Protective Security Planning & Policy



Interoperability – Whats its all about?

How can understanding interoperability assist the Private Sector?

Do you know what joint system the UK Emergency Services use to respond to Terrorist and Hybrid Threats?

If organisations understand the emergency services principles on interoperability, they will be better prepared to assist and plan accordingly. Ultimately assisting an organisation to deliver effective protective security plans to mitigate terrorist & hybrid threats.

Interoperability is not a common term you hear within the UK Private Sector.  What’s it all about and how can the UK private sector use it to increase resilience by understanding how it works?


Emergency Services

Lets take a look at whats involved.

For responses that require interoperability with all three services, they use an overarching system called JESIP, (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles).

The key principles of JESIP are as follows: (The following information is from the JESIP website.

JESIP promotes the adoption of a common model for joint working during emergencies. This model is based on the Joint Decision Model (JDM), which provides a shared approach for responders to understand the situation, assess risks, and make decisions collaboratively.


Shared Situational Awareness. Emergency services are encouraged to share information and data to develop a unified understanding of the incident’s scale, scope, and risks. This shared situational awareness enables all responders to work from a common operating picture.

Co-Locate. There are many benefits of co-location, such as improved communication and understanding that support joint working. With the use of technology, co-location can be virtual; this may be particularly beneficial for incidents that involve a regional or national response or are protracted.

Communicate. Meaningful and effective communication between responders and responder organisations underpins effective joint working. Communication links start from the time of the first call or contact, instigating communication between control rooms as soon as possible to start the process of sharing information.

 Co-ordinate. Co-ordination involves control rooms and responders of all levels, be they on scene or at a Tactical or Strategic Co-ordinating Group, discussing the available resources and activities of each responder organisation, agreeing priorities and making joint decisions throughout the incident. Co-ordination underpins joint working by avoiding potential conflicts, preventing duplication of effort and minimising risk.

Shared Understanding of Risk. JESIP promotes the sharing of risk assessments between services. This shared understanding helps prioritise actions and resources effectively based on the identified risks.

The aim is a unified approach to incident management, enabling responders from different services to seamlessly integrate their efforts and work as a cohesive team.


Local Government Agencies

Another added element to the Emergency Services JESIP approach, is the requirement for Local Government Agency support.  That adds another factor to the issues of joint operations, as they also have their own management systems that can slow down the process of response.

LA’s are expected to switch seamlessly to the JESIP approach during their support.


Private Sector Organisations

Irrespective of past events questioning the delivery of the JESIP principles, the emergency services interoperability approach will be used for the foreseeable future. keeping that in mind, the private sector should understand their interoperability principles and develop knowledge and understanding of how the emergency services respond and what controls their decisions.

Without this understanding, private sector leaders can inadvertently hinder an effective response, posing a significant obstacle to the goals of the emergency services.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the mindset and operational procedures of emergency services, organisations can benefit significantly when faced with challenging circumstances. Ultimately enhancing their overall crisis management capabilities.

Do you want to know more on how to apply interoperability?

Further Reading

Our Premium Resource Vault offers a comprehensive bank of security knowledge, providing cutting-edge insights and a wealth of information to elevate your understanding of protective security systems for Terrorism & Hybrid Threat Risk Management solutions.

The Interoperability Premium Resource is part of Mildot’s Mind-Set series of short read articles.

Within this vault, you’ll gain access to a wide range of specialised resources for security professionals, risk managers, and decision-makers in the private sector.


Back to Free Content & Improve Your Knowledge

Tony Gledhill, a seasoned protective security consultant and founder of Mildot Group, with extensive international experience of applying interoperability approaches. Tony has designed and executed security strategies for leading energy and construction organisations operating in high-risk and complex environments.

His private sector expertise extends to training international government protection teams responsible for VIPs and critical assets, plus thousands of armed & unarmed private security guards. Leveraging over 16 years in the private sector after a distinguished 22-year military career, he brings a wealth of real-world knowledge.

Armed with real world operational insight, he knows what can be achieved with reasonable and practicable security solutions.