What makes a great security operative?

  • Published on: 23 April 2019
  • By: Paula
What makes a great security operative?

Good communication and people skills…… these are the answers I keep getting to this question.  There are many other qualities and skills required of a security operative, but communication and customer service definitely seem to come out top of the list.

1.    Communication skills

Security operatives are often seen as the public face of an organisation as the majority of security work involves dealing with the public face to face on a daily basis.  A good security operative will be able to communicate well with everyone they come across, portraying a friendly and professional image. 

Without the ability to communicate effectively it can be easy for a minor or even a non-incident to quickly become something more serious. 

2.    Customer service

There is much more to security work than protection.  Providing assistance, answering questions, giving directions and dealing with problems are a regular part of a security role.  Many are employed as a security concierge and are expected to welcome visitors, take deliveries and help with bags as well as remaining alert to any possible security incidents.

3.    Skills & experience

Training is key.  UK security operatives are required to hold SIA licences and in order to obtain these they need to complete a certain level of training, but a good security company will go above and beyond these requirements to make sure their operatives have additional skills to benefit their clients.

Experience is also beneficial; over time the operatives will learn to read situations and instinctively know the best ways to manage them.

4.    Ability to remain calm

Security work can be stressful.  Working as a door supervisor in a busy nightclub, for example, includes dealing with members of the public who have been drinking and may react more aggressively than usual to a situation.  A security operative needs to be able to stay calm and diffuse incidents without reacting to abuse. 

5.    Commitment 

To the role, the customer/employer, other security staff, and to providing a high standard of service.  The commitment to excellence and helping other people makes one security operative stand out over another.

6.    Vigilance and observation

Observation skills are essential.  Staying alert and analysing everything going on around you is necessary for a security operative to be able to perform their job well.  Looking out for shoplifters, noticing any aggressive behaviour in pubs or events, dealing with visitors in a large office building; simply being aware of anything that looks out of the ordinary and having the skills to prevent an incident occurring.

7.    Decision making abilities

Security operatives often have to make decisions very quickly and need the ability to read and understand a situation to enable them to make the right decision.  

8.    Professionalism

Appearance, attitude and actions; a great security operative will present themselves well, projecting a positive image and demonstrating their professionalism through their performance. 

9.    Honesty and reliability

Security operatives look after people and property, so trust is essential.  Under SIA licencing rules all security operatives need to be fully vetted before they can obtain a licence, but it is also important that the client feels comfortable with the operatives working for them.

10.    Physical fitness

Standing up and walking around for hours is hard work.  To be able to fulfil their roles effectively security operatives need to be fit and healthy.  If they are unfit physically it can also affect their mental awareness and prevent the operatives working to their best abilities.


Leisuresec is committed to providing security operatives of a high standard and provide training and development for staff to achieve this.  We also work closely with our clients to ensure we match operatives with the right skills and attitude to each contract.

For more information or a quote, please get in touch today.