Case Study

Vertical Structure

See how our range of experienced training consultants helped Vertical Structure’s strategic goal of becoming an NCSC approved CHECK testing company.


Simon Whittaker, CEO of Vertical Structure, an independent Cyber Security Consultancy based in Northern Ireland has a strategic goal of becoming an NCSC approved CHECK testing company.  To do this the penetration testing team needed to gain the necessary qualifications. After reaching out to multiple training companies, Simon chose to engage North Green Security to train his team due to the friendly, knowledgeable, and honest approach of our team.  Thanks to our Pentesting Practitioner training course, 90% of Vertical Structure testers were able to obtain a Cyber Scheme Team Member qualification.

Upskilling the team and getting certified

Vertical Structure are a cyber security consultancy specialising in cloud, web, and mobile security.  With over 16 years experience, and a “human-first” approach to security, their team has a fantastic range of experience and skills that enable them to provide their clients with appropriate and practical security advice.

The challenge of building their CHECK team

To demonstrate the calibre of their consultants and work toward CHECK accreditation, Vertical Structure identified the need to obtain CSTM (Cyber Scheme Team Member) certification and sought out an effective training company that could help them achieve this goal.

“By having a workshop, it meant it can be tailored to the topic you feel you need help on, rather than a full course whereby some of the topics are already well known and understood”

Why they chose North Green

While searching the internet for potential training companies; North Green Security, along with two others were identified.  After reaching out, Simon determined that North Green had the best fit with their ethos of teaching, and was impressed with the eagerness of our trainers to understand what the goals were to make sure we could provide value.

“Charles was without question the best, most friendly and brilliant of anyone that we spoke to”

The response

North Green were delighted to work with Vertical Structure and due to the number of consultants that were to undertake the training, we suggested it be held in Vertical Structure’s office so as to reduce the cost and scheduling complexity.

We delivered our Pentesting Practitioner training course to ensure that all consultants had a firm grounding in infrastructure testing, web testing, UK cyber law and key cyber security concepts.  This put them in the best position to attempt certification.

The feedback from this training has been great, and multiple members of the team are still in touch with their trainer, Charles Bain.

“We have all remained in close contact with Charles and all at North Green Security as both colleagues and trainers and are looking forward to other members of the team getting through additional and higher level certifications with Charles.”

Exam pass rate

North Green Provided the Pentesting Practitioner training course in April of 2022.  Within four months, 100% of the team had obtained CSTM certification, with 90% passing on the first attempt.


The overall result

Within four months of the training course being completed, Simon had achieved his goal.  All consultants who undertook the course had obtained CSTM certification.  As such, this was the first step towards building their CHECK testing capability.

“The training with North Green Security was instrumental in helping us to understand the requirements and path to certification. Charles and his methods of training & coaching were immensely positive, interesting and ensured that everyone was able to join in and achieve brilliant things.”

Get in touch

If you want to hear about how we can work with your team to increase their technical capability and provide them with 1-to-1 workshops, get in touch now at