Private Security Buyer's Guide

Private Security – A Buyer’s Guide

Private Security is becoming more prevalent across all industry sectors. Business owners and corporations are obliged to keep their people safe – more so today due to increasing violent crime and risk of terrorist activity. No longer just for the rich and famous, high-profile individuals or big organisations, all businesses in the Private and Public sectors need to have water tight security planning in place.
As a buyer of Private Security Services, what should you be looking for? Keeping your staff, buildings and assets secure is a serious commitment and it’s important to spend time on your procurement process.

Here’s a checklist of factors to consider:

Planning & Risk Assessment

Before approaching a private security firm you should define your security objectives, and identify all key stakeholders.
It’s good to clarify roles on cross-functional processes (a RACI chart is useful for this, setting out who’s Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed).
A good security partner will carry out a full Risk Assessment and offer professional advice. A proactive approach from them is a positive sign – you need to ensure team members on both sides plan and work together effectively.

Planning & Risk Assessment


Don’t Base Decision on Cost Alone

Cut-price security can be extremely risky. For a legitimate and reputable private security firm to operate successfully, they need to invest in a solid operational structure. This ensures any issues, gaps or emergencies are addressed at a moment’s notice.
Cheap firms are likely to be cutting corners, and not paying a fair wage to their frontline operatives. They’ll often masquerade as offering more expensive services.
You need to be sure you can count on your security partner in the long term and see a return on your investment.

Reputation and Experience

It’s a good idea to do your homework before approaching providers – be sure to verify their longevity and industry experience. Have a look at the security firm’s online presence as this can help build a picture of the type of company they are.
Accreditations such as ISO 9001 give reassurance on quality management, and the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme underpins private security industry standards.
You can also ask for references and testimonials to get a feel for how other clients regard them.

Reputation & Experience

Real people

Real People

Naturally, we prefer to work with people we get along with. A mutually beneficial relationship is built on trust, which obviously takes time, but a personal approach is always a nice touch.
This works best when the security provider you’re dealing with is local and can have face-to-face discussions whenever necessary. It helps gauge their professionalism and industry expertise, and shows a client focussed approach.
Inevitably you’ll have hitches along the way with any provider, but a true partner will address and resolve issues swiftly. Great communication is key.

Training and Presentation

Not only should you expect Security Guards to be fully industry trained and licensed, they should also receive site specific instructions from your security provider. Strong customer service skills in frontline operatives is a highly sought-after trait.
Alongside training it’s important to keep in mind they are representing your brand and should not look out of place.
Ideally choose a security partner who involves you in the selection process by providing guard portfolios in advance.

Training and Presentation

Security Solution

Security Solutions, Not Just a Tick in the Box

As a buyer, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the quality service you desire. Don’t be fobbed off by an off-the-shelf guarding service.
Choose a security partner who can build a bespoke solution tailored to your needs, and who is flexible enough to grow with you as a business.
You’ll feel more comfortable in the long-term if you feel like you’re being listened to and all your security needs are met.