Security Operator Training: CCTV training done right

Farsight Security Services RVRC


Whatever sector of the security industry you work in, you’ll need specific training and qualifications. Security professionals are responsible for individual’s and business’ security and safety, we simply can’t be unqualified and inefficient in our industry.

Our last blog took a look at the different kinds of qualifications there are available for security installers and integrators. This time we’re taking a look at security operator and CCTV training, and why it must be completed so rigorously.

Committed to vigilanceSecurity operators must be trained for trust to be built

To start with, a security services needs to be trustworthy – and that trustworthiness drills right down to the individual employees and their responsibilities. Of course, procedures can be put in place to increase the transparency of security services, which in turn will encourage trust from the end-user. A great example of providing customers with a completely transparent view of what their security services are providing is a reporting system like the one we have in place here at Farsight. A reporting system will provide customers with information on how many alarms were raised from their site and how quickly those alarms were answered.

But back to security operator training – as it’s an essential part of further building trust between the security services and the end-user. The operators will inevitably be more trustworthy after training as they will have had complete criminality checks and be comfortable with the operating systems and their responsibilities. It’s a win-win situation for the end-user and the security services: the end-user knows that their site is being monitored by a highly-skilled professional and the security services can feel confident that their employees are reflecting the standard of their business. In fact, even the security installer has reason to be concerned about the qualifications of operators – after all the operator will be doing justice to the surveillance system that they installed!

CCTV training increases efficiency

Not only do trained security operators improve trustworthiness, they also improve efficiency, which ultimately is reflected in the quality of surveillance an end-user receives.

A trained operator will be comfortable with the software they need to use and the standards they are expected to comply with. If an operator has received little to no training they will struggle to use the surveillance software and they will be unfamiliar with the sites they’re monitoring. Plus there is a strict set of regulations imposed on the security industry and the operator will need to be aware of these in order to meet and exceed them. For instance, the British Standard, BS8418, demands a minimum of 80% of alarms are responded to within 90 seconds. If an operator is unaware of this standard, they won’t be aiming for this level of performance and ultimately will let the security services and the end-user down.

Security operator training at Farsight Security Services

We’ve established why security operator training isn’t simply an optional extra, but instead a necessity. But how exactly do security operators gain training, and what training do they need to succeed?

At Farsight we take the performance level of our operators seriously, we won’t ever compromise on providing top-level training that ensures operators are suitable for the position and able to complete their work to the highest of standards.

Farsight Security Services valuesHere’s the routine we put in place at Farsight:

  • All security operators will need to undergo training to become a SIA (Security Industry Authority) CCTV license holder. To be accepted on to the SIA training, the operator will have to undergo criminality checks – an important phase in building trust.
  • To become a CCTV license holder the security operator will have to undergo a four-day course with the SIA. This course covers best practice in the security industry, the legalities of CCTV and much more. The primary aim of the SIA training is to ensure the security operators are prepared for using CCTV and well equipped with knowledge of the dos and don’ts.
  • We don’t simply leave it to the SIA to provide training. Instead, here at Farsight we also provide intensive training at the Observatory to introduce the operator to CCTV in action.
    • The security operators are circulated onto shift work at the Farsight Observatory with a more experienced member of the operation staff teaching them one-on-one. They will cover all of the basics, such as how to answer alarms and make audio announcements. The advanced operator will continue to advise and chaperone the new security operator. No site will ever be left vulnerable whilst in the hands of an inexperienced operator.
    • When the operator demonstrates a good level of understanding and progress when answering alarms, they will move on to the next level of security operator training. They will be introduced to using the phones for services such as calling the emergency services, getting in touch with keyholders and completing a walk test of a site. Although this seems like a basic step, it’s an important one – phone’s need to be used quickly and with confidence to make sure everyone is kept up to date when an incident occurs.
    • The staged introduction of services is continued, with the operator being trained on how to deal with access control, lone worker protection, systems control and call centre services. They will also be fully trained in using video analytics and using CCTV for fire and intruder detection.
    • An important part of the security operator’s role is also the testing of systems. This means they will need to be trained in how to initiate and monitor generator tests and fire systems tests – important factors in the safety and security of a site.
    • Every stage of the training that an operator successfully completes will be logged to allow Farsight to monitor their progress whilst also complying with ISO 9001.
    • When the team leader and the chaperone has assessed the progress of the operator they will decide whether continued training is a necessity or if the security operator is ready to work independently.

Our rigorous training procedures ensure our operators are efficient and fully qualified for the job. It also sets us apart in the CCTV and remote monitoring industry – a lot of our competitors don’t adopt such thorough training practices. As a result, the efficiency of security operators isn’t maximised and sites are left vulnerable. For Farsight to achieve the high standards they demonstrate on a daily basis, all of our staff must be trained to the highest level.

Although, it’s not all hard-work and demanding training! We also invest a lot in our staff:  if they show competence and dedication, they will be rewarded with fantastic progression opportunities. Whether those roles are senior operations or team leader positions, we – in turn – are dedicated to looking after our employees. All of our team leaders and our senior operations managers are homegrown, they’ve worked their way up.

What do you think are the most important factors in CCTV and security operator training? It would be great to hear your thoughts too, so please leave a comment below.