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How training impacts security responses

By: Marie-Claire Asseko
April 14, 2015

Christopher Parent, National Director of Training Development at GardaWorld, started with the company right out of the military at the young age of 21. He was looking for an organization that provided opportunities for advancement with a culture that encourages its people to “own” their jobs and take personal accountability for their performances.

At GardaWorld, Christopher found that exact philosophy and has used it as his guiding principle for developing what are arguably the best training programs in the industry for security professionals. In this post, we ask Christopher to provide a bit more insight into GardaWorld’s training programs.

Why did GardaWorld begin providing its extensive and comprehensive training programs for its security professionals?

At GardaWorld we came to realize that there was an immense gap in professional training offered to individuals looking to become a security professional in our industry.  As an industry leader we felt obligated to fill that gap. Not only would it improve the abilities of our security officers to respond to situations in appropriate, responsible and lawful ways, but also set them and us apart from our competition. We believe that good security reflexes rely on good training.

Is this training only available to potential or current GardaWorld professionals?

No, our model is to develop and sell the training programs to the public in order to improve talent in the industry.  As an industry leader, we take training very seriously and believe in sharing the vast knowledge we have accumulated over the years. The Career Development Centre has two national training centers in Canada, with one in Montreal and another in Toronto. We run about 12 other regional training centers in our branches around Canada, offering various training opportunities to the public.

How does GardaWorld’s training program keep up with ever-changing digital world?

We have developed an e-learning system that is a virtual training center that accessible online. We’re constantly updating its content and features to take advantage of the latest information and technology. Our e-learning can be used from any computer; all you need is a regular high-speed Internet connection. If your computer can play a regular YouTube video, then you can use our e-learning program and get trained in the latest security protocols and procedures.

What are some of the risks a company may face if security personnel are not well-trained?

Proper risk management is everything when it comes to training security professionals to respond appropriately and lawfully. Poor training creates a direct liability and can be quite costly to companies if security personnel do not handle situations in the right ways. If they react in the wrong way, for example, it could result in collateral damage or even personal injury. Our trained security professionals know what to do under extreme situations, they have learned when to intervene, how to keep the peace and when to contact law enforcement. As a result of their extensive training, it’s not likely that you’d ever find GardaWorld’s security professionals overstepping their authority and putting our clients in the news with inappropriate responses.

What does GardaWorld’s training do to help mitigate risk?

For example, we promote and teach a course called Nonviolent Crisis Intervention®. GardaWorld employs certified instructors from the Crisis Prevention Institute® to teach violent behavior management. Part of the instruction is teaching that when you're in a situation with a troubled or a belligerent customer, there is a sequence and a system of steps on how to intervene nonviolently.

Ninety percent of these steps are nonviolent and use verbal intervention. The very last recourse that we train our people in would be physical intervention. This is always a last solution. The training focuses on how to de-escalate a situation; what types of languages you should use; what type of languages should you not use; how to engage; and, most importantly, how to recognize your cut-off limit.

Unfortunately, as a reality of the industry, we do have to train our individuals how to use procedures involving physical force. However, our instructors are certified by national police academies and other recognized entities to ensure that the training our staff receive is the very best it can be.

What other types of preventative training is included in your training?

Health and safety are very big issues as well. Our guards are trained to complete health and safety inspections as well as routine building inspections. It can be as simple as recognizing an ice hazard as a potential for slip-and-fall accidents, or more critical to life safety, a gas leak. In training for ongoing on-site safety inspections, we help prevent accidents and protect our clients from potential losses. GardaWorld’s real differentiator is the investment in the people, the investment in the business and the investment in the industry. We are always asking ourselves, what can we do to be better?

Visit GardaWorld Career Development Centre to learn more about our training programs.