Security Guard Equipment You Might Need To Own Are:
- Security Guard Clothing
- High-Visibility Clothing
- Self-Defence Equipment
- Digital Camera / Smart Glasses
- Nerves Of Steel
- Notepad, Pen, Phone, Voice Recorder
- Communication Device or Two-Way Radio
- Mobile Phone / Smart Watch
- Webbing Belt
If you have read our connecting article on the Security Guard Job Description, you will already know what Security Guard Equipment or gear a security guard typically carries and uses in the field and on the job.
Basic Entry Qualifications
- CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations
- Responsible Service of Alcohol Ticket
- SITHGAM022 Provide Responsible Gambling Services ticket
CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations is the entry point into the Security Industry, and the minimum required certification to undertake the role of a security guard. From this point, you will likely need to add some additional courses to your resume before you are fully employable.
These extra courses include a SITHFAB021 Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol Ticket and a SITHGAM022 Provide Responsible Gambling Services ticket. Without those two additional certificates, you cannot work in licenced venues that serve alcohol or provide gambling facilities. That includes external crowd control or door control duties connected to the establishment.
Specific Security Sectors
The security industry is no longer one homogenous blob using the same label and filled with muscle-bound meatheads who follow orders and lift heavy things. Far from it, with the rise of terrorism and the war on terror, the necessity for intelligent, autonomous, level-headed specialists in specific fields emerged.
- Armed Guards And Close Protection Officers
These are the only two sectors of the Security Industry that may be licenced to carry and use a firearm in the course of undertaking their assigned duties. They undertake additional training, require spotless ASIO clearance and must sit the exam and qualify for a Category H pistol/handgun Firearms licence, then jump through a lot of red tape and officious hoops to maintain their licences. If you genuinely seek this line of work, you need deep pockets and a ready supply of cash. Getting to the employment stage in these two sectors is extremely difficult, takes time and experience, and only the crème of the crop are chosen for employment.
These are a long-term vocational commitment and dedicated specialist careers. V.I.P. Bodyguarding is the non-specialists’ term for Close Protection Officer.
Your Equipment Will Consist Of The Following:
- Registered Firearm
- Communication devices (discrete, not two-way)
- Years of Experience
- All Other Sectors
For all other sectors, the less specialised and glamourous role of the Security Guard is typically stereotyped. They can be roving patrol with Canines, roving patrol foot-based without a canine, roving vehicle patrol, complex security with multiple levels, such as malls and office buildings. You could be a static guard sitting in a control room monitoring a series of CCTV cameras, door security (bouncer), or crowd control (raves, gigs, public or private events etc.).
- Prison Guard
One final sector remains and that is the role of a Prison Guard. This is a specialised category that comes with its own specific training and procedures. The equipment used by Prison Guards is issued to them by the prison for use on duty, while on duty, and does not leave the prison grounds, nor can you take your own equipment to work.
Correctional officers are typically employed at either a Federal or State level in Australia and are not subject to private staffing or the commercial sector. However, that is in the process of changing as Australia considers moving towards the American system of privatisation.
Security Guard Equipment You Might Need To Own
1. Security Guard Clothing
This is one of the most important things a Security Guard must own and consists of the following where it is applicable to the type of security role being undertaken. In most cases for Crowd Control or Door Control, the uniform is a black shirt and trousers with boots and a high-vis vest identifying your position clearly to the public should they need assistance. Venues and employers will have their own uniform policies or provide a uniform or uniform guideline.
2. High-Visibility Clothing
This is needed to increase the Security Guards’ visibility. This is for your safety and public identification and to alert any possible criminals that may plan to break into the location being patrolled or guarded.
Spend the money to buy the best quality boots you can afford, as they carry your weight and support you through the shift. Boots are an investment in your physical comfort and capacity to undertake the role correctly, especially if the role involves standing for prolonged periods or walking long distances, such as around the levels of a shopping mall or the perimeter of a large, fenced complex. Comfortable, supportive, and padded gel insoles in your boots make all the difference, as does a correctly fitted and laced boot give extra ankle support. You must be able to run and chase potential trespassers, so they should be worn-in before being put into active use to prevent blisters on the job.
Flashlights used to be bulky, oversized, and heavy. These days, L.E.D.s have changed the game, and it is about the lumen count for intensity and brightness, not the size. A powerful torch with the ability to cover a long distance with a beam aperture that can change size from panoramic down to a pinpoint is essential to any Security Guard not employed in a static position role.
A flashlight is useful when working the dayshift to view the inside of a dark space, peer down long corridors or skim across multi-surface areas in recess or shadow.
The stereotype ultra-long black security guard torch is also considered a form of self-defence weapon if needed in much the same way a police baton would be employed.
5. Self-Defence Equipment
This is where things get tricky in Australia. Without the correct licences and current certifications, it is illegal for the general public to own some of the items a Security Guard can carry, wear, and use for personal protection and self-defence or that enables them to subdue and hold a person captive until help arrives. Possessing these items without a current licence can be a chargeable offence.
- Bulletproof vest
- Pepper Spray /Mace
The type of security role you are qualified to perform will also dictate what personal protection and weapons, if any, you are licensed to carry, operate, and use in Australia. Armed guards, C.P.O., and Prison guards require an extremely vigorous set of rules and training that includes a mandated quarterly live fire on a range and the appropriate licence and facilities to contain a handgun, ammunition, and parts, all in separate locked containers within one location. The red tape and additional licencing requirements to carry a weapon in Australia are genuinely painful and ultra-expensive.
Those who manage to pass the vetting process and get their Category H Firearms licences tend never to let the licences or licence conditions lapse as they are a costly nightmare to get back once expired or infringed in any capacity. Honestly, I cannot stress how difficult or officious this security role and that of a Close Protection Officer (C.P.O.) is to acquire and maintain. This has to be considered a long-term employment option, and you will need deep pockets to keep and renew all your mandated licences current.
The use of handcuffs and a bulletproof vest is also illegal to anyone without a current security licence, and some are even so specific as to be only deemed legal in the State the licence is issued, meaning you cannot carry them across the border even with a current security licence if the two States do not match. Misuse of a prohibited/illegal item can result in legal criminal charges and loss of all security licences and employment with the potential for incarceration.
6. Digital Camera / Smart Glasses
The constantly evolving world of Technology seems to be focusing on the sector that controls the mass populace with increasing ferocity. Some form of tracking covers every second of a day and every metre of ground, be it CCTV, Ring cameras on houses, G.P.S. satellites or people with the latest fit bits, Apple watches, or iPhones making Tik-Tok or YouTube videos. The invention of smart glasses keeps advancing at an alarming rate and will likely become part of the mandated kit within a decade as they provide a range of live-feed information, can switch to Night vision mode or thermal imaging mode, and can do a ton of truly scary things the average person is not aware of that assist both the criminal element and law enforcement equally.
A good high-pixel-count digital camera could be your best friend during a patrol if working at locations with no security cameras installed. It can be used to record a notable event, take pictures of people and items, and capture video of vehicle movements or any kind of suspicious activity in the area.
7. Nerves Of Steel
Laugh all you like. Macho men can be just as scared of the dark and eerie as children. Working the night shift in any environment that should be free of other people is an eerie experience, and those with an active imagination can drive themselves crazy with paranoia.
Investigating and exploring spaces and situations in the dark and typically on your own takes genuine nerves of steel and a logical mind with a level head.
8. Notepad, Pen, Phone, Voice Recorder
Security guards need to keep notes of every shift. Be it through written word or verbally recorded audio tapes, they need to remember all aspects of a completed shift and the actions undertaken. Unless you have a photographic memory, it is impossible to recall details of a shift the day, week, month, or year prior with detailed accuracy from memory. Some form of note annotation is required to write reports about daily actions and observations they might have made.
9. Communication Device or Two-Way Radio
Close protection officers and security guards working at events or in retail should always carry a two-way radio, which is important for communication with the control room or other security guards. Communication systems constantly evolve. The traditional two-way is being replaced by Bluetooth transmitter and receiver devices with live-feed, cloud-based innovative applications and storage systems that sit inside the ear like a hearing aid and are virtually undetectable.
Generally, the employer will provide specific operational equipment to do the job but having a traditional backup two-way or walkie-talkie never hurts. Sometimes the old systems are the best, and a two-way unit does not need Wi-Fi to work, only batteries. Both forms have their pros, cons, and limitations.
10. Mobile Phone / Smart Watch
Cell phones and Smart Watches are crucial for making quick calls to emergency services or backup. You can put all the important contacts on speed dial for faster access and retrieval. While a wristwatch is considered a luxury option, where one can be afforded, they allow a hands-free form of communication that holding a mobile phone does not provide. For that reason, they are a superior option of convenience, not a ‘must have’ expense.
11. Webbing Belt
A heavy-duty webbing security belt is the conclusion of all the above equipment for a Security Guard. Its role is to provide a hands-free area that holds pockets for all the security equipment to be stored and accessed while on the person’s body but frees up the hands. For an overview of the essential equipment, read our blog article titled: Security Guard Job Description.
Taking The Next Step
You have to start somewhere, and the best place is by finding an accredited, Registered Training Organisation (R.T.O.) provider that specialises in the Security Industry and has a few years behind them training participants. When reading reviews, make sure you take them with a grain of salt, especially if there are no negative comments or the reviews only focus on praising the company. They will be false reviews or heavily vetted to remove any truth about problems or difficulties that participants might have experienced with that provider.
Spend time researching all of the options available to you, make sure you do a price comparison and opt for the middle ground. If the course is too cheap, the product will cut corners and likely be substandard in some format. If the course is too expensive, they are selling you a lie.Find three providers who are middle of the range and then research each until you find the one that is the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ring them directly and ask questions.
Asking them questions like how many of their students went on to gain employment in the last year, or how many were not happy with what the course covered will put them on the back foot. The more transparent and open they are, the more likely they are a legitimate trainer and the right people for the job. If they become defensive and hide basic information, you would be wise to steer clear of them.
Not everyone taking a course will have glowing recommendations about either the trainer or the material. Personality clashes and conflicts of ego are a part of this industry. When you get two or three not-so-glowing or honest reviews, don’t dismiss them just yet. Your experience might be the exact opposite. However, if more than five reviews have a legitimate beef with the provider or course, you might want to ask some direct questions to establish why the reviews might not be 100% favourable. It could be a simple case of personal expectation versus what was delivered and the difference between the two values. Some websites like to upsell their product to make it seem like the bells and whistles package when they only give the minimum required by the governing authority at the time.
Read the provider information carefully and make notes of questions you may have about information not provided or to expand on and clarify the information provided. While some providers might only be interested in taking your cash and providing a barely adequate course that meets the industry standard, others are banking their business and reputation on producing a high-quality product their students will be more than happy to share with other people interested in learning with that provider.
Call some security companies and ask them who they would recommend in the industry or where most of their staff obtained their training. The source of employment is often the fastest way to zero in on legitimate providers with a solid reputation in the industry.
Lastly, this career might seem glamorous to some, but it is hard graft, long hours, and can seem to drag for eternity on some assignments, especially if you are solo. It can be extortionately expensive to maintain licences and keep upskilling with the addition of extra training to get you to where you ultimately wish to be in the Security Industry, but when all is said and done, it can also be a rewarding and lucrative sector to be in when you reach the top of your game.
Two things you will want to make sure you have covered before entering the industry are Life Insurance and a legally binding Will. We hope you never need to utilise either, but the reality is that this is a dangerous career with the potential to be deadly. It is better to be prepared and never need it than to need it and not have prepared for the worst-case scenario.