Successful completion can lead directly to licensing and employment within the security industry. The award satisfies the training requirements for licensing in the Enforcement Guard sector as prescribed by the industry regulatory body, the Private Security Authority. 

Those wishing to work within the Security Guard (Static) or Door and Event sectors require a different award and a separate licence. These programmes are also available through the Security Institute Network of Trainers. 


Development of the programme was undertaken in consultation with the Private Security Authority, the Enforcement sector, and other key stakeholders. The security industry certification body the Security Institute, carried out national and international research on the topic and the development committee was made up of national and international experts.

The programme is developed to meet the requirements of the QQI award in Enforcement Guarding. Completion of this programme leads to a QQI Special Purpose Award at Level 4 in ‘Enforcement Guarding’ code 4S22385.

The programme has been approved by the Private Security Authority having met ‘Requirements for Training Providers’ TP1.


This is a part time programme, which necessitates day release or evening-course environment participation. Directed or classroom learning is estimated at approximately 30 hours in total. Typical day release participation will involve candidate commitment of four days, one day per week. Home study or self-directed learning is an essential feature of this part-time programme. The security industry certification body, the Security Institute, jointly certifies the programme.


This is a single module programme. Therefore, the programme purpose, general aims and outcomes are also the module purpose, general aims and outcomes.

‘The purpose of this award is to equip the candidate with the knowledge, skill, and competence to work effectively under supervision as an enforcement guard performing enforcement duties and responding to situations safely and legally in a variety of settings.’

General Aims

On completion of this programme, the candidate will be able to:

  • Understand what private security is, its role in society, its sectors and services, including a typical company structure and management, recognising mandatory regulations and standards, in particular the functions and powers of the regulator.

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of the enforcement guard, indicating the characteristics of a professional by maintaining company, client and personal standards, understanding teamworking and the critical aspects of personal safety.

  • Understand the specific legislation and other legal requirements relating to enforcement operations.

  • Identify those aspects of law relevant to the role of the security officer working in the enforcement guard environments, explaining lawful responses to typical situations, understanding relevant criminal, civil and other codes, including court processes.

  • Acquire knowledge and skills in the effective implementation of enforcement operations from the planning and briefing stage to seizing and securing of property and assets, including the appropriate documenting and recording processes. 

  • Identify emergency situations, responding to instructions and / or reacting appropriately to a range of emergency incidents, including fire, accidents and other threats, working safely using appropriate emergency equipment, taking responsibility in situations where required and preserving the scene of a relevant incident.

  • Demonstrate a range of communication skills relevant to the role of the enforcement guard on duty, including interpersonal skills for effective interaction when dealing with others, and those additional skills beneficial when intervening in, or confronted with challenging conflict situations.


  • The Private Security Industry
  • The Enforcement Sector
  • Industry Licensing Legislation and Regulation 
  • The Enforcement Guard
  • Teamworking Principles
  • Personal Safety and Wellbeing
  • Enforcement Specific Legislation and Requirements
  • Vulnerable Groups
  • Criminal Law and Security
  • Civil Law and Security
  • Equality and Discrimination
  • Data Protection
  • Courts and the Courts System
  • Enforcement Planning and Managing
  • Authority, Instructions and Documentation
  • Operational Equipment
  • Operational Procedures
  • Emergencies and Emergency Procedures
  • Fire and Fire Procedures
  • Incident Recording and Reporting
  • Communications 
  • Conflict Management

Diverse Demographic 

While there are requirements to have a level of physical fitness and competency in the English language, these are reasonable and important for those going on to employment. Thousands of candidates go through Security Institute programmes every year. They come from a diverse range of nationalities and backgrounds. The age profile can start at eighteen years with no upper limit of age of candidates. Most candidates have achieved success and improved their employment potential. 

All candidates are assured of an interesting and engaging learning experience with topics that not only satisfy employment knowledge and skills but also broader life skills. No previous formal qualifications are required to gain entry and to achieve success on these entry level vocational programmes. Security Institute management and trainers are committed to assisting all candidates achieve their desires status.

Entry Criteria

To access programmes leading to this award, candidates should have reached the standards of knowledge, skill and competence at Level 3 or Junior Certificate on the National Framework of Qualifications. Achievement of this may be through a formal qualification or relevant life and work experience. This means that entry is largely open to all adult candidates and there are no formal qualifications required to participate.

PSA Requirements

Candidates are advised that to work within the sector requires a licence issued by the Private Security Authority. Licensing conditions prescribed by the Authority include applicants be of good character and are subject to a criminality check. 

The Private Security Authority is the regulatory authority for the industry. They have also set criteria for entry onto a programme for the purpose of applying for a licence. These criteria include:

  • You are asked to produce a passport or other evidence of identity
  • You are asked to provide a utilities bill as evidence of address
  • You must be over eighteen years of age
  • You must be competent in the English language

There are requirements within the programme and ultimately within employment in the industry to have a working knowledge of the written and spoken English language. English need not be your first language. All prospective candidates will be facilitated to demonstrate their English language competence before the programme commences. The level of English demonstrated must be satisfactory to gain entry onto the course.

Self-Directed Study

Self-directed study is a very important feature of programme success. This is a 100-hour programme of which 30 hours are spent in a classroom environment. The entirety of the programme content will not be covered in this classroom setting. 70 hours study must take place away from that environment to achieve success. 


The total duration of the programme is 100 hours. This is broken down as 70 hours self-directed learning or home study and 30 hours face to face classroom-based learning. It is a part time programme; classroom aspects can be delivered on a day release basis for example one day per week for four weeks or as an evening course. Self-directed learning involves 70 hours practice, study and research outside of the classroom. Delivery of the full programme involves a candidate commitment to both classroom attendance and self-directed learning. 

Assessment Summary

There are two techniques used to assess the programme:

  • A one-hour 50 question multi-choice written examination. 
  • The practical demonstration of two skills. 


As this is a part time programme incorporating a substantial element of self-directed learning, a comprehensive manual is available to all candidates. For more extensive research and study, access to the Security Institute library is also available. 

Assessment samples and guidelines are provided for the written examination and skills demonstrations. Skills demonstrations practice sessions are an inherent part of programme delivery. A study guide sheet is also available.

Trainers and assessors are experienced in dealing with candidates who may feel restricted due to physical, learning or language challenges. Reasonable accommodation processes are in place. It is advisable that candidates discuss these issues with the Institute or an Institute trainer in advance of participation. 

Access to, and competency in the use of the Internet will benefit candidates. Trainers will provide additional resource references for those who do not have Internet capability.

Candidates may contact the Security Institute directly for any clarification or further information either by phone at 045 409222 or by e-mail at [email protected]


Successful completion of this programme leads to two certificates:

  • QQI Special Purpose Award in Enforcement Guarding at Level 4 (10 Credits)
  • Security Institute of Ireland Certificate in Enforcement Procedures

Established in 1981 the Security Institute of Ireland is the sector body and leading organisation for education, training and certification in the private security industry. The Institute is approved by the state awarding body Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and is registered as an approved provider by the industry regulator the Private Security Authority (PSA).