Designing a Training Program for your Security Officers – Part 3

by todaystrainingblog

In the last few posts, I talked about the who, why and how of starting a training program for your security officers. And this is whether or not your local municipality requires it or not.

                I will tell you, again emphatically, that you need to train your officers no matter if you are required or not! Being honest, I don’t care if your budget doesn’t allow for anything more than cursory training. You need to train them to be officers and not ‘guards’! If you don’t, then you are   opening yourself to having an immense of turnover, lost clients, & worse lawsuits. Training is one of the most vital things you can do for your client or company.


What to Teach:

                Here is a list of what needs to be included in your classes. And keep in mind that this is not necessarily all inclusive, but it’ll give you a good start on it;

  • Introduction – You need to explain, through your experience why security is important and the implications of what they are undertaking.
  • Codes of Conducts/Ethics: This is very important so that they know why people should look up to them while they are on duty, and how to conduct themselves on post.
  • General Orders – These are important because they outline what they can and can’t do before, during, and after work.
  • Policies & Procedures – This is different than general orders because this is where they get their authority from and enforcement protocol
  • * History of security – Yes, the history of. They have to know where and the how’s of both good and bad. And this would also include YOUR company

After this preamble to your company and the security field, the next part is even harder. Now you have to get into the specifics of the security function and various duties they might have to perform;

  • Physical Security – You may not think about it, but knowing the why’s and where’s of physical security and why they’re there is just as important as anything.
  • Report Writing: This is one of the most important aspects of training a security officer
  • Patrolling: If report writing is important, then this is probably even more so. If an officer doesn’t know how to properly patrol, then they will set themselves up for issues and missed problems.
  • Uniforms – In the states where there is regulatory control by the state, this is a mandatory item
  • Emergency Procedures – Your officers need to know the major types of disaster and how to combat them on post including hazardous materials and natural disasters
  • Customer Service – Yes, customer service. You may not think of this as security related but it most certainly does apply. You have to teach your officers to have a good customer service attitude and be professional. This shouldn’t take, more than an hour for a cursory overview, but it is necessary.

                Lastly, the things that any good class needs is testing. If you don’t test their knowledge after the class, how do you know if they’ve retained what they’ve been taught? I always closed my classes by asking questions. I changed the question and path of the question during this period as well. We talked about the ways some companies tested officers in the past, one last point on that way –DON’T DO IT! All you’re doing is short changing both the officers and the client/company.

                Is this an all-inclusive list of what to train in? Absolutely not. This is just what is taught in the classroom. After this they have to be taught what to do on their various new assignments and the way the client wants things done.

                And over above that is if they are taking on a special assignment i.e. HazMat, strikes, loss prevention, or something similar.

                Training is never, absolutely never, cheap and effective. I was told several years ago during a presentation this little adage is so appropriate: ‘You can have it quick. You can have it cheap. You can have it good. But you can’t have it quick and cheap, nor can you have it cheap and good. And not even quick and good. Take your pick of the three.’

                But if you choose wrong, can your company, insurance, and officers rebound from bad press, lawsuits, losses resulting from, and many other deleterious effects?


                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.

                His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.

                He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.