In order to work for any private security company, an individual must obtain a registered security guard card. Interested persons must be at least eighteen years old and submit to a criminal history check. The security guard card training class can be completed in one day and requires an eight hour in-class training session. The guard card training covers topics such as criminal law, civil liability, role of a security officer, search and seizure, duty and authority and the nature of terrorism. The purpose of many training centers is to provide the most up to date training for security professionals so they can successfully adapt to the changing needs of the security industry. Further, training classes are designed to instill the values of honor, integrity and self-discipline.
Additional Guard Card Requirements:
In addition to the training class, an individual interested in obtaining a security guard card must complete a live scan fingerprinting analysis and between 32-40 hours of additional training (Check-out security guard training requirements by state here). Sixteen of these hours must be completed within thirty days from the day the registration is issued, or within thirty days of starting employment. The remaining sixteen hours must be completed within the first six months from the day the registration is issued, or within six months of starting employment. Also, note that eight hours of continuing education training is required every year after the first.
On average an individual should expect to pay between $50 – 120.00 to obtain a registered security guard card. This total reflects the registration, training and background check fees. Once the applicable entity receives an individual’s security guard card application and criminal history clearances, the cleared security guard will appear on the entity’s website. After the security guard registration has been cleared, a screen-print from the website may be made and used as an interim security guard card. The security guard can then be placed on assignment. The actual security guard registration will be mailed to the applicant and should be received in 10 to 15 business days. Please note that the security guard card status is taken extremely seriously, and even in states such as New York has been codified into state law.
Codified Law (State of California)
“Except as provided in this section and section eighty-nine-w of this article, no security guard company shall knowingly employ a person as a security guard and no person shall be employed as a security guard or act as a security guard unless: a. The security guard company has verified with the department that such person possesses a valid registration card which has not expired or been revoked or suspended; or b. Such security guard company has filed with the department in a manner prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated by the department, by certified mail: (i) An application for a registration card completed and sworn to by such person pursuant to subdivision one of section eighty-nine-h of this article; (ii) A certification by the security guard company that it has exercised due diligence to verify as true the information contained in such person’s application; (iii) A certification that such person has completed the preassigned training required by subdivision two of section eighty-nine-h of this article; (iv) Two photographs of such person taken within thirty days prior to the filing of the application of a size prescribed by the secretary and two sets of fingerprints of such person.”
Security Guard Distinctions
One of the common misconceptions about guard cards is the difference between which security occupations require registration cards versus a proprietary private security officer’s ( PSO) license . In the State of California for example, if an individual works for a bar, restaurant, nightclub or any other alcohol service venue, you must have a proprietary private security officer license and not the guard card. Common PSO job titles include bouncers, doormen, concierges, in-house guards and loss prevention associates.
To conclude, although there are many different distinctions, the important take away is the importance of each individual security guard to determine the requirements needed to fulfill the training and license policies of the state and company they work for. The security guard card is the first step in beginning your career, and following the rules can make the process move quicker and smoother when an individual is entering a challenging and daring field of protection services.