A security guard is a person who is employed or retained to protect, watch or guard any property by any means including:
- by patrolling the property in person
- by monitoring the property via closed circuit television (CCTV), a closed monitoring system, radio or other similar alarm device
Security guard sub-activities
A security guard may be licensed to perform up to six-sub activities. Each sub-activity requires training qualifications and a person may be licensed for more than one sub-activity depending on their training.
Security guard sub-activities are defined below:
An unarmed guard is a person who is employed or retained to protect, watch or guard any property while unarmed.
An armed guard is a person who is employed or retained to protect, watch or guard any property while being armed with a firearm.
A cash-in-transit guard is a person employed to collect, transfer and/or deliver cash or other valuables while being armed with a firearm.
Approved types of handguns and ammunition for security work
The following types of handguns are suitable for work in the private security industry:
- semi-automatic pistols 9mm and .40 calibres
- revolvers .38 calibre and .357 magnum calibres
There are restrictions about the type of ammunition permitted for use in handguns used in the private security industry. Only manufacturer recommended ammunition should be used in these handguns.
All other types of ammunition are not permitted, unless they are solely used for training purposes.
Victoria Police determines that there are no exceptional or legitimate circumstances for the carriage of handguns or ammunition outside of these specifications for use in the private security industry.
Handgun ownership and storage requirements
Handguns used in the private security industry must be registered to a cash-in-transit or armed guard security business. Employees may not register a handgun against their individual firearm licence unless they hold the licence for an additional reason, such as sport/target shooting. In those cases those firearm may not, under any circumstances be used for employment purposes.
Employers are responsible for storage and the day-to-day management of firearms possessed under the licence.
Employees may not keep a firearm at home for work purposes unless required to do so by the employer and specific authorisation has been granted by the Licensing and Regulation Division. Contact us for more information about how to apply for a keep at home endorsement.
Each financial year (July 1 to June 30) the holder of a firearm licence issued for security guard or prison guard purposes must re-qualify at an approved industry specific firearms training course.
All licence holders have a common qualification expiry date of 30 June each year. The current approved security industry specific firearms training unit of competency is Control Security Risk Situation Using Firearms CPPSEC3008A.
Licence holders should be aware that:
- once the licence holder has successfully completed the re-qualification course a copy of the certificate must be submitted to Licensing and Regulation Division
- it is the responsibility of each licence holder to ensure that a certificate has been submitted
- licence holders should not rely on, or assume that their employer or training provider will take responsibility for providing this documentation within the required time frames.
Failure to complete re-qualification requirement by the end of each financial year (30 June) means that:
- a firearm licence could be suspended
- even if a valid private security licence is held the suspended licence holder cannot handle those firearms in the course of their duties
In circumstances where a licence holder may not be able to complete re-qualification by June 30 they must notify Licensing and Regulation Division in writing before this date.
When a licence holder completes handgun re-qualification training after the expiry date of 30 June, their re-qualification document will be backdated for that financial year. This however, does not cover the licence holder’s re-qualification training for the new financial year. It is the sole responsibility of the licence holder to ensure re-qualification is undertaken annually within the financial year. Failure to comply with the re-qualification requirement by the end of each financial year (30 June) may result in the immediate suspension of the firearms licence under Section 47 of the Firearms Act 1996.
All firearm applications are subject to a mandatory waiting period of 28 days.
Anyone wishing to apply for general category handgun licence for the purpose of working as a security guard must:
- hold a private security licence with the activity of armed guard and/or cash-in-transit
- a letter of employment from an approved cash-in-transit and/or armed guard employer
- evidence that training competency relating to firearm-handling was attained within 12 months of your application for a handgun licence
- have had fingerprints taken (in addition to a set of fingerprints required for your private security licence)
Note: Applicants for a private security licence for the purpose of armed guard and/or cash-in-transit are strongly advised to submit their applications for a private security licence and firearm licence at the same time if possible. Applicants should also state the two reasons (private security and firearms licensing) on their National Police Check application. Taking these actions will minimise waiting times and avoid the need to provide evidence twice and pay multiple fees for the taking of fingerprints.
Control room operator
A control room operator monitors activity – via CCTV monitors or similar means – and may be required to respond in person and/or conduct guarding duties such as patrolling. A control room is usually on site but may be off site as part of a remote-monitoring centre.
Monitoring centre operator
A monitoring centre operator
is employed to work in a centre monitoring intruder alarm systems. A monitoring centre operator may be required to interpret signals from alarms transmitted to the centre and take appropriate action, or relay and receive situation reports to and from other personnel.
Monitoring centre operators do not conduct patrols, routinely leave the monitoring centre to respond to a situation, or conduct, supervise or coordinate other personnel activities.
A person employed to protect, watch or guard any property may patrol with a dog. Dogs may not be used for any other security licence activity such as crowd control
Commercial yard dogs that are left on their own at premises as a deterrent are not regulated by Victoria Police.
As with all security work, a person must be appropriately licensed to undertake guard-with-a-dog activities. Security guards working with dogs must ensure they are complying with relevant animal industry laws and standards in addition to the conditions of their private security licence.
Dogs used in guard with dog activities
It is a condition of any security guard licence endorsed for guard with dog that any dogs used for security purposes are trained to the minimum obedience level as defined by the Domestic Animals Regulations 2015.
The Private Security Act does not stipulate what breeds of dog that can be used for security guard work.
Training and certification requirements for the guard with a dog sub-activity
Security guards wishing to have their licence endorsed with a guard with dog sub-activity must be able to demonstrate 15 units of competency for a Certificate III – Guarding with a Dog. Many of the competency units required for this certificate are included other security training courses.
To support any request to include this sub-activity the applicant must be able to provide documentation. New licence applicants
- a certified copy of their statement of results for CPPSEC3010A and CPPSEC3011A as issued by an approved RTO
- a certified copy of their statement of results issued by an approved RTO
Existing licence holders wanting to add the sub-activity of guard with a dog must submit:
- a completed Application to Vary form
- a certified copy of their statement of results for CPPSEC3010A and CPPSEC3011A as issued an approved RTO
- a certified copy of their statement of results demonstrating any other units of competency that have not previously been provided
For a full list of required competencies for private security licensing, see 2.CompetenciesForLicensingActivities
Becoming a trainer for guarding with a dog as a security activity
For persons seeking to obtain a private security trainer licence, see Private Security Trainers
Firearm licensing for security guards
People performing duties as an armed guard or cash-in-transit firearm must be the holder of a current firearms licence in addition to their private security licence.
Reviewed 15 June 2021