How do I become a security trainer in Ireland? This is a question I’m asked at least 2 to 3 times per month online. Mostly it is a speculative query by someone who is working in the industry for some years and feels that they want to branch into training. My normal response when asked is simple. Firstly, understand why you want to be a security trainer. That will tell you a lot about the best route to take. Is it a complete career change, self employment, a new employment or just some extra cash on the side of your regular income? All of these have both advantages and disadvantages to yourself and the industry. Not everyone who wants to become a trainer wants to do it for the right reasons. That isn’t the purpose of this article however. Here I’m going to take you step by step through the process and a number of options available.
To start with you must recognise what a security trainer is. Do you want to just teach regular security awareness programmes or do you want to teach the mandatory programmes required for licensing. For most people the mandatory training is the route they wish to go. You can however without any qualifications begin delivering in house or non accredited training for yourself or anybody. In this article though I’ll stick to regulated training.
In essence to do this you must be suitably qualified and experienced to run QQI level 4 programmes in the security field. The requirements to do this are governed by two bodies. Firstly you must operate under a QQI accredited training centre, secondly you must be approved as a trainer for that centre by the Private Security Authority under their TP1 training provider standard. The level of experience and qualifications required by the training centre will vary from place to place but the TP1 standard from the sets a minimum as;
- Five years experience in the security industry (not a lot I know but it’s the minimum not the standard).
In addition to one of the below:
- A Level 5 Security Industry Trainer Award, or
- A Level 6 Train the Trainer Award together with a Level 4 Minor Award in Guarding Skills or Door Security Procedures or Security Industry Awareness
- A Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Training and Development together with a Level 4 Minor Award in Guarding Skills or Door Security Procedures.
Bear in mind that these are the minimum not the standard and many (but not all) training providers will have higher standards.
Getting a training qualification is a pre-requisite for becoming a security trainer. Depending on what you want there are a variety of options. You can go completely online, blended learning or classroom options. You could even take that extra step and go to college to get a proper academic qualification to start with if you choose. What you need to end up achieving is a minimum of a QQI level 6 training qualification (apart from one level 5 qualification listed above which isn’t worth the paper it’s written on for most training providers).
If you are going down the Train the Trainer route then you want to achieve a Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Training and Development. This is made up of two level 6 minor awards (Training Delivery & Evaluation and Trainings Needs Identification and Design) .
An area where a lot of new trainers get caught out (and cost money) is going online and attending a level 6 course which only gives one of the modules only to realise that most providers require both. Then they have to go back and do the second award separately at a higher cost. My advice is to do both together. If you’re looking for a recommendation for a high quality/good value programme I recommend talking to the guys at New Links training. I’ve no skin in the game here but I’ve seen the programme and it’s results and it’s excellent.
You could also look at entering at a higher level by doing a foundation diploma or certificate at level 7 , which can take anything between 6 months and 2 years to complete, or even a full degree. NUIG have a great part time programme in this area.
So once you are qualified it’s time to find a QQI registered training provider who will either employ or sub-contract you. There are few options here:
- Become a QQI registered centre: This isn’t really an option for new starters due to the costs involved but I’ll explain it anyway. You can apply to have your own company and it’s quality assurance policies recognised directly by QQI and develop your own approved QQI courses. Costs can range from €10k upwards for this.
- Employment: Get a role with an Education and Training Board or one of the larger training centres as a registered trainer with them. You have employment direct with them and deliver their courses. You come under their training centre and QA procedures. You have no design costs, marketing costs or anything else but your profit is limited by your salary.
- Sub-contracting: You can sign up to some registered training providers as a contractor. They let you run their courses and you pay them a fee. Some will let you run a version of your own course within what they are validated for and others will expect you to sell places on their online courses and you fill in the gaps for assessments etc. Horses for courses. Of course to get people onto your courses you have to do all of your own marketing and admin and this can be a big challenge for one person operations.
The next thing you will need to arrange is insurance. You will need at a minimum professional indemnity insurance to cover yourself for any potential claims arising from the content of your training.
If you intend to invite people to a classroom, training room, hotel etc you will also need public liability insurance in case anyone is hurt while attending. Both of those cost money upfront but are essential to protect yourself and your students.
Before you start delivering you need to consider what equipment you need to deliver a professional programme. If you are doing any part of the course online you will need a good quality laptop, microphone, lighting, maybe a control deck, software subscriptions.
You also need to consider where, how and when you are going to gather student data and have systems in place to protect that.
You will also need physical training aids for your programme to do it correctly. For example two way radio, security equipment, fire equipment to demonstrate to students correctly. Not forgetting all of the paperwork you will need for assessment and certification.
That’s a very quick summary of what you will need and why. If anybody wants a chat about their options feel free to get in touch at any stage and we can talk you through your options.