Training in security programs, 2016

Outline of the review

This strategic review was initiated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) in response to concerns raised in successive reports by Coroners investigating the deaths of patrons during or as a result of restraint or intervention by security personnel in the course of incident control, particularly around licensed premises.

Security services have been the subject of significant public scrutiny. The coroners’ reports raise significant public safety issues and suggest that a number of training and assessment issues are potentially contributing factors to fatalities. The coroners’ findings, together with ongoing stakeholder feedback, indicate that concerns about the security industry, including about the adequacy of training, have been longstanding and persistent.

The implementation of the strategic review’s recommendations will considerably strengthen the quality and safety of security training and assessment provided to learners. This is particularly important: not only for the integrity of the VET sector, but also because this training is integral to safe practices and effective risk management in the security industry.

Key findings

Key findings of the review include:

  • Inconsistent licensing arrangements across states and territories and lack of specification in the training package are leading to poor-quality training and assessment. This poses a fundamental challenge to ensuring high-quality licensed security personnel who are equipped to safely carry out their duties.
  • While the qualifications for security roles are national, the regulation of security licensing is state and territory-based, making it more difficult to ensure consistency and alignment between qualifications and licensing requirements.
  • One of the biggest threats to quality training in the security industry is the prevalence of extremely short courses, which do not allow people to gain the required skills and competencies. While this issue is systemic across the VET sector, it is endemic in security training, potentially compromising public safety.
  • The training package that contains the relevant security qualifications needs significant review to address issues of content and structure. Licensing authorities will need to play a key role in this process.
  • Until the inconsistent licensing arrangements are resolved, people will continue to cross borders to attain licences in jurisdictions with fewer requirements. This leads to discrepancies between where training is occurring and where the jobs are located. 

Outcomes

The review made 8 recommendations. Solutions will require a holistic approach and collaboration between licensing authorities, industry, the training package developer, ASQA and training providers.

The implementation of the strategic review’s recommendations will considerably strengthen the quality and safety of security training and assessment provided to learners. This is particularly important: not only for the integrity of the VET sector, but also because this training is integral to safe practices and effective risk management in the security industry.

Key recommendations

Key recommendations of this review address the need for:

  • agreement by licensing authorities on a single set of qualifications and units to be used in all jurisdictions, paving the way for consistent licensing arrangements
  • changes to the training package to more clearly specify:
    • assessment and volume of learning requirements
    • what can be delivered and assessed online and what cannot, including what aspects need to be delivered in the workplace
    • the language, literacy and numeracy skill requirements of job roles, and
    • skills in safe restraint techniques
  • a more strategic and systematic engagement between ASQA and the licensing authorities to facilitate information sharing and to achieve a coordinated response to licensing authority concerns about the quality and integrity of training and assessment. 

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