Shape up or ship out

Shape up or ship out

SINGAPORE - Reflecting rising standards in the security industry, private security officers must meet the mark or leave.

"The security environment is very different from the past," says a spokesman for AETOS Security Management.

"Our clients expect our Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs) to be security professionals who know the law and security procedures well.

"They are also expected to be impartial in carrying out their duties and be role models for the average man on the street.

Our clients' expectations must be met fully and beyond expectations, where possible."

For example, all security officers have to be approved by the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department.

Under the Private Security Industry Act, all security officers have to be individually licensed.

In addition, they must pass at least two units under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ), a national credentialing system set up by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

The two units train them to perform guard and patrol services, and handle security incidents - such as bomb threats and fires - and services.

Mr David Brian Chow, managing director of KnowledgeTree Training Centre, says: "They are also taught how to conduct crowd control and handle security and safety equipment as they encounter such situations. These are the essential skills that all security officers are required to have."

The company is one of a handful of WSQ programme partners.

In October last year, the WDA announced that it was setting aside $2.7 million to improve the professionalism of the security industry and train another 2,500 security professionals.

Mr Chow says the training is the same for women but "they play an even more important role" compared to men.

He explains: "For example, in terms of security checkpoint screening, there must be at least one female officer at all times. Only female officers are allowed to perform security screening of women."

Under the Security WSQ framework, security officers can upgrade their expertise with an eye on a WSQ diploma in security management, which will allow them to ease into management roles.

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