How to Become a Security Guard in the UK?

Security guards are in high demand throughout the UK, especially during the pandemic. They are responsible for protecting people and property from harm, illegal activity, and theft. To ensure that security officers are able to do their job effectively, they are required to have the patience, physical strength, ability to act quickly, and possess strong observational skills. In addition to this, they must also have a sense of curiosity and the ability to spot suspicious activity to deter or detain someone who might have a criminal agenda.

Entry Requirements for Becoming a Security Guard in the UK

Generally, anyone who wishes to become a security office in the UK needs to be at least 18 years of age, pass identity and criminal record checks, and have an SIA (Security Industry Authority) License. The license confirms that the holder is a fit and proper person who is fully capable of fulfilling the role. It is normally awarded to individuals within a month of applying depending on time it may take for SIA to complete checks.

Even if you have an offence recorded on your file, it is not necessary that you would be automatically disqualified. The SIA would determine whether the offence actually prohibits someone from entering the field. The SIA assesses the following to make a decision.

  • How recently the offence took place.
  • The actual sentence given to the individual for the offence.
  • Whether the offence is even relevant or not.

Skills Required

You will need to go through relevant training and course to acquire the skills needed for working as a security guard. Once you have achieved the required training and skills, you should be able to work in a wide range of roles as mentioned below.

  • Manned Guarding: Guarding of people, property, and premises from criminal harm and activity.
  • Cash and Valuables in Transit: Protect and securely transport property.
  • Close Protection (Body Guard): Protect an individual or more from injury, crime, and assault.
  • Airport Security: Search passengers, aircraft, and luggage, while guarding the airport boundaries.
  • Door Supervision: Ensure the safety and security of staff and customers at the business premises or public venue.

Although the above-mentioned security roles might seem different, they each require key transferable skills as stated below.

  • To ability to follow written instructions and write short reports.
  • The ability to challenge others if needed.
  • The confidence to take initiative and make a quick decision.
  • The capability to learn how to make use of technical equipment like baggage scanning machines and CCTV
  • Reasonable level of fitness.

Driving License and Right to work in UK

In addition to the above, a clean driver’s license will help you become even more desirable candidate for a decent position. Majority of the security companies hiring now a days require the candidate to have own car and clean driving license to ensure they reach their workplaces in timely manner. Also, it is must that you have Right to Work in UK. One of the checks carried out by SIA before they will award you a License. Security companies hiring will again carry out this check when they consider you for any role.

Career Path

With the right experience, you can advance from the role of a security guard to a much senior position or a supervisory role. If you acquire additional qualifications, you can even give security management a try. Studies reveal that the private security sector is developing in the UK. As the sector has grown considerably over the past 5 years, the future seems bright for anyone hoping to become a security guard in the UK.