Mitie Security has piloted a virtual accredited training module accredited by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
In partnership with the SIA and Highfield Qualifications – the licence awarding body – Mitie is working to provide online access to the training course required to become a licensed security guard.
Previously candidates had to attend on-site courses, however, with social distancing measures in place, an innovative training solution was needed to meet the growing demand for licensed security personnel to support the nation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six Mitie employees took part in the pilot to complete training and after passing their assessments they were awarded SIA licenses. More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to take remote courses in the coming weeks.
Designed for people wanting to take their first step into a career in the security industry, the virtual security-guarding course consists of 20 hours of virtual training in the form of live tutorials.
These are delivered by videoconferencing over a minimum of three days. During this time participants cover a number of specialist and management modules, such as health and safety, patrolling, searching, access and egress control, and avoiding and defusing conflict.
To guarantee that the SIA standards are met, the SIA and Highfield Qualifications supervisors also make unannounced visits by joining the live tutorials.
At the end of the course participants are required to take three online assessments on invigilated software to test their knowledge and competency. Once submitted, the online test results can be delivered in just 20 minutes – significantly faster than the two to three weeks that it normally takes for on-site exams to be graded.
Following the success of the licensing training, Mitie will be rolling out a ‘CCTV Level 2’ online course. While many buildings across the nation are closed because of the lockdown, this will ensure that security teams are equipped to carry out roles now encompassing the increased use of CCTV.
Jason Towse, managing director of Mitie’s business services, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to our sector – one of which has been unprecedented demand for security officers in key sectors such as retail and healthcare at a time when people are physically unable to attend training.”
Ian Todd, CEO of the SIA, said the “collaboration between the two organisations shows that despite these uncertain times, we can continue to improve and enhance our business practices. We will now fully evaluate the pilot, including with other providers who have taken part.”