NaCTSO – Personnel Security


Following a risk assessment you can evaluate if it is necessary to employ a guard force as part of your security plan. It is important that security staff understand their roles and responsibilities and are properly tasked, trained and participate in rehearsal exercises. It is desirable that individuals working in the security industry undergo a structured training program that results in a recognised qualification, in some sectors training is a mandatory requirement.

Supervision of staff is fundamental in order to be effective and deliver your intended outcomes. Capability, capacity, competence and reliability of staff are particularly important in relation to counter-terrorism. Within this guidance we have identified some of the skills staff require to remain alert, communicate effectively, patrol effectively, respond to suspicious items, bomb threats, hostile reconnaissance and firearms and weapons attacks for example. A strong security culture within your organisation, beginning at senior management level, will assist your staff to not only disrupt terrorist attack planning but also prepare them should an incident occur.

It is vital that security staff patrol regimes for sites and events are also outwardly facing, look beyond the perimeter before the event, during and post event. The security patrol regime will complement the deterrence communication messaging and search planning. Supervisors are key to ensure levels of vigilance are maintained throughout the life cycle of any event.

Key principles of developing and maintaining an effective workforce

The majority of personnel will not retain all the information provided to them, with many retaining as little as a 5% of the information within the immediate 24hour period. Therefore it is important that training and briefings are regular, clear and appropriate to reinforce key messages and instructions. Skills and knowledge

in relation to security can then be developed and maintained (this need is supported by academic research on information retention). For this purpose a blended style of training is shown to be more effective. Begin with a training needs analysis followed by individual training, collective training and rehearsal exercises. Collective training will make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Competent people and effective teams are the bedrock of a reliable incident response and adapting flexibly to the unexpected.

As an organisation you should have identified the people or department responsible for the development of your security plan. All staff not just those responsible for security should have a clear understanding how the elements of security will better protect your business.


You should consider the following elements to deliver an effectively trained workforce in relation to security:

• training should be based upon the current policy and standards

• assess your training requirements

• appropriately tailored security training is provided to all staff as part of the organisation wide security
responsibility and culture

• ensure you provide leadership, management, mentoring and communication training for supervisors to facilitate on going
staff development

• staff turnover should be taken into account in detailed training plans, to ensure that new staff are trained and existing
staff receive appropriate refresher training

• prepare a training plan for the following 12 months, building in a time line for refresher training

• training activity should be flexibly delivered in various formats such as formal classroom, online off shift on staffs
personal IT, online during shift with support, face to face debriefs post incident or through the organisations intranet

• ensure staff are trained before you put them through rehearsal and validation exercises

• include counter terrorism awareness training on the induction programme, for larger organisations, this may involve the
local Counter Terrorism Security Advisor or Counter Terrorism Awareness Advisor

• provide briefings to all personnel on organisational security updates

• training should be provided on a continuous basis to prepare staff

• ensure security awareness is included on your staff induction day. Set your intention out from the commencement of
employment and create a strong security culture and positive reporting culture in the organisation.

Depending upon their responsibilities an effective security guard must be able to demonstrate they can respond effectively to a number of scenarios including:

• initial actions at a terrorist incident

• the different terrorist threat levels, building response levels and different activities required should there be an
increase in threat

• hostile reconnaissance, how to patrol effectively to disrupt activity, identify and respond to suspicious behaviour

• suspect items, the ‘four Cs’ protocols and the HOT principles

• chemical, biological and radiological incidents, how to recognise and respond using STEPS 123

• a firearms and weapons attacks and the Run, Hide, Tell principles

• evacuation, invacuation and lockdown procedure demonstrating knowledge of the emergency assembly points

• how to search a site effectively

• the basic principles of good housekeeping and how it reduces the opportunities for an attack

• how to respond appropriately to a bomb threat

• how and when to report incidents either to the internal security team, calling police using 999, 101 or call the Anti-
Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321. Staff should understand the reason why they use either 999 or Anti-Terrorist Hotline

• using emergency equipment such as defibrillators etc. as trained

• use of incident logs and checklists that facilitate an effective response to incidents such as terrorist incidents, bomb
threats etc.

Ensure you maintain your search and patrol regime for the lifecycle of the event including prior to the commencement, during and post event. Consider a patrol sweep of the public areas before, during, ten minutes prior to the conclusion of an event and post-event. Look for suspicious items and behaviour. Patrol areas might include areas close to the site, pick up zones and transport hubs. Ensure those patrol staff can communicate effectively with a control room.



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