3 (More) Problems (and Solutions) when Managing Your Security Officer Contract

March 24, 2021
Jim Strife, CPP, PCI, CHPA &

In our blog 3 Problems (and Solutions) When Managing Your Security Officer Contract, we discussed statements of work, service level agreements, and quality assurance barriers. This time, we’re diving into solutions for staffing, training, and procedure-related challenges.

1. The problem: Poorly written or missing policies, procedures, and post orders.

Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs) and Post Orders (POs) are the cornerstones of a great security officer program. Non-existent and/or poorly written documents contribute to officers “winging it” while on duty because of lack of direction. Undesirable actions that result from those situations leave businesses liable for the outcomes. To avoid this disaster, operational documents that detail officer appearance, communication processes, response times, and post limits should be produced. Officers should be trained immediately so they are fully prepared on day one of the contract.

POs are a specific set of company procedures. Clear and thorough POs leave no doubt for officers about their specific duties. SOPs can be step-by-step guides or flowcharts. For a security officer service, an SOP may include sections on security patrol procedures, incident reporting, and uniform wear.

The solution: Review current program documents. Revise or create policies, procedures, SOPs, and POs for use in your security officer program. Check for clarity and specificity at every step.

2. The problem: Many security service clients do not audit their security provider’s training program.

Auditing the program can help identify potential issues before they develop into active problems. Here are some questions you should ask when auditing a program:

  • Does the current training program encompass all the industry-specific education and certification requirements?
  • Does the plan contain current best practices?
  • Is the program being executed per contract requirements?
  • Are adequate records being maintained to show proof of officer participation in required training?

The solution: Obtain an in-depth review/audit of the security provider’s training program to ensure it is thorough, complete, and compliant with industry-specific requirements. You will want to be certain that the services provided align with your company’s needs and that there are no gaps. Be sure to check that training programs are being renewed following contract requirements.

3. The problem: Most officer staffing plans are inadequate, not the right fit for current threats, and/or not reflective of the organization’s risk tolerance.

Have you asked these questions?

  • Are the officer staffing levels agreed to by contract being provided as required?
  • Is the staffing level adequate to meet the risk tolerance levels of the organization?
  • Are the security officers deployed to the most critical areas of the facilities?
  • How often are those routes reviewed and/or modified based on ever-changing threats?
  • Is there a periodic review of the officer staffing to ensure changing priorities are reflected?

The solution: Determine whether compliance has been met under required staffing agreements. Review the adequacy of security staffing levels and appropriateness of the post locations. Again, you will want to check for holes in your security program and fill them with the appropriate remediation.

Gannett Fleming can be a trusted advisor when creating a plan, establishing expectations, and carrying out audits for your security officer program. Security and safety are essential across all industries. With the proper precautions and action plans, dangers that target your organization can be avoided. Check out our first blog on this topic: “3 Problems (and Solutions) When Managing Your Security Officer Contract.”