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What training do store security guards receive

Updated: 2 days ago

Having worked with various retail security companies throughout our careers from American conglomerates to pan European providers to local London centric security guard companies we have seen the good the bad and the neglected side of retail security. Training one of the most important factors to run a successful retail security service.

Retail store opening event security - Fahrenheit Security
Retail Store Opening Event Security - Fahrenheit Security

The Security Industry Authority is the governing body in the United Kingdom which is in charge of security licensing and governing private security guarding activities.

SIA Licence basic training modules

The majority of security guards in the retail security sector in London hold a door supervision licence. In order to obtain the licence the security agent must complete the following modules over the period of the course.

Common Security Industry Knowledge

  • Session 1: Awareness of the Law in the Private Security Industry

  • Session 2: Health and Safety for the Private Security Operative

  • Session 3: Fire Safety Awareness

  • Session 4: Emergency Procedures

  • Session 5: The Private Security Industry

  • Session 6: Communication Skills and Customer Care

Door Supervisor Specialist Module

  • Session 1: Behavioural Standards

  • Session 2: Civil and Criminal Law

  • Session 3: Searching

  • Session 4: Arrest

  • Session 5: Drugs Awareness

  • Session 6: Recording Incidents and Crime Preservation

  • Session 7: Licensing Law

  • Session 8: Emergency Procedures

  • Session 9: Dealing with Vulnerable Individuals

  • Session 10: Dealing with Queues and Crowd

Conflict Management Module

  • Session 1: Avoiding Conflict and Reducing Personal Risk

  • Session 2: Defusing Conflict

  • Session 3: Resolving and Learning from Conflict

  • Session 4: Application of Communication Skills and Conflict Management for Security Guarding

Physical Intervention Skills Module

  • Session 1: Introduction to Physical Skills

  • Session 2: Disengagement Techniques

  • Session 3: Escorting Techniques

Emergency First Aid At Work Training For Security Guards

Security guards and door supervisors must also now be certified in Emergency First Aid at Work course. Emergency First Aid at Work training course includes the following:

Emergency First Aid at Work - Part 1

  • What is first aid?

  • Roles and responsibilities of a first aider

  • Who to call to get help?

  • What should be in a first aid kit?

  • Primary survey

  • Recovery position

  • Secondary assessment

  • Heart attack

  • CPR on a person and infant

  • Seizures

  • Choking.

Emergency First Aid at Work - Part 2

  • Blood loss and shock

  • Amputations, penetrating injuries and objects in wounds

  • Bandages

  • Head injuries

  • Burns

  • Minor injuries

  • Anaphylaxis.

The emergency first aid at work training promotes awareness on how to provide immediate, potentially lifesaving, first aid at work before the arrival of further medical help. This means the security guard will be able to:-

  • Define first aid.

  • Outline the responsibilities of a first aider.

  • Identify what items to include in a first aid kit.

  • Know how to administer primary survey and secondary assessment.

  • Recognise when someone has a heart attack.

  • Demonstrate the recovery position for a suspected spinal injury.

  • State how to put on a bandage.

  • Administer CPR effectively.

Retail Store Security Induction and Training

A good retail security guard agency will ensure that their security guards have a good understanding of the law and their remit as security in the shop. Before they start work in the shop security guards should follow a training program to become intimately familiar with their property.

The retail security guards will generally be shown around the store, through the back office, stock rooms, hallways, kitchen and break out areas, delivery bays etc. Security will be shown where the cameras are positioned in store and where there are black spots.

A common practice is to have the new security guard walk around the store while communicating experiences that have happened in certain areas or parts of the store to help them understand associated risks and potential circumstances.

In the UK you haven't committed theft until you have left the store without paying. That tends to result in security guards often posted on the exit looking for things that just don't look right. It can be suspicious people, activities, and objects such as persons wearing large coats in warm weather, oversized bags, and nervousness for example. Again a retail security guard should be trained in what to look out for and hot spots for theft.

Products that are located in hot spots are usually small, high-value items like designer shirts, jeans and handbags that can be easily concealed or ran out of the door with. Security need to be trained in A.S.C.O.N.E protocol.

Once all of this is covered, "brand relevant customer service" is re-enforced where security are trained in how to make stops in a non offensive manner and search in a non obtrusive manner in line with the letter of the law. Good retail security in present times should generally be hands-off. Of course there can be extreme exceptions to a hands off approach however safety of the security officer is the primary concern. Nobody is searched when entering a retail store therefore it is unknown if a potential suspect is carrying an offensive weapon and therefore distance and caution is urged.

There is more other training retail security officers should receive to be fully competent in their role from handling internal incidents, medical incidents, stock procedures, non-theft related inventory control, and shrink policies.

Retail security guards remit also covers liability mitigation to a certain extent. Slip-and-falls (S&F) are a major source of loss for property owners and many of the claims are fraudulent. How to properly handle a S&F is a vital skill a security guard in a retail or other publicly accessed environment should possess.

Along the same lines, proper procedure during other medical incidents, active shooters, major crimes, and other serious incidents is extremely important.

Fahrenheit Security's retail security guards are also required to have a basic understanding of other areas such as identifying pickpockets, missing persons, protests, information control and GDPR, investigative procedures, banned persons, crime scene preservation.

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