Becoming A Security Guard
Security guards work to ensure the safety of customers, employees, and visitors on business premises, as well as protecting property from disorderly behaviour, suspicious incidents, or theft. They do more than just maintain order; they provide a sense of calm and comfort to those on the property.
If a career in security interests you, in this article we’ll discuss the steps to take to become a security guard, the key skills you’ll need and the opportunities that could be available to you.
Licence and Eligibility
To work legally as a security guard you need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. Before you apply for the licence, you need to do the following:
- You must be 18 or over
- You must take an approved SIA training qualification, such as our BIIAB-approved SG Course. Depending on the course this can take up to 6 days.
- Apply for an SIA licence which can take up to 4 weeks to arrive.
The SIA course arms you with the knowledge and skills required to work as a security guard and confirms to potential employers you can do the job safely.
For more details of our 4-day course contact us by email or phone
An SIA licence lasts 3 years but can be renewed by completing and passing a 1-day top-up course. This can be done up to 4 months before the renewal date. (link)
You Have The Licence – Now What?
Security guards are highly sought-after professionals, with work available in a range of non-licensed establishments including retail and corporate environments:
- Static Security Guard – Usually responsible for one place at an assigned location. This could be at an entry point of a building or guarding valuable equipment like machinery on a construction site.
- Event Security Guard – Vital in maintaining crowds at large venues, event security guards ensure the safety of attendees, and that health and safety regulations are being followed.
- Retail Security Guard – Hired to monitor any retail stores or locations, whilst also preventing theft and odd activity.
- Corporate Security Guard – Responsible for the safety and security of specific commercial properties such as banks and all those who use them.
It’s important to note that security guards are not permitted to work in places that allow the consumption of alcohol. There are also limitations on the use of CCTV by regular security personnel. While they are allowed to use CCTV to identify trespassers and defend property, they are not allowed to use it to monitor public activities or identify a specific person. (a public space surveillance CCTV licence is required)
One of the top aspects of a career within the security industry is the opportunity to find something that works for you and your nature.
For instance, if you’re someone who loves helping and protecting people, you could be best suited to working as a corporate security guard placed at the front and centre of a building. You’ll be interacting with people, greeting, and screening them to ensure that everyone entering the building is supposed to be there.
If, however, this is not quite your cup of tea, you might consider a night shift, which might include patrolling the site you’re protecting and guarding against threats to property, such as theft or vandalism.
Key Skills You’ll Need
You may think anyone can take on a job as a security guard, however, there is a huge range of skills necessary to be successful:
Communication skills: as is the case for many jobs, the need for precise and clear communication is vital to this industry. It will be your job to follow briefs and communicate orders. This becomes pivotal when working with a large crowd.
Quick thinking: The need for security guards to use quick thinking is imperative. Being a fast thinker to stop problems before a situation gets out of control is a handy skill to have.
Adaptability: Aside from being able to adapt depending on the venue or event you’re working at; you need to be able to adapt to a variety of different conditions and demands to successfully perform your job.
A conscious effort to continue learning: With technology constantly changing and protocols and procedures being updated, being comfortable with learning new things will keep you ahead of the game. Our SIA top-up courses are useful for helping with this. (link)
The World Is Your Oyster
The security industry is more in-depth than it first looks on the surface and can be a great stepping stone to many opportunities. You can find yourself in the field of law, door supervising, and public safety. With a few years of experience, a more seasoned professional can branch out into other careers.