Canadian Security Magazine

Ontario updates security training curricula

Neil Sutton   

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According to one expert, it’s a matter of hurry up and wait for security industry workers now that the Ontario government has posted more information about training and certification.

The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services recently published outlines for the course load that frontline staff will be forced to take in order to become certified next year. The certification requirements were first outlined in the Private Security and Investigative Services Act of 2005. The testing and training components were supposed to take effect in November 2008, but have been delayed until at least next year.

“The province’s best guess target at this point is they’d like to have
the test written, the testing administration agency selected and up and
running and have the test actually available for people to write it in
March or April of next year,” says Brian Robertson, principal of
Diligent Security Training & Consulting Inc., based in Toronto.

Diligent is one of potentially dozens of companies that would be able to offer the training to security workers.

The deadline for completion of the training will probably be September
2009, says Robertson, barring any further delays. Until that deadline
is firm, security companies will be hesitant to act.

“There’s not much point in completing a 40 or 50 hour course . . .
knowing that you can’t go to the test centre and write the test on it
until March, April or May (of 2009),” he says.


Once the deadlines are finally sorted out, Robertson anticipates that
the training and testing will kick into high gear. Robertson estimates
that there are 70,000 security workers that will be affected by the
legislation and as well as up to 15,000 new people entering the field
annually. All of them will require training and testing. In-house
training facilities, community colleges, private career colleges and
new companies (like that owned and operated by Robertson) should be
able to accommodate the demand.

Hesitation or concern on the part of the security industry is probably
unwarranted, he says. The province of British Columbia enacted similar
security legislation 12 years ago.

In B.C., “there were lots of ways for people to get the training, and
get the training financed. The industry thinks that something
cataclysmic is going to happen to them, but the best analysis of this
is . . . it’s going to be largely business as usual.”

Contract security firms are familiar with regulatory practices, he
says. In-house security personnel have typically been more sheltered
from government intervention, but most are trained well beyond what the
government will expect of them.

“The training or testing requirement isn’t going to be onerous. We’re
talking about a 40- or 50-hour classroom based course, at the end of
which, you have to write a one-hour multiple choice test. This isn’t
going to be a career burier for many people,” he says.

The government’s latest guidelines and curricula for security training can be found here:

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