Best Security Certifications: How to Improve your Professional Career with Security Training
APRIL 23, 2014 BY ROB BAYLEY, PSP, TRAINING MANAGER AT CONDOR SECURITY INC., TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
As the security industry continues to grow, Security Training and Security Certifications are becoming a popular topic of discussion among both Security Guards, Security Managers, and clients of security personnel and concierge services companies.
Are certifications in security training worth it, and if so, what professional benefits do they provide?
In this article, we’ll look at the professional certifications available for Security Guards and Concierge Personnel (Concierge is the term for security guards and customer service agents in condominiums) and their professional benefits. We’ll also look at the large variety of security training programs on the market and their benefits for security novices.
Are you completely new to Security? The security industry is constantly changing, but most of the fundamentals have remained the same for years. Condor's training programs address these fundamentals and much more, offering a practical hands-on approach to learning.
Why most Security Certifications aren’t worth it
Since April 2010, a variety of changes have occurred in the Security community in order to minimize liability and to crack down on obvious exploits. The well-known Patrick Shand incident resulted in a ripple effect which changed the Ontario security field. Two security guards and a loss prevention agent used what was eventually considered excessive force to arrest Shand for shoplifting. Use of force, positional asphyxia, and excited delirium became key topics which the government focused on at the time. Since this incident, the security industry in Ontario welcomed a number of new regulations, including a mandatory 40 hour security training program. This security training program is now required and mandatory for anyone who would like to work in the security profession at both the private and corporate level, including:
- Security guards
- Concierge personnel (condominium security)
- Executive protection agents
- Armed security & money transfer personnel
Despite this, most of the Security certifications offered by security companies, security training organizations, and private colleges still teach the fundamentals of Security from a basic perspective. Much of the material they teach is geared towards helping individuals to pass the government regulated exam which is a requirement towards achieving a security licence in Ontario.
Beyond this, the value of professional Security certifications is debatable. Security divisions in the majority of corporations generally value results, hands-on experience, key skill sets, and practical knowledge much more than certifications and educational background.
Instead of working to attain a variety of Security certifications, it’s a far better idea to take specific courses that help you truly learn Security. Condor Security’s training courses are a great start for a career in the Security industry and provide amazing opportunities to gain a wider perspective on the Security industry as a whole.
There is no official Government Security training certification for the Private Security Industry
Although the Government does regulate best practices and sets out a curriculum with requirements for the mandatory 40 hour security training program, it doesn’t offer any certificate or professional designation for Security Trainers. In fact, the Government offers very little in the way of recognizing individuals as qualified to be trainers of Security Guards.
Has any Security Training Provider ever told you they’re Government Certified? If so, they’re either not telling the truth, or they’re referring to a certification offered by the Government that doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of security training.
Have you been approached by anyone that claims to be certified in Security by the Government? If so, ask to see their certification. They may actually have a Security Licence or a certification of participation in a related course, such as the Canadian General Standards Board’s curriculum for security training, but – while useful – aren’t considered professional certifications in Security.
The Ontario Government does not offer online security training
Although the government doesn’t offer any online security training programs, it does provide a list of entities which are approved to provide security training.
This list of entities includes security companies, security training businesses, colleges, and other organizations. Many of these entities provide in class training and a growing number are offering online training options. Those looking to enter the security field must make a decision on cost vs benefit when considering which training provider to choose, and how much the training will apply on the job vs the government security exam.
Becoming government licenced is necessary for Security Guards, and therefore many security training providers devote the 40 hour security training course to act as a recruitment tool and to help individuals pass the government security exam.
If you are seeking to gain professional skills and knowledge which will assist with on-the-job situations, such as fire alarms, medical emergencies, positive relationship building skills, tactical communication skills, etc., then it would be worth considering to either use the quickest, cheapest option to complete the training or seek out quality in-class training for a reasonable price.
The benefits of becoming ASIS Certified
While the ASIS Certification programs aren’t directly related to the work of a Security Guard, the benefits offered by ASIS Certifications and ASIS Membership can be quite beneficial.
Being an ASIS Member shows that you follow the Security industry’s best practices and care about being involved in your chosen profession.
This makes you more trustworthy, making it more likely that companies will select you for available positions. It also indicates a knowledge and understanding of the importance of professional development – an important quality and characteristic necessary to advance in Security.
Finally, becoming ASIS Certified allows you to be designated as a professional. The ASIS PSP certification, PSP referring to Physical Security Professional, requires an individual to pass a challenging and difficult examination with an additional requirement for experience in the security industry. The result is a Board Certified recognition of one’s knowledge and skills.
ASIS also allows you to list yourself in their index of certified individuals around the world. This can be a useful source of networking. It can result in receiving job offers and finding good leads for available, but more competitive and more rewarding positions.
Becoming a Security Professional
With the ASIS certifications, backed by well-rounded practical knowledge and skills in Security, and with great networking skills, you’ll be able to become a marketable Security professional within both your company’s framework and as an independent consultant.
Since the Security industry is constantly changing, the importance of certifications is far less than the importance of staying up to date with trends and tactics. Regardless, having professional certifications can give you an advantage when marketing your services to clients and potential employers.
Would you like to start a career in Security? Condor Security offers employment in an enthusiastic, team-based environment. Managers, supervisors, and senior staff provide guidance and training to new team members to speed up and support professional development. Condor's learning culture, security training progams, and high expectations on performance creates the foundation for continual improvement, responsible work methods, and a respectful attitude for colleagues. These, combined with the right attitude and level of perseverance, will help you excel in the highly competitive and challenging Security industry.