This is a quick HOW TO guide on becoming a security guard in the UK.
Firstly, In order to become a security guard in the UK you must be first be licensed by the security industry authority (SIA). There are very few exceptions to this these days and unless you have secured a job on private property without much contact with public, The SIA is the organisation which regulates you. Having an SIA qualification and Valid licence (Badge) will be a minimum as standard to any decent and/or legal company. When working you’ll find that your SIA badge is needed on display at all times. This is also required by the SIA and part of your license requirement.
The training is very straight forward for the “Security guarding badge”. Normally carried out During one week over 5 days, with only one or two official assessments. These are usually multiple choice (if written) marked externally by an examining board such as EdExel. As well as one day conflict management training (assessed by observation, This will be done in-house by your course tutor).
More information on specific training subjects covered soon.
Courses normally cost between £150.00 and £250.00, after which you will need to await your individual results of the course you have attended. Only after this will you then have to pay an application fee to the SIA, Usually the same amount again.
If a pass, you will relieve a certificate. You will need this when now filling in the official application to the SIA in order to obtain your licence. This whole process can take anything from 14 days to 2 months, and may be even longer depending on your type of passport, visa conditions and/or a previous criminal record which may need a more in-depth search.
Criminal record checks, otherwise known as CRB’s are Carried out by the SIA to the advance level. This is not as scary as it seems. Before and making payment for your course, it is your responsibility to ring the SIA and make sure any past convictions will not hinder your chances of getting licensed. All the SIA wants to see is their is no reason why a member of public should be put in danger, be deceived, abused, or subject to unfair treatment. Your application to the SIA will also need to include payment for them to issue you a license for a period of three to four years.
If you do not pass your course, you can take it again, but this will be at an expense to you. Some companyies might offer a free resist in hope of boasting their ratio of successful applicants.
Reflect early on upon what sector it is you would ideally like to work in. It may greatly widen your choices of employment and work you could potentially undertake by doing the SIA Door supervision course instead. This still covers you for all work involved in security guarding without much additional training than before, but can open you up to work such as events, festivals, leisure opportunities as well as nightclubs and bars. Some employers may have contracts which will need this assumed higher levels of customer facing roles. Other courses to consider are CCTV and First aid, on experience these should be obtained additionally to a security guard or door supervision license.
Rates of pay vary for security guards from minimum wage up to the top end of the market, being a corporate security or a corporate building manager, attracting salaries from £24,000.00 to £42,000.00 per year.
Security guarding is a varied industry, good jobs with stable salaries do not come easy. The better the pay the more experience generally an employer will expect. You could be working in Asda, Primark, a building site, the London Eye or even the shard.
More interview and networking tip for security guards coming soon.