Australian security professionals form part of the fine line between being a thriving organisation and being a big, red target for theft and vandalism. Much depends on their ability to keep their clients safe and respond to situations as they emerge.
Businesses that fail to align their security professionals with the right priorities can lead to mishandled situations, property losses—and worst of all, compromised safety for the people in and around their organisations.
Of course, people don’t just become excellent security guards overnight. They aren’t born for the role, or grown in a lab—they’re trained.
Investing in the right training program pays dividends in the long run. For security companies and organisations looking to develop their security guards, the exercise is well worth the time and resources. There should be a payoff here ie less frustration, less theft, reduced insurance premiums etc
To give you an idea of what to look for in a corporate security provider, we’ve prepared this guide covering all the elements of a stellar security guard training program.
9 Things Security Guard Training Programs Should Cover
First off, it’s important to get a working definition of what security guard training should be. After all, you can’t build a program without understanding its key functions. For this first section, let’s have a look at the lessons that any security guard training programs should include.
1. The Right Priorities
You can hammer in as many routines, protocols, and skills as you want, but all of that’s for nothing if your security guards lack a proper sense of priority. The set of instincts that can save lives and prevent crises is a direct result of knowing how best to spend each precious second while on-duty. You can see 9 Questions to Ask before hiring a New Security Team here.
2. Routines and Protocols
The best security professionals are systematic. Since half the battle is drafting an ironclad security plan, it stands to reason that you simply must make sure that the people charged with executing those plans are diligent and know how to stick to a program.
Security training programs have to factor in basic professional skills like memory and schedule-keeping alongside their more detailed modules.
3. Client and Visitor Relations
Security professionals may find themselves having to explain and enforce protocols with employees, or take charge during emergency situations. It takes a village to make true security possible, and so it’s important for guards to communicate well with the people under their care. It comes in handy when high-stress situations emerge, and for avoiding the kinds of vulnerabilities that lead to those situations in the first place.
As such, any training program should make it a point to develop better interpersonal and teamwork skills. The best security guards integrate well with their assigned environments, and earn the trust where they can.
This extends to both site employees and visitors. It’s sad to admit, but not every security provider encourages their staff to assist guests and customers—which hurts both their reputation as a service provider and the implicit priorities underlying their role.
4. Threat Awareness
Any competent security guard must know how to make smart threat assessments. It goes without saying that they need to spot problems before they manifest, but less obvious is the need to avoid false positives—you want to avoid complaints of harassment and wrongful accusations at all costs.
Comprehensive training programs include methods to spot illicit goods, concealed weaponry, and fraud.
5. Crisis Response
Few expect worst-case scenarios to come to pass, which is why the average security provider is likely to crack under pressure. With major crimes and crises being a relatively unlikely occurrence, it makes sense for providers to spend less time preparing for them.
Still, a security guard training program isn’t complete without crisis response. When things go south, the best performers have layers of contingencies in place—and the wherewithal to make good on those plans.
6. Disaster Response
Security personnel shouldn’t be caught flat-footed in the event of natural disasters and calamities. Just as they would act as the first line of defense in the event of a crime or medical emergency, so too should they be prepared for fires, storms, and earthquakes.
7. First Aid
Intermediate medical training goes a long way towards achieving security. While it goes without saying that it should be second nature to call for emergency services in the event of a medical emergency, first aid training can mean the difference between life and death.
8. Equipment Training
Technology has come a long way, and the best private security providers keep their equipment up-to-date. While keeping dedicated engineers and operators on staff remains to be good practice, it’s advisable to make sure that all members of a security team understand how to keep vital machines and systems up and running.
9. Laws and Policies
Finally, training programs have to take current laws and policies into consideration. Security personnel must be aware of civil and criminal legislation—both for the sake of preventing crimes and offenses, and for the sake of avoiding any inadvertent violations themselves.
How Do You Know if Your Security Guard Training Program Works?
No training program is complete without assessment tools. Tests and standards are vital to making sure that every guard assigned to a client understands their duties and possesses the capacity to perform them.
Written tests are probably the first things that come to mind when we think about assessment tools, and for good reason. Written tests are a good measure for retention and understanding— they’re used to check whether your trainees can remember protocols and important information.
Physical tests are another important form of assessment, and one that many tend to overlook. It’s well and good if a training candidate understands their responsibilities and can recite protocol like clockwork—but if they lack the ability to handle physical aspects of the job, then the point is moot.
Finally, simulations are an excellent measure of a candidate’s ability to think on their feet, react to changing circumstances, and solve problems in the heat of a situation. You can consider them the ultimate assessment tool: a mix of their mental and physical development at the end of training.
Businesses and organisations around Australia place their trust in private security guards and other professionals within the industry. It’s the responsibility of any security provider to ensure that their staff are well-trained, well-equipped, and generally well-prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
Contact us today to make and enquiry, and to learn more about the steps that go into our employee training and assessment measures.