it also sets a responsibility on us as an organisation to keep improving our content as much as we physically can.

It’s a financial commitment, it’s a time commitment, but it’s ultimately a commitment to our clients and prospective clients that we will make the very best, most worthwhile, security awareness training available in the market.”


A summary: Why is accreditation so important?

  • With businesses more connected than ever, and the everyday risks continuing to grow, there’s never been a better time to invest in cyber-security training.
  • The ultimate in independent assessment, GCHQ certification means you can cut through the noise when searching for your security needs online.
  • GCHQ has developed exacting standards against which courses are put to the test, designed to assure the highest standards of cyber-security training delivered by experienced and highly qualified providers.
  • Every single security awareness module and interactive employee training programme we offer is certified by GCHQ. Linked to the IISP Information Security Skills Framework, and part of National Cyber Security Training Programme, it’s officially the best out there.


Want to learn more about how our award-winning, GCHQ-certified UK security awareness training can help your organisation reduce your cyber and data risks?  Simply sign up for a free demo and start securing your organisation, today.

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