Eight important skills for security guard career development
Our archive contains more than 1,000 articles on security know-how, many relating to how security guard career development. Here, we have gathered together some of our most popular articles on this topic.
Working as a security guard or officer may be a temporary role for you, or it could be the starting point for a career in security. There are many key skills to working in a security role. Our collection of articles from experts in the field provides insight into a range of important skills for security guards and how these can support security guard career development:
- Maintaining your professionalism
- Security search procedures
- Completing the Daily Occurrence Book
- Evacuation and dispersal procedures
- Understanding behavioural detection awareness
- What makes a good close protection officer?
- Managing your health and wellbeing
- The secrets to developing your career in security
Maintaining your professionalism
Angie Clark, Director at the Security Institute says: “Frontline operatives are regularly exposed to incidents involving conflict whereby they are verbally and sometimes physically abused – their action, inaction, or indeed, reaction being filmed in order to sensationalise across social media. Everyone will take a view. Many will take to commenting, few will support. How do we help ourselves? By maintaining your professionalism and implementing your training.” She explains the three basic stages for security guards to achieve this in her article here: Professional Standards in Security.
Security Search Procedures
One of key skills for security guards is carrying out search procedures. John Wyatt MBE, a well-known security and explosives expert spent nearly 25 years in the Army mainly as a Bomb Disposal Officer, wrote an article explaining search procedures.
Firstly, he defined search procedures: “These are the systematic procedures used to find weapons, explosives or other contraband. There are procedures for body (and bag), vehicle, building, area and route search. Each discipline has its ‘system’ to ensure that the chance of success in finding threatening or illegal items is that much higher than just checking those areas you think are most likely to hide items.”
He went on to explain that searching can be carried out in a variety of situations, the most common being at airports. “But there are many other examples where a restricted area may require this procedure, for instance at museums, at international events/exhibitions or even global events, or climate change conferences – anything that might be an emotive issue to which there could be demonstrations or a threat to the establishment.”
For details of the Bag Search, the Body Search and the Random Vehicle Search, read Guarding Search Procedures
Completing the Daily Occurrence Book
A further important key skills for security guards is maintaining accurate records of activities and events. In some locations, these will be recorded in the Daily Occurrence Book (DOB) and it will a paper document. In other locations, this is implemented as a digital system.
In his article on the Daily Occurrence Book, Glanville Williams SIA Controlroom says: “DOBs are intended to provide a chronological and sequential record of all occurrences that have transpired over time, on a specific site. An occurrence for those who are wondering, is anything that has been seen, smelled, found, heard or done that may have a security implication. And of course, the vast majority of these are mundane and ordinary.
“However, situations will invariably arise, albeit infrequently, where what has been seen, smelled, found, heard or done is of such vital importance to the building owners or a third party such as the Police, that they must therefore be chronicled with a degree of care and meticulousness.”
Read his article to learn more about how to complete entries in the DOB and how these can be implemented online: Daily Occurrence Book
If it is necessary to evacuate the building or location where you are working, it is important for security guards to understand how people may react to evacuation requests. Also, it is a good idea for you to make yourself familiar with the emergency evacuation process or procedures.
Our article from Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still explains some of the common responses to evacuation: Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Behavioural Detection Awareness (BDA)
The ability of security guards to identify a threat at the earliest opportunity is key – whether the threat is from physical violence, damage to property or more subtle threats such as the deployment of monitoring devices. Behavioural Detection Awareness (BDA) can be used as a first line of defence in countering threats. BDA is the methodical, scientific and systematic appraisal of people’s behaviour when under stress in an environment through observation, assessment and decision-based operations. Learn more on Behavioural Detection Awareness (BDA) in security from Cadence Woodland at Wilson James
What makes a good Close Protection Officer (CPO)?
Close protection is a specific security role where you assigned to protect an individual and his or her family. We asked Will Geddes – who has over 25 years’ experience in specialist security and is a regular commentator for international media on risk, security and terrorism – what makes a good CPO? He began by saying: “it’s difficult to encapsulate the many diverse dynamics of an extremely complex service” but goes on to summarise some of the key skills required:
- First impressions are important. Time-keeping (never be on time, always be early).
- Always come to the task well-dressed (you can always dress-down, never up), dress conservatively, no jewellery (chains, earrings), good hygiene (not unshaven or too much cologne).
- Always carry your passport and driving licence (rapid response is standard).
- Discretion and confidentiality (never name your past clients).
- Keep physically fit (train hard, fight easy).
- Work hard on your ‘soft’ skills (‘hard’ skills are easy, ‘soft’ aren’t).
- Always call your Principal and Client ‘Boss’, ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ (until they tell you differently).
You can read the full article here and find out Will’s tips for success: What makes a good Close Protection Officer
Managing your health and wellbeing
There is growing awareness and support for maintaining good health and wellbeing for everyone working in security. We asked contributors from across the security sector to share advice, resources and organisations they would recommend to support health and wellbeing. You can read their responses in Managing your health and well-being
If you have experienced a traumatic incident at work, are you taking steps to alleviate any ongoing mental health issues? In his article on PTSD, Patrick Rae explains how some of the symptoms: “The problem is that it is impossible to predict how anyone, even ourselves, will react to a disturbing event. We are all affected differently. An individual’s reaction may include feelings of shock, anger, distress and disrupted sleep, for example. This is not abnormal in the short term; most people, most of the time, will be able to cope with and resolve these symptoms by talking with partners, friends and also colleagues and managers at work. Find out more and how to find help in his article on Mental Health for Security Personnel
The secrets of developing your career in security
It’s a fact of life that progression in your chosen career path may not be dependent solely on your performance.
The unwritten and unspoken rules for climbing the career ladder are revealed in ‘Empowering Yourself: The Organisational Game Revealed’ by Harvey J. Coleman. Essentially, Coleman’s idea is that the selection process for upward mobility involves three elements of unequal proportion: Performance, Image and Exposure. A failure to understand these could be stopping your career progression in security. Read our full article: Developing your career in security by raising your profile