So, you want to join the security industry. Maybe it’s a summer job to make a little money before the new school year, maybe you’re looking for part-time work during retirement, or maybe you’re just at the beginning of an exciting new career in criminal justice, policing, or the military. There are many career paths in the security field, but you might find it daunting to get started. You’re probably filled with many questions and uncertainty. What do you need to become a licensed security guard? How many options are available to me in the profession? What can I expect throughout the process? How long does it take?
Fear not, I’ve done the groundwork to help guide you through the ins and outs of the process – what’s required, what to expect, and more. There are a few things that you’ll need to accomplish before becoming a fully functional member of any security team.
There are many security professions where licensing is required by law in BC, including:
- Security Guard or Supervisor
- Security Alarm Installer
- Security Alarm Monitor
- Security Alarm Responder
- Security Alarm Salesperson
- Security Consultant
- Armoured Car Guard
- Locksmith (and Locksmith under Supervision)
- Private Investigator (and Private Investigator under Supervision and in-house Private Investigator)
- Closed Circuit Television Installer
- Electronic Locking Device (Access Control) Installer
- And more!
For some of these functions, the very first step in the process is completing Basic Security Training.
Basic Security Training (BST)
The BST is a mandatory course for anyone wishing to become a security guard. BST can be completed either in person or as a self-paced online course consisting of two components: the online course and an exam. Students have three months to complete the 40-hour course, but many will complete this course much more quickly.
Face-to-face BST training can be completed through one of several Approved Security Training Schools, which are required to follow the training standards for the security industry as outlined in the BC Security Services Act. (The Commissionaires is also one of the providers!)
While this course is a requirement for Security licensing in BC, if you can demonstrate that you have training or experience as a Canadian police officer, auxiliary or reserve officer, correctional officer, sheriff, or border service officer, you may be exempted from Basic Security Training. Documentation of this experience must be provided in the following step.
Security Workers License
Once you’ve completed your Basic Security Training course, you will be eligible to apply for a Security Worker’s License.
Under British Columbia’s Security Services Act, businesses and individuals offering security services must hold a valid security license issued by the Registrar of Security Services. Approved applicants are issued a license that specifies the types of security services they may provide as well as special authorizations they have such as the use of dogs and restraints while performing security duties.
The application is done through the Government of British Columbia website or by mail, and there are several requirements during the application process:
- Proof of Residency
- Proof of Identification
- Passport Quality Photograph
- Mental Health Condition Report
- Criminal Record Check
- Fingerprints (waived during COVID – check for up-to-date information)
- English Fluency
- Age (must be 19 or older)
Once you received your License, you are now able to lawfully conduct security functions within British Columbia. Congrats!
The entire process is relatively simple and straightforward but does require care and consideration during the process (much like performing your duties as a security professional!).
Need More Info?
For more licensing information, please visit the Government of British Columbia’s information page: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/business/security-services/security-industry-licensing
And to learn more about the Basic Security Training Course, check out: https://www.jibc.ca/areas-of-study/security/basic-security-training-bst