How To Become A Security Guard

Anyone who is looking to work as a professional security guard in the UK needs to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Individuals who do not hold an appropriate SIA licence are not legally allowed to work as a security officer/operative in any capacity.

Fortunately, obtaining an SIA licence is a relatively straightforward process these days. All a candidate needs to do is complete a SIA training course with an approved training provider then apply for their licence and pay a fee (currently £220, renewable every three years). As long as a candidate meets all the licensing requirements in the interim, they will receive their SIA badge within a few weeks and be able to say, with distinct degree of pride, that they are a fully qualified professional security guard.

Finding a suitable training provider

As with many other things these days, looking online is the often the best option when it comes to searching for suitable security training courses. Looking through forums, reading reviews and scanning testimonials will provide a candidate with a good idea of who is leading the pack and who its best to avoid.

The training

Once an individual is happy with their choice of security training provider and arranges a time and date to attend a course, they will be taken through at least 27 hours of study. During this time, candidates will learn all they need to know about becoming a security guard by covering three main topic areas:

● Working in the private security industry

● Working as a security guard

● Conflict management for the private security industry

At the end of the course candidates must sit an exam. If they pass this then they will be eligible to apply for their SIA licence. This is done by either requesting an application pack from the SIA direct or by filling out an online application and taking in some relevant documents to the Post Office. The licensing period generally lasts a few weeks from application to receiving the SIA licence in the post. Once an individual’s licence comes through they can look seriously into getting their feet on the first rung of the security industry career ladder.

Fulfilling the role

The chief role of a professional security guard is to protect a designated property and the people within it from criminal damage and/or injury. In addition, security guards are often tasked with performing ‘loose’ forms of surveillance as well (e.g. monitoring shoppers in a retail environment). As well as being suitably qualified, individuals working in this industry need to have certain personal characteristics in order to fulfil their roles effectively. Security guards must be able to remain calm and make make good decisions in potentially very stressful situations i.e. emergencies. It is natural for members of the public to turn to uniformed individuals in times of crisis so it is vital that people looking to make a career in this industry are made of the ‘right stuff’.

Kevin Kholi

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