Fraudulent Security Training Exposed in Undercover BBC Investigation

A recent undercover investigation by the BBC has revealed alarming misconduct in the security industry training sector in the UK. The probe found that some training providers are enabling applicants to improperly obtain mandatory work licences in just a day or two, rather than the official six-day course. Many security workers depend on these licences to access job opportunities.


The reporter from the BBC show File on 4 went undercover at several training centres. By paying an additional fee, he was able to finish the compulsory six-day course in just a day and a half. Crucially, he missed out on vital first aid modules during the rushed training. In one case, the reporter was told to falsify his timesheets to show he had attended the full six days. He was also simply provided answers to multiple choice exam questions and told to vary his responses to avoid identical tests.  


This is occurring eight years after another BBC investigation exposed security guards fraudulently buying qualifications for cash. There are currently around half a million licensed security guards active in the UK, with approximately 170,000 qualifications awarded annually.


When presented with the findings, the legal counsel to the Manchester Arena Inquiry expressed grave concerns over public safety at events. He emphasised that proper training could have made a decisive difference in the 2017 bombing. The Inquiry called for comprehensive training with stringent checks.


At one training centre, the reporter was charged £310 extra and allowed to skip the first four days, missing key modules like first aid. The facility’s director denied any wrongdoing to the BBC.  


Another provider seemingly only offered a condensed three day course. The reporter was again told to falsify six days of attendance records. After just minutes, he was coached through a first aid exam he should have spent a whole day training for.


On the final day, candidates were not even given real exam questions. They were handed answer sheets and told which letters to circle by the trainer.


After a previous BBC expose in 2015, authorities pledged to combat fraud in the industry. However, dozens of new whistleblowers have since contacted the broadcaster about unqualified, dangerous staff obtaining licences via sham courses.


The Security Industry Authority said it took the evidence uncovered very seriously and would be assessing it thoroughly. It stated that any compromised qualifications would result in licence suspensions. The regulator also vowed to work with Ofqual to fully investigate the allegations.


Assist Security Group’s Industry Compliant Training 

Leading security consultancy and industry training provider Assist Security Group (ASG) says that proper training is crucial for security professionals. CEO Troy Hewitt:  “The BBC report is disturbing and companies do need to check their training provider and security staff are fully compliant. Ask for references and contact referees.


“There are no shortcuts when it comes to equipping security personnel with the skills and knowledge needed to keep people safe. At ASG, our extensive training services exceed industry standards and are tailored to each client’s specific needs.”


ASG training services meet all relevant Government and industry-recognised standards for training delivery including: NVQ L3 Direct Training and Support, A1, D32/33, and IOSH General Risk Assessment. The key focus areas are ensuring security officers have the knowledge and skills for safe, lawful, and professional conduct in their roles. 


As Troy explains, “We train client’s security teams and our own officers using a blended training approach with face-to-face sessions, online learning, on-the-job training, and micro-learning. This allows us to develop key competencies around communication, observation, reporting, and behavioural analysis that are essential for the modern security professional.”


Whether at crowded events, corporate offices, hospitals, hotels, transportation hubs or other sites, properly trained security personnel act as the first line of defence. They can Identify vulnerabilities before incidents occur and respond appropriately when challenges arise. 


At ASG, training duration and frequency is customised based on each client’s specific requirements. As Troy summarises, “We aim to deliver current, relevant, immersive training tailored to the client’s sites, roles and needs. There are no shortcuts when it comes to security training, it’s too important.”


ASG provides specialised training for:


– Event security

– Corporate security 

– Hospital security

– Hotel security

– Railway security  

– Luxury retail security

– Tourist attraction security


Whether starting from scratch or enhancing existing skills, ASG’s bespoke training programmes give security professionals the tools and knowledge for success.

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