Section overview

Security guards need to respond to changes in their environment, which includes actions such as traffic movement, ensuring the safety of persons between and within locations, monitoring and managing the access and departure of persons and vehicles and observing and monitoring people. Security guards need to be aware of the correct way to deal with these situations. The trainer provides his/her students with the knowledge and skills to assess the security of physical environments, to apply basic aspects of security in their roles and to assess the impact of drug use in the context of safety for oneself and others.

Suggested duration

In class: 3 hours
Outside class: 5 hours

Minimum requirements

  1. describe and explain surveillance and address the following surveillance techniques:
    • observing the physical environment
    • attending to environmental details
    • situational awareness
  2. describe the basic elements of security and include the following
    • access control
    • crowd control
    • vehicle control and legal authority to perform traffic control duties
    • shift handover
  3. discuss drug effects, substance abuse and related drug paraphernalia
    • relate signs of substance abuse and withdrawal including physical and psychological consequences

Note: There are three components in this section: Surveillance, Basic elements of security and Drug effects.


Security guards will be called upon to observe the physical environment for changes and suspicious behaviour. This objective is typically achieved by conducting an in-person or remote surveillance of the physical environment. Security guards are expected to notice and monitor minor changes in order to make sound decisions when devising a plan of action. The trainer focuses on:

  • decision-making
  • recognizing patterns (situational awareness)
  • observing minor, yet critical details
  • recognizing typicality and detecting anomalies
  • improvising responses
  • interpreting and adapting to events
  • prioritizing actions

Observing and monitoring individuals, identifying and responding to potential threats, different types of patrolling and loss prevention should be discussed.

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading on surveillance and observational issues
  2. lecture on methods of observation (e.g. assessing unusual events, identifying hazards to self and others, completing initial checks to establish a benchmark for subsequent observations, using all five senses for observation, writing notes of observations)
  3. lecture on decision-making to ensure safety and security (e.g. assessing risk of current and potential situation to self and others, assessing what skills are required to deal effectively with particular situations, assessing the behaviours of others and the physical environment)
  4. role playing with analysis and group discussion
  5. learning journal

Basic elements of security

Security guards are required to manage individuals, vehicles and materials in a safe and polite manner while assessing a situation for threats and incidents. The trainer addresses the following basic elements of security:

  1. access control
    • how to escort people within and between locations in a safe manner
    • how to prepare for an assignment
    • contacting the correct personnel when there is a breach of security
    • how to inspect baggage, vehicles, etc.
  2. crowd control
    • how to create a barricade or staging area
    • how to lock down a facility
  3. vehicle control
    • controlling vehicular/pedestrian traffic on company property or on public roads in emergencies
    • monitoring traffic movements
    • using proper hand signals for directing traffic
    • using traffic control equipment
    • wearing the appropriate attire
  4. shift handover procedures
    • how to update the next person on shift

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading on basic security protocols
  2. lecture
  3. video and discussion
  4. role playing with analysis and group discussion
  5. learning journal

Drug effects

Security guards may encounter individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They need to be aware of the signs of substance abuse as well as the impact of different drugs on human behaviour (e.g. subject going through withdrawal) in order to deal with these individuals in a manner that will ensure personal safety as well as that of the subject. The trainer discusses different types of drugs and paraphernalia, the impact of using different drugs on human behaviour and how to address individual behaviour depending on the type of substance abuse.

Working/detailed knowledge


Suggested methodology

  1. pre-reading focused on the intoxication effects of commonly abused drugs such as cannabinoids, depressants, dissociative anesthetics, hallucinogens, opioids/morphine derivatives, stimulants and inhalants
  2. lecture on how to address individuals under the effect of commonly abused drugs
  3. role playing with analysis and group discussion
  4. learning journal

Suggested training evaluation for section

A quiz asking questions that apply the knowledge of surveillance approaches to security control with standard protocols and how to manage individuals under the influence of different drugs in common security situations.