Becoming a Security Guard in British Columbia: What's the Process?

June 2nd, 2022

Are you interested in entering the field of security? Maybe you're looking for a summer job to earn some extra cash before the new school year, or perhaps you're seeking part-time work during your retirement. It's also possible that you're embarking on an exciting new career in criminal justice, policing, or the military. The security industry offers numerous career paths, but getting started can feel overwhelming. You likely have many questions and uncertainties. What are the requirements to become a licensed security guard? How many opportunities are available in this profession? What can you expect throughout the process, and how long will it take?

Fear not, I have done the necessary groundwork to assist you in navigating the intricacies of this process - from the prerequisites to the expectations and more. There are a few tasks you must complete before becoming a fully operational member of any security team.

In British Columbia, there are several security occupations that legally require licensing. These include:

- Security Guard or Supervisor

- Security Alarm Installer

- Security Alarm Monitor

- Security Alarm Responder

- Security Alarm Salesperson

- Security Consultant

- Armoured Car Guard

- Locksmith (including supervision)

- Private Investigator (including supervised and in-house positions)

- Closed Circuit Television Installer

- Electronic Locking Device (Access Control) Installer

- And more!

For certain roles, the first step in the process is to complete Basic Security Training.

Basic Security Training (BST) is a compulsory course for individuals aspiring to become security guards. BST can be undertaken either in-person or as a self-paced online course, comprising two components: the online class and an examination. Students are given three months to finish the 40-hour course, although many complete it much sooner.

Face-to-face BST training can be completed at any of the Approved Security Training Schools, which must adhere to the training standards outlined in the BC Security Services Act. (The Commissionaires is among the providers!)

While this course is a prerequisite for security licensing in BC, if you can demonstrate prior training or experience in a Canadian law enforcement role such as a police officer, auxiliary or reserve officer, correctional officer, sheriff, or border service officer, you may be exempted from Basic Security Training. Evidence of this experience must be provided during the next step.

After completing the Basic Security Training course, you will be eligible to apply for a Security Worker's License.

Under the Security Services Act of British Columbia, businesses and individuals offering security services must hold a valid security license issued by the Registrar of Security Services. Approved applicants receive a license that specifies the types of security services they can provide and any special authorizations they possess, such as the use of dogs or restraints while performing security duties.

The application process can be done online through the Government of British Columbia website or via mail. Several requirements must be met during the application process, including:

- 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 receive your license, you can lawfully perform security duties within British Columbia. Congratulations!

The entire process is relatively straightforward, but it does require careful consideration and attention (similar to the attention you would give to your security responsibilities!).

Are you in need of more information? Our recruiting team would be delighted to discuss the best path forward for you! The security industry is thriving, and since we are constantly seeking fresh talent, Commissionaires Victoria offers excellent options to help you obtain your security credentials! To learn more about joining the Corps, please visit our career page at [link] or call our recruiting team at 778 405 1048.

For additional licensing information, please visit the Government of British Columbia's information page: [link]

For a comprehensive understanding of the Basic Security Training Course, you can explore further by visiting this link:

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