Security Guard Training Guide

Written by Holly Savage

14th March 2023

We all know that training is an essential step before becoming a security guard but why is it so important that all guards take and pass security training courses? We’ll be discussing this and more in our security guard training guide, such as the different types of training that guards need, how much training can cost, and where you can find security training courses.

Do You Need Training To Be A Security Guard?

Absolutely! It is essential that everyone who is looking to become a security guard or any current guards who are renewing their SIA licence undergo security training. People who are looking to become a guard for the first time will need to pass basic security guard training before they can earn their SIA licence. Officers who are renewing an existing licence will have to pass security guard top-up training before their licence can be renewed.

Do You Need GCSEs To Be A Security Guard?

You don’t need to have any high education qualifications to become a security guard, but you will need to have some GCSEs. The two GCSEs that you will need to have are your Maths and English.

security guard training

What Training Do You Need To Be A Security Guard?

There are many different types of training that security officers may need to pass before gaining or renewing their SIA security guard licence.  We have listed some of these in more detail.

First Aid Training

One piece of training you should pass before applying to be a security guard is first aid training. Back in 2021, the SIA decided that anyone who was looking to work within the security industry would need to have a first aid qualification.

Working as a security guard can sometimes be a very dangerous job as officers may have to deal with high-pressure situations and issues. Having a first aid qualification can help guards improve public safety and it allows them to be a bit more prepared. For example, if an incident does arise where a member of the general public becomes unwell or injured then guards will be able to treat and look after them until medical help comes.  

security guard training how long does it take

Licence Linked Security Officer Training

If you are becoming a security guard for the first time, then you will need to pass basic security officer training before you can acquire an SIA security guard licence. Basic security officer training courses will teach newcomers:

  • About What It’s Like Being A Security Guard.
  • About All The Skills And Knowledge They Will Need To Pass Their Exams.
  • The Qualities Of A Good Security Guard.
  • About The Powers Guards Have.
  • How Security Guards Should Handle Emergency Situations.

All security guard training courses will entail the same topics but they made provide different certificates. Some of these are:

  • A Level 2 Award For Working As A Security Officer In The Private Security Industry.
  • An Award For Security Officers In The Private Security Industry.

The SIA will expect all newcomers to pass security training before they can acquire their licence. As security training will teach new guards about all the different skills they will need, and it can give them a better idea about what the job will entail.

types of training for security guards

SIA Top-Up Training

Finally, existing guards who are looking to renew their security licences will need to take top-up refresher training courses. Guards are expected to take these courses every few years before their licence expires.

Top-up training courses allow existing guards to learn new skills and it allows them to recognise any new challenges or risks that they could face. It can also allow security officers to test and improve their current skills and knowledge.

The SIA will expect all guards to frequently take top-up training so that they are updated with all the necessary skills that are needed to work as security guards.

is sia security guard training hard

What Does Security Guard Training Involve?

A common question asked about basic security guard training courses is what does the course involve? Well, most security guard courses will entail three different modules, and each module will have a multiple-choice exam.

Module 1: Working In The Private Security Industry

The first module within the security officer training course is all about working within the private security industry. This unit will teach mainly new officers about what it is like working within the security industry, and it may uncover topics such as:

  • Information about the private security industry.
  • Health and safety within the workplace.
  • Principles of fire safety.
  • Principles of communication and customer care in the private security industry.
  • Security laws and legislations.

Module 2: Working As A Security Officer

The second module is all about working as a security officer. This unit will go into detail about the different tasks and responsibilities that guards will have, and it may go into topics such as:

  • The role of a security guard.
  • About monitoring systems.
  • About writing incident reports.
  • About patrolling.
  • The law.
  • Access and control.

Module 3: Conflict Management For The Private Security Industry

The third and final module in security guard courses is a conflict management unit. This unit will discuss the different types of conflicts that happen in the security industry and how you can solve them. This unit will talk about subjects such as:

  • Principles of conflict management.
  • Problem-solving strategies.
  • How to prevent a conflict.
  • What you should do after the conflict is over.

The Exams:

At the end of each unit, new guards will have to pass a multiple-choice exam. The number of questions will vary in each exam as some will have seventy-two while others may only have twenty questions, and all three exams will have a pass rate of 70%. To gain your security qualification certificate you will need to pass all three exams.

SIA security guard training

Can I Do SIA Training Online?

A common question asked about SIA security guard training is whether you can take courses online. And yes, you can complete some security guard training online. 

How Much Does Security Guard Training Cost?

The prices for different courses that guards need to pass will vary as it will mostly depend on the course’s location and who the course’s provider is. At the moment, first aid training courses can cost anywhere between £50 and £130.

According to Get Licensed, a basic security guard training course that newcomers will have to pass has a starting cost of £180. This price includes the cost of the training course and the cost of the exam.

The prices of security guard top-up training courses will often vary, as some refresher courses will have a starting price of £69.98 while other security guard courses may start at £89.99.

Many security training companies such as Get Licensed and 4 Training Employment will provide with their courses a no pass no fee offer. This means if you are unable to pass the course you won’t be charged to re-sit the exam. However, it is important to note some re-sit offers that some training providers will offer can vary and it is always best to check the terms and conditions of them beforehand.

what training do you need to be a security guard

Can I Get Free SIA Training?

A lot of people wonder if they can take security guard training for free, and although a lot of websites may offer free training courses – they may not always be legitimate. So, it is important that when you are looking at security guard training websites that you double-check the website is a reliable source.

But there are a few ways that you can complete security guard training for free. One way if by getting your employer to pay for your training course. Some security firms may loan you the money towards a SIA training course, and then allow you to pay them back in monthly instalments. But it is important to check with your employer when you need to start paying them back and whether they will be allowed to charge you interest on your loan.

Another way to take security guard training courses for free is by getting the Job Centre to fund your courses. The Job Centre will normally fund people who are part of a job-seeking course and who have been out of work for over a year. This way isn’t always guaranteed, as the Job Centre will only fund certain people who meet their specific requirements, and it may take a while for them to fund you; but it is a good chance for people who are struggling to find a job.

How Long Does Security Guard Training Take?

If you are applying for your first security guard licence and you are taking basic security guard training. Most security officer training courses will take around four to five days to complete. While first-aid training courses and top-up training will typically take only one day to complete.

how to get free security guard training

Where Can I Get Security Guard Training?

In the UK, the SIA themselves don’t run any security guard training courses, so guards and newcomers will have to look online to find a course provider. It is also important to note that the SIA currently don’t approve or vet any training providers.

On the SIA’s official website, they do have a search tool where you can look for training providers. And when you are looking for a training course, it is important that you check that they are an approved provider and that they have a good reputation.

Some of the most popular security guard training course providers are:


Is Security Training Hard?

A common question asked about security guard training is whether the courses are hard or not. And there is no simple to this question as it will typically depend on the person who is taking the course.

Some security training courses may appear hard at first as they do provide you with a lot of information, but they are normally quite straightforward and easy to follow. People who have more experience and knowledge about security will probably find the courses easier than people who are just starting to learn about security.

If you are struggling with some parts of the training course, it is important that you seek and ask for additional help from the teacher or trainer on the course. They will be happy to help with any questions you may have.

security guard training course

Why Do Guards Need Training?

It is important that both new guards and existing security officers take and pass security training because it shows the SIA that they are suitable to work as security guards. Security training can also teach newcomers about what it’s like being a security guard and help them be more prepared for the job. At the same time, refresher training courses can often help existing guards improve their existing knowledge and skills.

So, What Training Do Security Guards Need?

Overall, the main types of training that security guards will need are first aid training and either top-security training or licenced-linked security officer training. If you are a new guard, you will need to pass a licenced linked security officer training. However, if you are a guard who is looking to renew their licence, you will only need to take top-security training. Both newcomers and existing guards will need to take first aid training.

If you would like to stay up to date with all the latest security guard news, why not check out our blog where you can find articles about how much guards make and the different types of security guard services.

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