Mitie Security has developed the first formally recognised qualification for store detectives in the UK.
The company said its independently regulated and Ofqual-approved Level 3 certification is equivalent to an A-Level and has been created to provide long-term career opportunities in the security sector.
Having identified that there was no formal qualification for security staff working in retail, Mitie’s retail security experts designed it in collaboration with the National Open College Network (NOCN), a regulated awarding organisation.
The course syllabus covers five mandatory units including understanding dealing with offenders and evidence, understanding the legal aspects of a retail store detective’s role, and understanding the use of self-scan shopping systems in a retail environment. Each unit is reviewed and discussed in weekly face-to-face coaching and development sessions. To gain the qualification, each staff member must complete all five units including practical assessments involving role-play, as well as passing a closed-book invigilated exam.
Mitie employs about 250 store detectives and plans to put at least 50 staff a year through the new training. Colleagues who complete the course would then have the chance to progress to the Level 3 Security First Line Manager Apprenticeship.
The first cohort of 10 began the course at the start of September and are expected to qualify by late October.
Jason Towse, Mitie’s managing director of business services, said: “We’re committed to offering not just a job, but a long-term career full of development opportunities for our people. The demand for security personnel throughout the pandemic has been unprecedented, particularly in the retail sector. Through initiatives such as this, we can attract the very best talent to our sector.”