Planning Ahead for Effective Contract Security Guard Training
Security guard contract managers face many challenges when it comes to the training and development of their security force. When submitting proposals for contract services, a majority of security guard contractors will highlight their internal training in general terms. To reduce their overall billing rate, the amount of resources allocated for security guard training is often under-budgeted – an approach that helps contractors win bids, but can leave clients with a poorly trained security staff.
To avoid under-trained guards, it helps to develop a mutual understanding with contractors regarding the level of effective training that constitutes a good investment for both parties.
Types of Security Guard Training
The three types of security guard training routinely provided include:
- Internal training. Familiarizing security guards with the contractor’s policies and procedures. Internal training usually acquaints them with expectations, human resource-related topics, pay schedules, disciplinary processes, and the like. This type of training is not site specific.
- Certification training. Also not site-specific, certification training is important for security guards. Depending on the security guards’ previous positions, they may already be trained or certified training in the following disciplines:
- Advanced first aid
- Basic firefighting
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Firearms qualifications
- On the job training (OJT). Providing guards with preparatory information needed to perform their duties at a specific site. OJT is a crucial element of a good security guard training program, and security managers should consider designating the number of OJT hours each guard is expected to receive. OJT should include at a minimum:
- Emergency procedures
- Facility layout plans
- Hazmat (where applicable)
- Rules of conduct
- Technical equipment operation (alarm panels, video surveillance, visitor management and access control, phone systems, etc.)
Additional Training and Instruction
In addition to the three main security guard training types, it’s important to equip your team with as much information as possible to succeed. Consider including the following in your training process:
- Security Manual / Instructions
Providing a security manual or at least a set of written instructions (Post Orders) that outline specific duties for each guard, shift and post, as well as any rules and regulations for your facility, and any applicable security-related directives can help contractors mitigate training challenges.
- Security Guard Training
As soon as security guards are familiar with the basics, progress to a formal system of cross-training. For enterprises where security guards serve several different functions, cross-training is essential for consistent service. For the most effective security, several guards should be capable of performing any given task, and posts that require more specialized skills should have several cross-trained guards in place.
The security contractor should make available the training and certification history for each officer working at your facility on a regular basis. The history should include dates of training, and the scores for all tests administered. Training for your site should occur (at a minimum) when a guard first starts working at the facility, and as part of an annual refresher.
Comprehensive training creates a sense of responsibility among officers and encourages professionalism because security guards know what is expected of them while on duty. If your enterprise is looking to enhance security, contact Veristream at 888-718-0807 to schedule a demo of our security services.