Via Art Dorst
When I first entered the security field many years ago there were no requirements for licenses and mandatory basic training requirements. It was not until years later when I was hired as an Assets Protection Manager that I got my first taste of on- going in service type training.
This first introduction to professional training opened my eyes and increased my skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKA) to do my job better. Prior to this knowledge was passed down like tribal lore from the most senior person (Who may have only weeks or a few months on the job, situation and location depending.) to the new employees on the job. As I moved into the law enforcement arena and attended the academy my eyes were further opened as to the benefits of established training. Every cop I knew had the same baseline training and academy experience. In law enforcement training was also planned and scheduled to build your SKA as you progressed within the department. As I progressed in my career and transitioned back into the private sector I realized that training would be limited and I may have to seek it out on my own time and dime.
With this in mind I took an inventory of what SKA’s I needed to stay current and started my search. Like many people money is always an issue so I looked for low to no cost training. At the no cost end I found sources like FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) EMI provides a wealth of on line courses for everything from workplace violence, Active Shooter, Incident Command, to event planning and leadership. Best of all there is no charge for any of them.
Another source is TEEX – they offer on line training in emergency management and emergency medical response. The National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) Member is another source of on line training and courses offered from the partner member (Check the requirements of attendance at their residential courses.). Another free source of training is your local Community Emergency response Team (CERT) they provide a basic 20 hour course that covers emergency medical training, light search and rescue, disaster preparedness, and other topics. If you get involved with the team they usually offer more advanced training and opportunities. Emergency medical training and EMT certification may be available for no cost at your local volunteer EMS squad (You may have to be a volunteer to receive such training and put in hours with them.) the same may hold true for your local volunteer fire department.
Other no/low cost sources for training can also be found at your local community college often there are first aid/CPR, self-defense, writing, and language classes available for low fees.
Then there are the courses that you have to pay for. What I have done is established a budget for training. At first it was very small and would only cover classes that were local and not too expensive. As my earnings have increased so has the budget and my ability to travel to attend training. Some classes became hobbies as well as training. Things such as firearms training, self-defense, and other skill related areas. I will often coordinate my family vacations to times and locations where I can break off for a day or two to attend a class. Another source of knowledge and that is the books, there are still libraries and there are books on just about any topic you want to learn about not as much fun as attending a course but there is no charge for a library card last time I checked.
Current training is essential in our industry if you want to be at the top of your game and be competitive in the job market. It is an investment in yourself and your future. I have seen way too many people think that because they took a course twenty years ago that they never have to attend another. Then they wonder why their career is stagnant. Do your homework in regards who/where you spend your dollars. Make training a regular activity in your professional life and you will reap the benefits.
Art Dorst is a security professional with over twenty five years of security, military, law enforcement, and EMS experience. He has held positions from entry level security guard, police officer, to Assistant Director of Public Safety and training officer for a 24/7, 365 multi location department.