A guide to employing a new guarding company

Issue 5 2022 Security Services & Risk Management

Outsourcing guarding has become necessary for businesses to mitigate crime, loss and compliance risks. Provided, of course, you have done your due diligence.

That’s the word from ATG Digital’s Ariel Flax, who cautions against “fly-by-night” operations riding the wave of the industry’s prolific expansion. “There are around 11 500 security services providers registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) today, compared to 10 200 in 2020 – an increase of almost 13% in two years,” says Flax.

“For every registered company, there are countless unregistered ones contending in a highly competitive market. Unfortunately, most companies only realise they’ve appointed a subpar provider after an incident – that’s a risk a business can’t afford to take.”

When selecting a new guarding company, he offers the following guidelines.

Licence: Ensure that those tendering for your business are registered with PSIRA and hold an official licence to operate under the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001. You can verify a security company’s standing via the PSIRA app for Android and iOS.

Reputation: Conducting research online is a helpful way to compare companies and shortlist the ones that best meet your needs. Flax recommends looking for the following:

• Online reviews.

• Case studies.

• Media mentions.

Training: “Training should be at the forefront of a security company’s business model,” says Flax. He explains that regular training ensures that security guards will be aware of the latest security risks and understand how to make strategic risk avoidance and protection decisions.

Management: Effective guarding companies will have evident involvement of their management team. When researching various security guarding companies available, it’s also good to ask about their mandate on follow-ups and investigations of criminal activity.

Technology: Technology is a driving force in the industry. Look for a company that has invested in tech solutions that support the efficacy of their guards and bolster security. Licence plate recognition, licence scanners and digitalised visitor management are just a few options that can reduce risk significantly.

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