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Security Guard Training: The Top 8 Trends To Focus On In 2021

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Security Guard Training: The Top 8 Trends To Focus On In 2021

In the physical security industry it’s really easy to neglect training your security guards. It can be expensive and time consuming. But the benefits of security training are much higher than its potential costs.

Well-trained guards give you a reason to increase your bill rates. Better training means less problems, which means happier clients. And when you invest in your security officers, it can be a morale booster and a turnover reducer.

Even if you already know you need to train your security teams, it can be really hard to decide what training is worth cutting into your razor thin margins. These 8 security training areas are looking to be the most popular into 2021 and beyond.

  1. Compliance
  2. Cybersecurity
  3. Access Control
  4. Guard Management Software
  5. Remote Monitoring
  6. Incident Management & Response
  7. Customer Service
  8. De-escalation & Communication

Considering these 8 areas first will be a good step forward as you look to build out your security guard training programs for 2021. Stay tuned for more content from Thinkcurity to get free advice, training, and resources in some of these areas throughout the year.

1. Compliance

Compliance in the physical security industry can create giant headaches for guard companies. It seems like every year there is a new law or regulation that makes running your company more costly or more difficult.

Knowing and training your security guards on new standards can save you lots of time and money in the long run from fines, lawsuits, and other litigation. BSIS continues to set the nationwide standards and offers great training programs for you and your officers. But you should always make sure to check new compliance laws in your specific state(s).

One specific compliance issue that has cropped up in the past few months is security guard break meal break violations in California. Knowing how to keep your guards compliant in this area can save your company hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.

2. Cybersecurity

In every industry, cybersecurity training is becoming more and more important. It’s no different for physical security.

At the very least, your security guards and supervisors will likely use smartphones and computers for incident reporting and administrative tasks. Without knowing what to look for, they can become easy targets for phishing and malware attacks.

Putting your teams through basic cybersecurity training can save your business money and headaches. SANS and Udemy both offer great introductory cybersecurity classes both in-person and online and have a range of pricing options.

3. Access Control

Access control has become one of the hottest topics in the physical security industry over the past few years. After all of the events of 2020, it’s becoming even more important.

There is so much technology associated with access control systems that it can be hard to figure out what exactly you and your security guards need to be trained on. Talking with your clients and understanding their specific needs is a good place to start.

Based on your client conversations, you will probably want to consider having at least one access control expert in your private security company. If you don’t have that expert now, Security CEU offers a 6-part Access Control Specialist course series for just $125 that you or one of your supervisors can take.

4. Guard Management Software

In 2021, it’s pretty much a given that every private security company needs some kind of guard management software. But even if your company uses software, making sure security guards are trained on how to use it effectively is extremely important for you and themselves.

When your security guards know how to properly use reporting software, you get better data to inform your strategy and decision making. Your guards also get to effectively prove their hard work.

5. Remote Monitoring

Like access control, remote monitoring technologies are becoming more popular every year. It makes sense for a lot of security clients and companies. Remote monitoring includes 2 main areas: video surveillance and global security operations centers (GSOC).

Video surveillance itself has become split into old-fashioned CCTV cameras and newer IP cameras that rely on an internet connection. IP cameras bring along things like NDAA compliance that you should be familiar with if you’re going down that route. 

If you are planning on going after any cannabis security contracts, you and your guards will likely want to be knowledgeable on video surveillance options.

Global security operation centers (GSOC) take remote incident management to the next level. They make incident response, situational awareness, and resource allocation much easier. If you run a larger security operation, you should definitely have guards and supervisors who are well-educated on managing a Command Center or GSOC.

6. Incident Management & Response

The private security industry hasn’t had enough focus on effective incident management and response. Many security companies run into the problem of being reactive to incidents and risks instead of proactive.

A great step to solving this problem is to implement standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs make job expectations clear to your security guards.

Many incident management & response plans will be designed to meet a client’s needs and the specific risks associated with their property. Putting yourself and your officers through security risk assessment training will provide a great foundation for building better incident management and response plans.

7. Customer Service

Private security services can be looked at as a customer service-oriented industry. Many security guards will have to interact with patrons of your clients’ businesses.

Having a customer service mindset will hopefully help your guards to make a positive impression on those patrons, which looks good on your company. Encouraging your security guards to be customer service oriented will also help to fight against the negative stereotypes about the private security industry as a whole.

You can read this article from Silvertrac on customer service in private security for more information on the topic.

8. Communication & De-Escalation

All of the events of 2020 brought the topic of communication and de-escalation to the forefront of global news. But in the physical security industry, these two things have been important for a long time.

Training security guards how to communicate will not only help your company run more smoothly, but it can help prevent difficult and potentially dangerous situations from happening in the field. These tactical communication techniques are a great starting point.

When situations do start to get out of hand, training guards on de-escalation techniques can help keep themselves and everyone else in a situation safe.


Even though spending extra money isn’t ever security company owners’ first thought, investing in training for your security guards is a great investment that adds value to your security services and shows the guards that you believe in them.

Stay tuned for more great content from Thinkcurity that will help you take you and your private security company to the next level.

Rob Kirk
Rob Kirk
Rob Kirk is the host of the Thinkcurity webinar series and a content marketing specialist at Silvertrac Software. He has a passion to bring high-quality information on a variety of topics to the security industry that will help security companies of all sizes go to the next level.

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