There is no stand alone Security Guard license in British Columbia. Rather, you apply for what is called a Security Worker License. This license can have many qualifications for various services, such as Security Guard.
Becoming a Security Guard in British Columbia is similar to a lot of other provinces: You need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature.
Furthermore, to become a licensed Security Guard in BC, you need to take a government approved BC Security Guard licensing course:
BASIC SECURITY TRAINING (BST)
In BC, the government body that controls a British Columbia Security Guard's license is the Registrar of Security Services via the BC Security Programs Division. So, it is the Registrar that will have a list of approved Security Guard licensing courses.
Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the Security Guard licensing course to the Registrar, you will get your British Columbia Security Guard license.
BC Security Guard Requirements
Age: You must be 19 years old or older.
Criminal Record: You cannot have a criminal record. The Registrar will perform a criminal check on you through the BC Security Guard license application. You just have to sign an authorization document in the application.
Fingerprints: You will need to get fingerprinted and submit a fingerprint records document in your BC Security Guard license application. Many BC law enforcement agencies offer this service, such as the Vancouver Police Department.
Canadian Citizen: You need to be a Canadian citizen or be able to legally be employed in British Columbia. You will have to submit copies of Canadian or BC government IDs to the Registrar in your application.
English: You must be able to speak and write in English.
BC Government Approved BST Course: You will need to complete a BC security license course approved by the Registrar and submit proof of completion in your application. Contact the Registrar for a list of approved courses. A BST course typically costs around $400 CAD.
Passport Photo: You have to provide the Registrar with a certified passport photo. Most BC passport photo providers offer this service.
Fee: You will have to pay a small licensing fee. Consult the Registrar for the fee amount.
Submitting: The documents you submit can be sent to the Registrar via mail or online uploading.
BC Security Programs Division
PO Box 9217 Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9J1
BC BASIC SECURITY TRAINING Equivalent
You are able to possibly avoid needing to take the BST if you have equivalent experience the BC Security Programs Division deems as acceptable. Contact the BC Security Programs Division to determine if your experience is acceptable. You will need to attach your employment history in the BC Security Guard application. Possible experience equivalent includes,
Canada Border Services Agency
Previous Security Experience
What Does a BC Security Guard Do?
BC Security Guards Patrol Vacant Locations
BC Security Guards will do foot patrols of locations for a set number of times per shift.
A common task for a BC Security Guard will be checking mechanical rooms for any unusual signs or potential health and safety issues. Cities such as Vancouver have a lot of condo and apartment buildings. Many of these buildings employ local BC Security Guards to check their mechanical rooms.
BC Security Guards watch for hazards and fill out hazard reports (BC Guards write a lot of reports).
Guards in BC document and report maintenance issues to supervisors.
Many BC security sites require Guards to monitor fire extinguishers to ensure that they are not overdue for inspection (official reviews are done by maintenance personnel).
BC Security Guards write a lot, including filling in logs as their shifts progresses with what activities are being done at what times. BC Guards will have their own security notebooks and will constantly note all unusual sightings, occurrences, and incidents.
BC Security Guards will respond to alarms and act accordingly as per the Emergency Response plan set in place by supervisors. This may include,
Evacuation of the security site.
Checking alarm system on the way out for information about where the problem is occurring.
Responding to incidents and completing all reports as necessary.
BC Security Guards Protect Sites with Customers
If a BC Security Guard is working in a team environment, they will usually meet for a pre-shift briefing at a set location. Once the meeting has been completed the BC Security Guards will go directly to their designated sites.
In BC security site locations with customers, Guards will do a lot of patrolling. This can be in a building or outside in places such as parking lots.
BC Security Guards are usually responsible for site cleanliness when there are no designated cleaning staff. This means as a BC Security Guard, expect to be cleaning a lot of trash.
Monitoring CCTV cameras will be a big part of a BC Security Guard’s job. This will be on a continuous basis with follow ups on issues seen.
When it comes to security sites in the service industry, BC Security Guards will have to assist customers in various non-security ways. This can be giving them directions or carrying items for them. Furthermore, BC Security Guards will often be expected to be friendly, outgoing, and talkative with customers in their security sites.
A constant security issue for BC security sites with customers will be smoking, alcohol consumption, and narcotics. BC Security Guards will often be making sure people aren’t smoking in non-smoking areas, consuming alcohol, or narcotics. For the latter, a BC Security Guard will usually report the issue to local BC police. Unfortunately, public illegal narcotic consumption is mainstream in BC. This makes the job of a BC Guard a little difficult.
If the BC security site is a residence, responding to noise complaints will be a big part of the job.
Of course, catching shoplifters will be a constant for a BC Security Guard in a site with customers. Most BC cities have crime problems, even small cities such as Prince George. These crime ridden cities rely on BC Guards to mitigate this crime.
BC Security Guards Work at Security Gates
BC Security Guards will patrol parking areas to make sure vehicles are registered at that security site.
Every person entering through the security gate will produce valid photo ID to the BC Security Guard. The Guard will determine if the individual may pass.
During medical emergencies, the BC Security Guard will direct traffic to allow easy access for BC EMS vehicles.
BC Security Guards Deal with Medical Issues
Emergencies at a BC security site can happen at any time, day or night. On going communication will be key for all BC Security Guards involved to get through the emergency with the best possible outcome.
BC EMS/ ambulances will often be called by BC Security Guards.
The BC Security Guard that places the 911 call will relay info regarding who, what, where, why, and when.
BC Security Supervisors will usually take lead on these incidents and direct other BC Guards to specific tasks to perform during the emergency.
BC Security Guards will always remain calm and professional. Furthermore, they will assist however they can.
BC Security Reporting Tips
A BC Guard should never put in the synopsis of the BC security report their own personal opinion, only the facts.
Example of an opinion:
“The individual was angry and rude.”
Example of facts:
“The individual was talking at a loud volume, pacing back and forth while using profanities.”
This lets the reader of the BC security report make their own conclusion on the situation without any accidental bias opinion from the BC Security Guard.
If the BC Security Guard can prove events in a report without personal opinions it will make the report a lot more reputable and concrete.
A BC Security Guard should use non-confirming words whenever applicable:
Example of not using the proper words:
JOE took MARK’s room key and entered his room and stole his DVD collection.
Example of using proper words:
MARK reported that he suspected JOE of taking his keys, entering his room and taking his DVD collection. The alleged incident will be investigated.
Adding Important Details to the BC Security Report
It is possible to create a BC security report and miss important details.
This is an example of a report where important details are not included:
At 1015hrs reception notified BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH of an apparent assault at the lodge.
BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH interview the reported victim, JACK JOHNSON. JACK JOHNSON reported that MIKE ESPO had struck him in the lodge's gym.
BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH Reviewed CCTV and confirmed that MIKE ESPO had struck JACK JOHNSON.
This is the same BC security report with the important details added:
At 1015hrs lodge reception worker, PHIL PRICE reported via radio to BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH that a lodge guest of room #333 claimed to have been assaulted in the lodge.
BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH was at the lodge's security gate when the assault was reported. BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH responded and proceeded to the lodge.
At 1018hrs BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH arrived at the lodge's reception desk where PHIL PRICE was located. PHIL PRICE directed BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH to the reported victim who was present at the reception desk. The victim identified themselves as JACK JOHNSON which was confirmed via ID.
JACK JOHNSON reported to BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH that at 0900 he was in the lodge's gym with a co-worker named MIKE ESPO of lodge room #334, both were employed by Proactive Construction Inc.
JACK JOHNSON stated that they both were disagreeing with the proper method of using equipment. The disagreement resulted with MIKE ESPO striking JACK JOHNSON in the stomach with his fist. JACK JOHNSON stated that he did not respond physically. JACK JOHNSON stated that MIKE ESPO left the gym immediately after the assault.
BC Security Guard JOHN SMITH reviewed the CCTV for the lodge's gym.
On CCTV at 0747hrs JACK JOHNSON is seen communicating with MIKE ESPO in the gym. MIKE ESPO is then seen kicking JACK JOHNSON in the stomach. JACK JOHNSON then falls to the floor. MIKE ESPO is seen leaving the gym immediately after the assault.
These are a few examples of important details that were not included in the first incorrect BC security report:
Read the BC security report a minimum of ten times.
Always link events from A to B to C to D etc...
Look for details you missed that are important.
Add specific details.
Remove anything that is your own personal opinion.
Create the BC security report in chronological order. List the events in order that they occurred.
Add “Need to Know” information and remove non “Need to Know” information:
Does the reader need to know the victim's location of the assault? Yes.
Does the reader need to know that the victim was sitting at a chair and drinking a coffee near the reception desk when reporting the assault? No.
About the Author
Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 15 years working in BC security. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous security training programs in various capacities. Peter has personally trained many BC Security Guards.