Your worst nightmare?
I’ve spent 26 years in public safety. 13 in Police and 13 in my security firm. I have a Training & Assessment Diploma and have been involved in security training for half a decade. The nightmare of hotel quarantine was soon to become a reality.
I’m also a business owner who’s very particular about the guards I recruit. Long before the pandemic, I worried about the low-calibre of students getting security accreditation. In 2016, I decided to make a difference.
I became a security trainer to help ensure the best people would represent the sector.
Things didn’t go to plan.
Hotel Quarantine Gone Wrong
The Covid hotel quarantine debacle flagged security staff failings, including:
- Poor communication skills
- Minimal situation awareness
- Negligible grasp of the law
I’d seen these sector skill-gap issues for years. But before we could address them, a new problem hit.
In March 2020, all security training went remote (i.e. online). Each registered training organisation (RTO) was told to sign up, but not all were keen.
Some RTOs thought it impossible to assess security skills from afar. I agreed, but wanted to be sure.
So I became an RTO’s online trainer. I delivered one course to 16 diverse students.
It was worse than I’d feared.
Class half empty
Less than half my students showed up. The rest just pretended to be online.
In reality, they were sleeping (snoring!), driving cabs, or leaving their phone near a computer and doing their own thing. I confirmed rampant cheating many times.
With my few students who were present, I found it difficult to observe role-plays covering situational awareness, body stance, and mediation/negotiation skills.
Watch your back!
I wrote a report to the RTO , compliance and LRD Victoria Police expressing my concern that online training should never have been approved.
Now I have a warning for security firms, and the hospitality sector:
If you hire guards licensed Mar-Dec 2020, put them with a senior, and watch them closely.
Most of these ‘graduates’ won’t have the skills you need.
Naomi Oakley, Founder, Safe Partying Australia.
Pic by Tauno Tõhk