Understanding the Importance of Security Guards
Security guards play a vital role in maintaining the safety and security of properties, assets, and individuals. The understanding of their importance isn’t just about surveillance or crowd control, it encompasses risk assessment, prevention, and emergency response.
Their presence often serves as a deterrent to criminal activities or behavioural issues, while their keen observation and communication skills enable them to detect and respond to suspicious activities. A grasp of legal and ethical guidelines, paired with appropriate training, fortifies the effectiveness of security guards in providing protection and instilling a sense of safety within a community.
Defining the Role and Scope of a Security Guard
Their responsibilities include monitoring surveillance equipment, inspecting buildings, and permitting or denying entry to individuals. Security guards play a vital role in maintaining order by following strict protocols and working closely with emergency services and law enforcement agencies when necessary.
Their functions extend to crowd control at events and conducting routine checks to ensure safety standards are met. The scope of a security guard’s role may vary depending on the employer’s needs and the specific environment in which they operate, from commercial spaces to residential properties.
Types of Security Guards: Unarmed, Armed
A. Unarmed Security Guard:
An unarmed security officer personally guards, patrols or watches another person’s property. They do this without a guard dog or weapon.
- in-house security (someone who guards, patrols or watches their employer’s property)
- a loss prevention officer
- a security gate officer.
B. Armed Security Guard:
Armed Security Guards are often tasked with the safeguarding of cash during transit, a critical job that involves ensuring the secure transportation of money between locations. This can include escorting cash between banks, ATMs, or commercial businesses, often requiring constant vigilance which requires specialised training.
Additionally, they may provide close personal protection to individuals, such as executives or celebrities. This work involves detailed planning, risk assessment, and a high level of personal integrity and professionalism to guarantee the safety of the individual in various settings.
Essential Qualities of a Security Guard
1. Physical Fitness and Health Requirements
Physical fitness and health requirements are definitely a requirement for a role of a Security Guard as they enable a guard to perform necessary physical tasks, such as patrolling and possibly apprehending suspects.
A guard’s ability to respond quickly and efficiently during a crisis often depends on their physical condition. Proper training and adherence to fitness standards ensure that role of a security guard is equipped to face various challenges and contribute positively to the overall safety and security of the premises.
2. Critical Thinking and Decision-Making Skills
In a crisis or unexpected situation, a guard must assess the situation quickly and make an immediate decision. Critical thinking enables the guard to analyse a problem, identify underlying causes, and choose the best course of action.
Decision-making skills allow for the swift implementation of those decisions, ensuring that potential threats are neutralised. These skills are indispensable in maintaining safety and security, showing why they are paramount in the training and development of security professionals.
3. Communication and Interpersonal Abilities
The essential qualities of a security guard extend beyond just physical strength and vigilance. Among these qualities, communication and interpersonal abilities stand out as vital. Security guards often find themselves in situations where they must interact with people from various walks of life, be it company employees, visitors, or law enforcement officials.
Effective communication ensures that instructions and information are conveyed clearly, concisely and without misunderstandings. Interpersonal abilities enable security guards to handle situations diplomatically and with empathy, building trust with those they interact with. Together, these skills contribute to a more effective and approachable security presence, fostering an environment of safety and cooperation.
4. Legal Knowledge and Ethical Behaviour
Legal knowledge enables a guard to act within the boundaries of the law and relevant Acts and Legislation, ensuring that they protect property and individuals without violating legal rights.
Ethical behaviour ensures that a guard’s actions are guided by a moral compass, fostering trust and respect among those they serve. Together, legal knowledge and ethical behaviour form a foundational aspect of professional conduct, promoting a secure environment while upholding societal values.
Security Guard Training and Certification
A. State and Industry Regulations for Security Guard Training
Security guard training and certification in Australia are governed by stringent regulations to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and safety. Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) must also follow State and industry regulations which are vital in maintaining uniformity and consistency in the training process that leads to licencing.
The RTO’s responsibility is to ensure that every individual entering the field is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties responsibly. The adherence to these regulations not only enhances the credibility of security professionals but also instils trust in the community, making certain that security personnel can effectively respond to various situations while upholding the law.
B. Basic Training Components: Guarding Techniques, Emergency Response, etc.
The basic training components, such as guarding techniques and emergency response, equip the security personnel with the necessary skills to protect properties and individuals. These core elements foster a well-rounded understanding of the responsibilities and enable the guards to respond efficiently to various situations.
Compliance with industry standards ensures that every guard can provide quality service with integrity, aligning with the best practices in Queensland. This fundamental training promotes a competent workforce, prepared to handle the complexities of modern security challenges.
C. Obtaining and Maintaining Certification
Queensland laws necessitate security personnel to undergo a strict training program and obtain certification. Five Star Training Academy, a reputable registered training organisation, offers a comprehensive Certificate II in Security Operations course that ensures individuals receive the knowledge and practical skills essential for the profession.
Maintaining certification every 3 years through Five Star Training Academy guarantees that security guards adhere to industry standards and legal requirements, enhancing trust and reliability in the services they provide.
Challenges and Risks in the Security Guard Role
- Dealing with Confrontations and Difficult Individuals
One of the key aspects of this job is dealing with confrontations and difficult individuals. Handling these situations requires a blend of common sense and adept communication. An irate or hostile individual can quickly escalate a situation, so the security guard must remain calm, use reasoned judgement, and employ clear communication to diffuse tension.
By balancing firmness with empathy, the security guard can maintain control without exacerbating the situation, prioritising safety, and ensuring that all parties involved are treated with respect and dignity.
- Managing Stress and Mental Health in High-Stress Environments
Security guards often face high-pressure situations that require quick thinking and decision-making. The challenges in this role include dealing with potentially hostile situations, long hours, and unpredictable circumstances. Risks may involve physical harm or psychological stress. Managing stress and mental health is of utmost importance in this high-stress environment.
Without proper care, chronic stress can lead to burnout, affecting both the individual’s well-being and their ability to perform their job efficiently. Proper training, support, and self-care strategies are essential for maintaining mental health and overall effectiveness in the security guard role.
- Recognising and Addressing Potential Security Threats
Security guards must be constantly vigilant to detect and respond to threats, ranging from theft to physical violence. This requires a sharp eye for suspicious behaviour and a solid understanding of security protocols.
Recognising and addressing potential security threats is essential as it not only protects property but also ensures the safety of individuals within the premises. Failing to identify threats can lead to substantial financial losses and personal harm. Therefore, ongoing training and awareness are vital for security guards to be effective in their role.
Career Progression and Advancement Opportunities
- Advancing from Entry-Level Guard to Supervisor or Manager
Starting as an entry-level guard, individuals with dedication and hard work have the potential to climb the ranks within the security industry companies. By acquiring new skills, certifications, and taking on additional responsibilities, one can advance to higher-level positions.
Pursuing training courses and gaining experience can open doors to supervisory or managerial roles. Regular assessment, mentoring, and seeking opportunities for growth often leads to successful advancement. The security industry values loyalty, commitment, and proactive engagement, and for those willing to invest in their career, the path to leadership positions can be rewarding and fulfilling.
- Specialising in Specific Industries or Security Areas
The security industry offers diverse career paths, enabling individuals to find their niche and grow professionally. Specialisations like cash in transit positions require expertise in logistics and handling valuable items securely.
Close personal protection roles necessitate an understanding of threat assessment and interpersonal skills to guard VIPs. For animal lovers, becoming a dog handler offers an opportunity to work closely with trained canines in various security settings.
Each of these specialisations offers opportunities for advancement, allowing for continuous professional development and alignment with individual interests and skills within the broad field of security.
- Pursuing Further Education in Security and Law Enforcement
Individuals who embark on a career in this field often begin with foundational roles in physical security. From there, they may pursue further education in specialised areas, such as cybersecurity, private investigation, or law enforcement. This continued education can be facilitated through certificate qualifications and other training programs.
The newly acquired skills and certifications can act as a stepping stone, allowing individuals to move into more advanced roles within the security industry or transition into related fields. The multifaceted nature of the security industry ensures that there are various paths available for those who are motivated and committed to their professional development.
Q1. How to Become a Security Guard?
On completion of the CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations course, you will be eligible to apply for a security licence to the Queensland Office of Fair Trading with the following endorsements:
- Unarmed Guard
- Crowd Controller
Please note a separate licence fee is payable to the Office of Fair Trading for your security licence. The cost of the licence is not included in your training fee.
Q2. What if I am not eligible for Government Funding?
We understand that it can be difficult for individuals that have to pay the full fee. Please Contact us we can advise you of the payment options.
Q3. Can I Carry Weapons as a Security Guard?
Upon attaining your Security Licence, you can undertake further training and then you can apply to QLD Police Weapons Licencing for a Security Licence (Guard) – Employee (Cat C, E & H). This licence allows you to possess a weapon for performing security guard duties, while employed by a licensed security organisation. This licence does not authorise you to acquire firearms – you will need an approved permit to acquire, in order to acquire a weapon.
See the following link for further information.
Q4. What Are the Work Hours of a Security Guard?
Hours can vary from company to company and will depend on the type of work you are undertaking. Flexibility, adaptability, and understanding of the specific requirements of the role are often key attributes for professionals in this field. It is important for potential security guards to consider these factors and communicate clearly with their employer to understand the expected work hours and related responsibilities.