The typical security guard is often poorly portrayed as a lazy, unskilled physical enforcer who performs boring, repetitive tasks. This misconception is a long way from the reality of today’s highly trained, professional security guard who increasingly play an invaluable role in ensuring the safety of people and property.
Highly trained professionals
One of the biggest misconceptions about the security industry is that security guards have limited skills and just stand around not actually doing much – this is far from the truth. Security officers are trained to deal with a wide variety of situations; training ensures they become highly attuned to their surroundings, and can recognise and deal with an issue before it becomes a greater threat.
All security officers undergo a BTEC Level 2 training course and must pass an examination to fulfil the Security Industry Authority (SIA) criteria for holding a security guarding licence.
Additional training is also provided for first aid, aggression management and diffusing situations, and specific on-site training. Guardforce security officers are encouraged to undertake the Skills for Security Professional Guarding Course. This ongoing training helps to improve security officer’s knowledge and skills when undertaking their duties, and will often quickly lead them into management and supervisory positions as part of an ongoing security career.
Communication and customer service skills
It is commonly perceived that to be a good security guard, you need to have exceptional physical attributes – size and strength. The large, intimidating-looking security guard might be the perfect choice in a pub/club scenario, but in the corporate environment, this may not be the most appropriate decision.
In reality, employers in the security industry actually look for people with strong communication attributes, exceptional observation abilities and those who have proficient customer service skills. A security guard’s skills and training will far outweigh their physical appearance.
An increasingly diverse industry
Traditionally, the security industry has been a male-dominated environment. Today, however, there is a huge demand throughout the industry for female security staff, from frontline operations through to senior management.
There are many who say being a woman in the security industry today can be an advantage because there is organisational need to support to hire, promote and retain women in the cause of diversity. And there is also often a case made that a diversified workforce in the security industry will bring about greater creativity and new ideas.
It’s not all dangerous work
Another huge misconception about the security industry is that all work is dangerous. The truth, however, is that security guards are not only hired in areas where there are high risk or threat environments.
Security staff are employed to protect a broad range of businesses, public spaces, property and premises, including shopping centres, educational institutes, office buildings, residential complexes and even construction sites.
Proper training prepares security guards for potentially dangerous situations and helps them to deal effectively with those situations as and when they arise. Security officers are trained to detect, deter, observe and report and the proper application of these skills and techniques ensures staff are less at risk of being injured in a chaotic, uncontrolled event.