To equip the candidate with the knowledge, skill and competence to work under supervision as a security officer performing practical security duties and procedures and responding to security situations in a variety of settings including static and the retail industry.

Programme Objectives

  • Be familiar with private security, the guarding sector of the private security industry and licensing of employers and employees within the sector.
  • Understand the broad spectrum of law and its impact on operational security in the static and retail security environment.
  • Understand the range of duties and procedures carried out by security staff, developing the skills and knowledge required to carry out the full range of workplace tasks.
  • Understand the specific duties and procedures required within the retail security sector, acquiring the additional skills and knowledge to work with competence within the sector.
  • Identify emergencies and appropriate responses to a range of emergencies.
  • Develop communication skills for effective interaction with patrons, customers, clients, management and colleagues.
  • Understand the benefits of personal qualities and personal standards.


Development of the programme was undertaken in consultation with the Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA), Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), Security Institute Corporate Category (SII) and other key stakeholders. The security industry certification body the Security Institute carried out national and international research including referencing the EU Komsi Project, the Private Security Authority, Security Industry Authority, British Home Office, Confederation of European Security Services and the Department of American Homeland Security. The programme satisfies the requirements of the revised Guarding Services Standard (a Standard for PSA Licensing of Contractors) and includes comprehensive sections on Retail Security and Responses to Third Party Threats and Violence.

Programme Profile

This part time programme necessitates day release or evening-course environment participation. Directed or classroom learning is estimated at approximately 30 hours in total. Typical day release participation will involve candidate commitment of five days, one day per week.  Home study or self-directed learning is an essential feature of this part time programme. Successful completion leads to a QQI Minor Award in Guarding Skills at Level 4 (4N1118). This award has a credit value of 10. The security industry certification body the Security Institute of Ireland jointly certifies the programme.

Successful completion can lead directly to employment within the security industry as the award satisfies the training requirements for licensing in the Security Guard (Static) sector as prescribed by the industry regulatory body, the Private Security Authority. Those wishing to work within the Door Security (Licensed Premises) sector require a different award and a separate license. The Door Security award is also available through the Security Institute Network of Trainers. A combined programme for both awards is also available

As this is a part time, short duration minor award no transfer or recognition of prior learning options are offered through the Security Institute at this point. Progression routes are in place through the Security Institute, enabling access to Team-Working, Retail Security and Sporting Steward Minor Awards at Level 5. Both the Guarding and Door minor awards are components of a major award at Level 4 in Private Security Services.

Entry Criteria

To access programmes leading to this award, candidates should have reached the standards of knowledge, skill and competence at Level 3 or Junior Certificate on the National Framework of Qualifications. Achievement of this may be through a formal qualification or relevant life and work experience. This means that entry is open to all candidates and there are no formal qualifications required to participate.

There are requirements within the programme and ultimately within employment in the industry to have a working knowledge of the written and spoken English language. English need not be your first language.

Aspects of the programme and employment are physical such as use of a fire extinguisher and physical responses to a personal attack; as such, a reasonable level of fitness and mobility will be required to participate.

This is a part time programme and candidates must be in a position to commit to self-directed learning. The level required is dependent upon the experience of each individual candidate. Candidates with no experience, knowledge or background in security or any related field may have to commit to some 70 hours of self-directed study, practice and research.

Candidates are advised that to work within the sector requires a license issued by the Private Security Authority. Conditions prescribed by the Authority include applicants must be over eighteen years of age, be of good character and are subject to a criminality check.

Participation conditions include completion of a registration form, attendance sheet and declarations.

Dress and Other Requirements

Physical activity is an inherent part of the course, therefore comfortable loose clothing is essential. Do not carry loose change or wear jewellery or watches during these activities. Candidates should have a pen and notebook.

Programme Delivery

Programme delivery is broken down into ten sections as follows:

  • The Private Security Industry
  • The Private Security Authority
  • Law
  • Procedures
  • Communications
  • Threats and Violence
  • Retail Security
  • Emergencies
  • Customer Care
  • Personal Development

Delivery modes include thirty hours of classroom based directed delivery, practical activity, group workshops and group discussions. Due to vetting and licensing requirements, there are no workplace-based elements involved in participation. Candidates will receive guidance on self-directed study, research and practice.


As this is a part time programme incorporating a substantial element of self- directed learning, a comprehensive 200-page manual is available and recommended to all candidates. For more extensive research and study, access to the Security Institute library is also available. The official reference book and study guide for this course is the Security Institute of Ireland “Security Skills Manual” ISBN 0-9541180-0-06.

Trainers and assessors are experienced in dealing with candidates who may feel restricted due to physical, learning or language challenges, reasonable accommodation processes are in place. It is advisable that candidates discuss these issues with the Institute or an Institute trainer in advance of participation.

While not mandatory, access to, and competency in use of the Internet will benefit candidates. Trainers will provide additional resource references for those who do not have Internet capability.

Candidates may contact the Security Institute directly for any clarification or further information either by phone at 045 409222 or by e-mail at


There are three techniques used to assess the programme:

  • A one-hour 20 question written examination. Total value is 40%, pass mark is 20%.
  • The practical demonstration of two skills. Total value is 40%, pass mark is 20%.
  • A five hundred word written assignment. Total value is 20%, pass mark is 10%.

Assessment deadlines are explained at programme induction, these deadlines can only be waived in extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide appropriate evidence to support any request for waivers.

A pass mark must be achieved in each technique for successful completion. Processes are in place for appeals, resits and resubmissions. In general terms the Security Institute policy is to afford candidates a second opportunity to attempt assessment. There is no capping of marks in the event of agreed alternative arrangements.

A grading system is in place as follows:

  • A Pass is awarded for candidate achievement in the range of 50% to 64%.
  • A Merit is awarded for candidate achievement in the range of 65% to 79%.
  • A Distinction is awarded for candidate achievement at 80% and above.
  • A mark under 50% in total is deemed unsuccessful at this point or referred.


Successful completion of this programme leads to four certificates:

  • QQI Minor Award in Guarding Skills at Level 4 (10 Credits)
  • SII Certificate in Static Security
  • SII Certificate in Retail Security
  • SII Certificate in Responding to Threats and Violence

Security Institute Mempership

A benefit of this course is that it can lead to membership of the Security Institute, a professional body for security professionals. Membership of the Institute is open to professional experienced persons in any country. Members of the Institute are recognised by the use of the title M.Sec.I.I after their name. On completion of the course, successful participants are entitled to apply for membership.


Please contact us here at SII to enrol for this course.