Checklist: Getting the Most from Guard Services

Are you still basing your guard services purchases solely on the lowest cost?

Availability of value-added options. Consider what additional services you might need, such as a canine program or specially trained officers in CFATS compliance standards. Do security officers have basic CPR and first aid training? What services does the company offer beyond “basic guard service?”

Hiring practices and human resources expertise. What is the supplier’s background investigation process? Ask about the drug- and alcohol-free workplace program. Consider how the supplier ensures accurate payment of wages. What are the recruitment practices – does the company recruit consistently from the military? Consider vacation and healthcare benefits and other employee programs, such as retirement plans.

Certifications and memberships. Are any of the company’s operations ISO (International Organization for Standardization) registered? Has the company been designated or certified by the Department of Homeland Security under the SAFETY Act? Has the company ever been certified regarding safety requirements by a client? How involved is the company in supporting national, state and local industry associations?


In the end, the security officer is the first responder and linchpin of any organization’s security stature. The true measure of any security program’s effectiveness ultimately begins with recruiting the best people, equipping them with the best training, matching them up to work in the best environment based on their skills and providing a fulfilling professional development path. In addition to finding the highest caliber security officers, a security provider which can offer a range of security capabilities like mobile software for incident capture or report compliance adds greater value to the officer’s role. To evaluate guard providers, compare them using this simple checklist and then score them based on the strengths outlined above.


Drew Levine is President, North America with G4S Secure Solutions.