Tracey Kavanagh

Tracey Kavanagh has worked on an impressive range of projects since she joined ISS in 2017. At that time, she reported into the ISS Security Managing Director as Centre of Excellence Support Manager and PA. And in those early years, she spent time working on various tender opportunities with a number of high-profile UK and international companies

Peolple - Tracy Kavanagh - ISS World copy

As part of her role, Tracey was also given the opportunity to work with the Operations Director to support the growing operational needs. In her own words, she was “dragged into operations”. And she has been there ever since, working on high-profile programmes like mobilising the City of London account.

“I’m a jack of all trades, really,” she says. “I meet the clients. I spend time on the site. I am the point of call for the colleagues who are involved in Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment). Every project needs to be properly managed to be a success. And, to me, that means handling anything that’s thrown at me.”

With this proven track record, today Tracey runs ISS’s business critical process to ensure that colleagues have the appropriate accreditation to fulfil their security commitments to each client. It is a job that requires dedication and she is under no illusions about how important it is.

Security teams are the unsung heroes of ISS

Tracey Kavanagh, Project Coordinator

“Whether we’re talking about security guards or door supervisors, our colleagues are keeping our clients safe. It’s only right we provide them with the tools and the training to do the job.”

Since she started working for ISS, Tracey has been nominated for two awards: ‘Going the Extra Mile’ for providing an outstanding service while completing the City of London mobilisation in 2019; and for her involvement with the SIA, upskilling security officers with their first aid courses and security guard/door supervisor and CCTV training courses.

While it has been varied, Tracey’s career with ISS hasn’t all been plain sailing. “My lowest point within ISS was being put on furlough for two months,” she explains. “It had a big impact on my confidence and took a toll on my mental health, as I felt I didn’t belong. I took it very personally.”

But, being on furlough strengthened Tracey’s resolve. “Upon my return to work the experience made me more determined to enhance my career progression within the company.”


Taking on an apprenticeship

Training is a subject close to Tracey’s heart. “I think it’s important that ISS is upskilling the people it already has,” she says. “That’s what stops good people getting frustrated and leaving.”

This September, she will begin a two-year remote learning apprenticeship in account project management—a nationally recognised qualification.

This process started with her annual appraisal with her manager, David Cookman. Tracey was keen for further development opportunities that suited her talent for problem-solving, people management and mobilisation.

“Upon speaking to various Directors within my division, Robert Wilson informed me that that ISS was organising an apprenticeship for Association for Project Management, and I should apply,” Tracey says.

“At first was apprehensive, because when I met the people remotely on a Teams call who were likely to be my course mates, I noticed I was the only woman on the call, and many of them were in more senior roles.”

She admits that she was also concerned about taking on the entrance tests. “But it turns out I passed them easily enough—and that’s given me the confidence to push on.”

In the short term, Tracey is focused on making the course work alongside her day job. But she still has her eye on the future: “Development is going to be a journey, for me and for the company. It’s great that ISS is making this investment in its people and I’m glad to be one of those who benefit.”

She believes the apprenticeship will be valuable to her in her current role – but she also hopes it will help her develop the ability to support and deliver much bigger projects that are crucial for business.

“I’m proud to be taking up this opportunity,” she says. “And I hope that my experiences encourage more colleagues—especially more women—to pursue further qualifications as they advance their careers. If I can do it, they can do it!”