Before you can work as a security officer in Toronto, you need to acquire a security guard license. This license is essential in the security business as it is proof that you are qualified to assume the position and carry out the duties of a security guard.
In Toronto, it is illegal to work as or employ security guards without the appropriate license. So you see, if you intend to pursue a career in the security guard business, you must obtain a license to practice.
The same standard applies to security guard companies. These businesses have been mandated to obtain a license to practice and ensure that their employees are certified, professionals.
The simple reason is to ensure a knowledge and competence standard for would-be security guards looking to be certified as professionals in the business. The business of security is quite delicate and vital, therefore certain restrictions and qualifications have to be placed on the job.
The need to have a license as a security guard has raised the question of how to obtain one. To get your license to work as a security guard, you must first meet specific criteria. This can seem like a complex process.
However, acquiring a security guard license is not a complicated process at all. In the rest of this article, we will walk you through it.
But before we go into all the details, let us first look at what makes a security guard and the various on-the-job responsibilities that are expected of the profession.
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Who is a Security Guard?
A security guard is a person in the employ of either the government or a private party to protect the interests of the said employer. This can be done by enforcing preventive and sometimes corrective measures.
The interests of the employer may be people, assets, property, equipment, or even money. Depending on the nature of the job, a security guard may carry weapons in the form of batons, tasers, or firearms to facilitate the proper execution of their duties.
More often than not, security guards wear unique uniforms to distinguish them and make visible their lawful authority to protect private or restricted property. Generally, security guards are expected to deter illegal and inappropriate activities such as waste disposal, dangerous worker activities, vandalism, theft, or other such criminal activities.
In the cases where such activities are detected, a guard will take action to manage or control the damage that may occur.
Duties of a Security Guard
The job description for a security guard may vary from employer to employer. Notwithstanding, here are some of the everyday responsibilities a security guard may be required to carry out by his employer.
Remain highly visible
This may seem very fickle, but it is essential in the security business. A visible security guard serves as a deterrence to possible vandals, burglars, or rule-breakers, in general. This way, you can be less worried about damage control concerning your stakes.
Be very vigilant
A security guard must always be alert. Not only that, a security guard must have a very keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing. All of this means they will be able to quickly detect signs of unfavourable actions and take countermeasures against them. Most security officers in Toronto use this responsibility to help read situations and take appropriate measures correctly.
Respond fast and appropriately
In the case of an emergency, a security guard is expected to react and rightly too quickly. They take the necessary actions to control the situation and, if need be, manage the people that are also involved.
Observe and report
Good observation and communication skills are mandatory for a good security guard. As part of their duties, security guards access and take correct stock of a situation, act on this assessment, and make excellent reports findings and actions to the employer.
Manage a crowd
It is not uncommon for security guards in Toronto to find themselves with a need to control large crowds. In the event of this, a security guard is expected to manage the crowd to ensure complete order.
More often than not, a security guard’s duties go beyond just maintaining security. They may be expected to carry out different functions such as running delicate errands, driving, or working as an assistant for employers.
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How to Obtain a Security Guard License
Getting your security guard license in Toronto is a straightforward process. Since it is mandatory for security companies and security guards to own a license, here is how to go about it.
Meet the requirements
In Toronto, there are specific criteria security guards must meet before they can even consider a career in the profession. These requirements are scrutinized before you can enroll for a security guard training of any sort. Although these criteria vary from province to province, here are the four conditions that are almost always present.
- You must be above 18 years of age.
- You must not have a criminal record of any kind.
- You must be eligible to work in Toronto.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED.
The above are primary requirements you must meet if you want to be able to process your license to work as a security guard. If you have a perfect mark for the above criteria, you may proceed to the next step.
Complete the training program
To continue in the journey towards getting your security guard license, you will be required to complete the state prescribed security guard training program. This training program is a 40-day class that you can either take online or physically in a classroom.
The training involves everything from property rights to self-defence training and emergency procedure. These are so that you are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to adequately carry out your security guard duties.
The training program will also require you to get certification in skills that can come in handy during emergencies such as first aid treatment training and even CPR training. For the first aid and CPR, you will also get certificates showing that you have learned and acquired these skills.
Collect your training completion number
This training completion number will be issued to you upon your completion of the mandatory 40-hour security guard training program. You will need this number to register for a security guard test, which is your next milestone in the journey to obtain a security guard license.
Register for the security guard test
The next thing for you to do is to register for the Toronto security guard test. For this, you will need to pay the test fees, which amount to about $75 after tax. Then you will need to sit for the exam and, of course, pass it. The cut-off mark is usually to get at least 37 over a total mark of 60 or 62% in percentage.
If you do not pass the security guard test on your first trial, you can retake the test. However, you will have to pay the test fees of $75 for every time that you sit to write the test. Only after you have passed the security guard test can you proceed to the next on this list.
Submit your security guard license application
This is the final step in acquiring a security guard license in Toronto. You may choose to fill out an application and submit online, or you may elect to print out a hard copy application form and send it through the mail. Irrespective of the application method that you choose, ensure that you fill in all the details accurately and attach all the required documents.
The advantage of applying online is that you can log in to your account to view and monitor your application status in real-time. You can also print out a temporary digital license as soon as your application has been approved.
This temporary digital license can be used until you receive the hard copy license, which usually arrives in the mail. It may take as long as 10 to 30 days for your security guard license application to go through the accreditation process and for you to get a hard copy.
To Sum It Up
If you intend to practice as a security guard in Toronto, applying for and acquiring your security guard license is not negotiable. Irrespective of whether you want to join a security company or run your own security company, you need to have your license.
Related article: Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Security Guard License