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What Do You Need to Become a Security Guard?

We’ll take you through all you need to know to be a competent and highly respected security guard. Whether you are training for the role or are a veteran in the trade, we have something for everyone, from technical requirements to attitudes and aptitudes.

Let’s see what you’ll require to be a security employee that stands out from the rest.

SIA Licence

For UK security guards, the SIA (Security Industry Authority) regulates the private security industry. They ensure high standards by licensing individuals undertaking defined security activities within the industry, and they manage the Approved Contractor Scheme. This latter duty involves measuring independent security suppliers against set criteria.

An SIA licence proves you are fit for the job, both physically and cognitively. It is awarded within 25 days of applying and requires you to pass identity and criminal records checks. If you have a criminal record, the SIA will take your case on and establish whether the offence should prohibit you from working in the security industry.
Here is the SIA’s free criminal record indicator, which will provide an idea of whether you will be accepted by the SIA, following a criminal record check.

Quick Reflexes

A security guard needs to be alert every minute of every hour of every day. The ultimate test of this is to react to a dangerous situation, ideally in time to reverse its effects and bring order to whatever is happening around you. That could be aggression, coercion, harassment, breaking and entering, shoplifting and even situations calling for first aid assistance.

Physical Fitness

Physical confrontation is a right of passage for security guards. Unfortunately, the very nature of the job requires it, but while there is unruly behaviour, you will continue to be gainfully employed. Being able to handle physically threatening scenarios and quickly cool tempers will work in your favour.

Good Communication Skills

Getting on well with others in social sectors such as retail is important and is as much about body language as it is what you say and how. Welcoming customers, being polite and understanding the minutiae of written communication is a high priority. So too is a calm demeanour. If your communication skills are tip top, you’ll be capable of diffusing tense situations before any physical force is required.


Working closely with your employer and immediate peers means that you must develop trust from day one. This is so that you can take full responsibility for making decisions that protect the business, staff and the public. Present yourself well at all times to cultivate and maintain this trust. It’s one of the most important aspects of the security industry.

Leadership and Teamwork

Though you will mostly see security and guards working solo, never underestimate the team behind the guard. You’ll need to be happy working with others, including clients’ staff, other security personnel and contractors, depending on the industry you work in.



Ibwest Security is the finest security services provider for the Grimsby, Scunthorpe and surrounding areas. We serve small, medium and large enterprises and our comprehensive approach means you have the benefits of alarm response, building security, manned guards, key holding and more at your beck and call. To find out how we could be protecting your business, contact our team today.


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