Standards And Training In The Private Security Industry

In our latest post for our CALSAGA blog, we take a look at the training requirements for security guards in light of two recent studies from Michigan State University’s criminal justice department. The study revealed a couple major concerns in the industry, not just because of the lack of uniform requirements, but also because many professionals in the industry feel unprepared to do the job expected of them.


Security Guard Training | Standards & Regulation


One revealing aspect of the two studies was that there are serious shortcomings in regard to how private security officers are regulated as an industry, especially compared to other professions which require state certifications. This is particularly alarming since the roles of security guards have expanded greatly over the last 15 years, with no significant changes to regulation or standards over the last 30 years.


In addition to the lack of uniform standards for security guards, the article points to some of the other reasons which make it difficult to apply more rigorous standards. For one, working as a security guard typically means working a low-paying job, which in turn causes a high level of turnover for the positions which are filled. The article also mentions that some foreign countries use far stricter guidelines in the regulation and oversight of contract security workers.


Evaluating California Security Guard Requirements


The second section of our blog post looks at the requirements for becoming a security guard in California, noting that the state does have higher levels of oversight and regulation than some others. Among the important numbers, 40 hours of training are required, but only 8 hours must be completed before being assigned to a post, while the rest can be completed in the months that follow. The information on training requirements was taken from  the official website for the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services, which is under the California Department of Consumer Affairs.


More studies like those done at Michigan State University will be needed before we can have a sure answer as to how to address the issue, but the information from the studies is already being used to suggest changes to the security guard requirements in Michigan.