You will find information all over the Hub on how to become a security guard. The type of SIA Training course you have to take, what’s on the course, and how to sign up to it. Even where to find the jobs after you have qualified.
However, as this information is given through different articles and sections of the site, we thought it would be a good idea to try to round up some of the more vital info into one place.
This is that place.
The Roles of a Security Guard
So what exactly does the average security guard do? We all have an idea, but it strict terms the following is what the SIA states as the job description for Security or Manned guarding:
- Guarding premises against unauthorised access or occupation, against outbreaks of disorder or against damage;
- Guarding property against destruction or damage, against being stolen or against being otherwise dishonestly taken or obtained;
- Guarding one or more individuals against assault or against injuries that might be suffered in consequence of the unlawful conduct of others.
As you will already be aware, and maybe it’s the reason you are on this site in the first place, the basic role of the security guard is to protect property and the people within it, from criminal damage and/or injury.
Part of the role can also be to provide surveillance. The most notable example is a security guard within shops. Here they are monitoring people for criminal behaviour, (ie shoplifting).
If you are interested in becoming a security guard, you will need to be able to remain calm and maintain a clear head and composure in what might be stressful situations.
You may find yourself in the middle of an emergency, such as a building fire and in the event everyone needs to evacuate, they will turn to you for guidance. You will need to be able to offer help and give instruction on the best possible way to avoid any danger.
The role of the security guard is seen as one of the first steps on the career ladder within the security industry, however that is not to down play the level of responsibility the position will often carry.
So you’ve read the job description and you are interested in becoming a security guard.
What are the next steps?
Firstly, to work as a professional Security Guard in the UK you have to first be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
If you work as a security guard without this licence, you are in fact breaking the law. (And so will your employer!)
Gaining Your SIA Licence
An important first step is to check your eligibility to obtain an SIA licence. Not everyone can have one.
All too often people fail to check their eligibility. Upon passing the course, (remember, the training provider will not conduct eligibility tests on your behalf), applicants have been declined the SIA licence due to failing the failed criminal record check.
If this happens, you lose both the application fee and the expense and time you have spent on passing the course.
The best and surest way of checking your eligibility to become licensed as a security guard is to use the SIA Criminal Record Indicator.
Also, you should consider the following:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You must be eligible to work in the UK
- Long working hours (a typical security guard shift is 12 hours)
- Can be a very lonely job
- Pay can vary between minimum wage and £15 per hour (although most Security Guarding jobs pay at the lower end of this scale)
- Need a reasonable level of fitness
Searching For a Training Provider
If you pass the above requirements, obtaining your licence is very easy these days. There are hundreds of SIA recognised training course providers all over the UK. (Search for a SIA Course here).
You should always do your research when choosing an SIA training provider. Make sure they are recognised by the SIA for a start.
Do not succumb to choosing the first, cheapest training provider you come across that happens to be in your area. While this may seem convenient to begin with, it won’t be if the training is not up to scratch.
Traveling that little bit further can make all the difference in the aim of finding the right provider for you. You need to be confident in your training, as this is the foundation of your new career.
Online reviews and research go a long way. Make sure you conduct proper research on any training provider that you are considering. Make sure you are 100% happy with the company you choose!
Once you have decided on which Security Company you will take your training with, you will be taken through at least 27 hours of face-to-face learning.
The 3 main areas covered on the security guard training course are:
- Working in the Private Security Industry
- Working as a Security Guard
- Conflict Management for the Private Security Industry
At the end of the course you will sit an exam. Some training providers can give you your results straight away. Upon passing the course you will be able to apply for your SIA Licence.
Applying for the SIA Licence for Security Guards
At this stage you simply request an application pack by calling the SIA or visiting their website here. There is also the £220 non-refundable fee that needs to be paid.
As long as you have no criminal history, (criminal checks can hold up applications greatly) the waiting period is generally only a few weeks from sending off your application and receiving the SIA licence through the post.
Armed with your brand new SIA badge you can start looking for a job as a security guard.