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How Security Guards are Trained: A Deep Dive into Professional Development

You find security guards in almost all retail businesses and places such as restaurants and other public places. Storing places/sites are also guarded by security guards on foot or with vehicles. Event organizers also include security guards on their staffing lists. What many people don’t realise is that a security guard needs comprehensive training.

In this article, we’ll not only have a look at the basic training security guards need but also discuss further training options for security guards.

Basic security guard training

In Australia, it is mandatory to have at least a Certificate II in Security Operations to register as a security guard. To obtain this certificate, you must complete a training course where you learn about the base-level roles of security guards.

Apart from this certificate you have to qualify and hold a current First Aid Certificate and in most instances a valid driver’s license.

Selection process

Security guard companies, such as UVS, do background checks on everyone who applies to become a security guard. Apart from a criminal background check, the companies also verify whether, amongst other aspects, the applicant

  • is an Australian citizen for at least 12 months,
  • has completed at least 10 years of formal education,
  • is at least 18 years old,
  • has the language proficiency to communicate well, and
  • is physically able to handle the tasks of a security guard.

Different types of training

There are various security guard training methods and scenarios. Let’s look at some aspects.

1. Classroom training

Security guard trainers use classroom-style teaching for initial and more advanced training. Usually, it is the theoretical part of the training they do in the classroom and often the students have to pass a test on the content. The following would be aspects where the trainer uses a classroom:

Basic procedures

The basic security protocols and procedures such as how to work with the general public, what to do in case of emergencies, and the chain of communication in the company.

Legal aspects

New security guards must know their legal responsibilities and limitations. Usually, the trainers teach the theoretical part of the legal aspects in a classroom environment. Legal specialists also give more advanced legal courses in classrooms.

Conflict resolution

Communication specialists provide training modules focused on conflict de-escalation and communication skills in classroom settings.

2. On-the-job training

On-the-job training forms a great part of the whole training process. A common way of on-the-job training is shadowing. A new guard is working with an experienced guard. While shadowing, the new guard often experiences in real life what has been taught in the classroom.

3. Continuing training and professional development


Security guards can apply for a Professional Security Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship to qualify for promotion. They can also enrol for a Security First Line Manager Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship which takes between 1 and 2 years to complete.

Specialised training

Security guards can also apply for specialized training such as armed guard training, K9 training, or industry-specific training such as healthcare.

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