Security Buzz October 2021
Welcome to the October 2021 edition of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Security Buzz, an e-newsletter for Queensland security providers.
In this edition
- What licence do locksmiths need in Queensland?
- Checking in and when you can refuse entry
- Have you completed your ongoing training?
- What you need to know about reapplying for an expired licence
- Online licence applications coming soon
- When a security firm licence is required
- Working while waiting for your licence renewal
- Security compliance update
- Understanding and managing risk in the security industry
- Why security providers should get the COVID-19 vaccine
What licence do locksmiths need in Queensland?
Locksmiths are being reminded that they must hold a current security equipment installer licence to work in Queensland.
It comes after OFT completed more than 20 investigations into locksmiths last year, which found that some were working unlicensed.
You’ll need a licence to install, repair, service or maintain a range of security equipment, including:
- monitoring systems
- audio or visual recording systems
- electric, electromagnetic, or biometric access control devices
- motion, infrared, microwave or contact detectors
- safes or vaults
- basic locks for commercial environments and common areas in a residential complex.
You don’t need a licence to install a basic security item while the property is being constructed, repaired or renovated, or to do retail key cutting.
Find out more, including how to apply for a security equipment installer licence, on the OFT website.
Checking in and when you can refuse entry
Contact tracing has proven to be one of the most effective ways to control COVID-19 outbreaks, so it’s important to know what to do if a customer refuses to provide their contact details.
Queensland Health has outlined the types of businesses that must collect contact information from people who attend their business premises.
Those businesses, and their security providers, have the right to refuse entry to customers who don’t provide their contact information, but this does not include people who simply don’t use the Check In Qld app.
For example, if a customer doesn’t have a smartphone or isn’t comfortable downloading apps, businesses should take their contact information and then enter this into the Check In Qld app manually using the business profile mode.
If there is a technical issue, businesses can also collect the required details (name, phone number, email address and home address) on paper and add it to the app later (must be done within 24 hours).
If a person is not able to provide contact information because of age, disability or low English language skills, another person can provide this information on their behalf.
You do not have to collect the contact details of unaccompanied minors (under the age of 16).
More information about the Check In Qld app and the rights of businesses and their security providers, as well as their customers, is available at covid19.qld.gov.au.
Have you completed your ongoing training?
Now is a great opportunity for crowd controllers and bodyguards to check that their training is up to date before the busy festive season begins.
Crowd controllers and bodyguards must complete ongoing training every three years. This training includes:
- CPPSEC3101 - Manage conflict and security risks through negotiation
- CPPSEC3121 - Control persons using empty hand techniques
- HLTAID006 or HLTAID014 - Provide advance first aid.
You are also required to complete CPR training (HLTAID001 or HLTAID009 - Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation) every 12 months.
There is no recognition of prior learning for ongoing training - each unit must be completed and reported to OFT’s licensing unit.
Remember, you are responsible for making sure that your training is current.
Learn more about the ongoing training requirements for licensed bodyguards and crowd controllers on the OFT website.
What you need to know about reapplying for an expired licence
Are you looking to reapply for your expired security provider licence? Here’s what you need to know.
Under the Security Providers Act 1993, if you held a security provider licence in the past 12 months and are reapplying for the same class of licence, you can obtain the licence without further training.
However, this does not apply if you held the bodyguard and/or crowd controller function on your licence in the past 12 months, and you:
- allowed your licence to expire when you had ongoing training units due to be lodged if the licence was renewed; or
- had the bodyguard and/or crowd controller functions previously refused or cancelled for failure to supply the ongoing training units by the due date; or
- voluntarily withdrew or surrendered the bodyguard and/or crowd controller function from your licence when the ongoing training units were due to be lodged.
In these instances, evidence of completed ongoing training units must be supplied before the new licence is issued.
If you are reapplying for a security provider licence more than 12 months after you previously held a licence, you must provide evidence that you have completed the approved training course for the functions you are applying for.
Keep in mind that fingerprints taken for security licensing are destroyed around three months after a licence expires. That means, if you’re reapplying for a licence outside of this time, you will need to pay a fee of $100 and have your fingerprints taken again. OFT will provide a fingerprinting notice detailing the process once the new application is lodged with the fee.
More information is available on the OFT website.
Remember, there’s a different process for renewing your licence if you do so before your current licence expires. Find out more about security licence renewals on the OFT website.
Online licence applications coming soon
Over the past few months, OFT has been working to make applications for new security licences available online.
This new online from is now in the final stages of OFT testing and will shortly be moving to customer experience testing. This is when industry participants and associations trial the form and provide their input into its useability.
OFT then uses this client input and feedback to make sure the form that goes live is the best it can be.
When a security firm licence is required
You need a security firm licence if you are supplying certain security services to others for reward, and operate under a partnership or corporate structure, or if you employ staff to provide security functions or subcontract these functions.
These services and functions include crowd controllers, security officers, bodyguards, private investigators, security advisers and/or security equipment installers.
A security firm licence can be issued to an individual, partnership or corporation.
You do not need a security firm licence when you are operating as a sole trader and complete all the security work yourself.
Find out more about security firm licences on the OFT website.
Working while waiting for your licence renewal
OFT receives a lot of questions from security providers about whether they can continue to work while they are waiting for their licence renewal be finalised. Here’s the answer.
Provided OFT receives your renewal application before your licence expires, you can continue to work while your renewal application is being processed.
During this time, you must be able to produce your expired licence and the receipt which shows you have paid your renewal fee.
It is important that you lodge your renewal application prior to your licence expiring, as your licence cannot be renewed after the expiry date.
Any renewals received after the expiry date will be treated as a new application and, in this instance, you must not work until your new licence is issued.
Full details about how to renew your licence are available on the OFT website.
Security compliance update
As at mid-October, almost 100 unannounced proactive inspections have been undertaken across Queensland under the Security Providers Act 2008 (the Act).
In around eight per cent of those checks a possible breach of the Act has been identified.
While the issues identified have varied and investigation of them is ongoing, several have indicated problems with basic administration and record keeping.
Understanding and managing risk in the security industry
The nature of the work undertaken in most sectors of the security industry carries a degree of risk.
Dealing with people can be unpredictable no matter if you are working at the front of a local grocery store or as security for a large outdoor event.
Understanding and managing this risk to reduce harm to both security staff and patrons requires care and control.
Crowd control is an ever-changing environment that must consider factors such as:
- large numbers of people assembled in one place
- high noise levels
- mix of age groups
- the presence of drugs and alcohol
- emerging domestic situations fuelled by alcohol or illicit substances
- lock out laws and the new covid restrictions.
In these situations, the risk to security officers and patrons can be extreme and potentially volatile.
When violence is introduced into the mix, risk assessment and the follow-on management of the situation becomes paramount. That’s why security staff should maintain:
- a high level of situational awareness
- a professional level of interpersonal skills including verbal and non-verbal communication
- greater understanding of their use of force procedures and tactics
- heir skills and be fully trained and practice these skills regularly
- their first aid and CPR skills and certification
- their skills in identifying and defusing situations in the first instance.
If a situation does get out of hand and becomes physical, ongoing situational risk assessment should be front of mind. In these situations, immediate focus should be given to resolving any incident as quickly and peacefully as possible. It’s important to stay mindful of the potential for physical harm to parties involved in the incident.
After any incident you should review what you did and consider what you could improve on if you’re involved in another incident in future.
Remember that important post altercation actions, including rendering first aid if necessary and your legislated reporting requirements, must be attended to promptly and professionally.
You have an important role to perform to ensure everyone, including yourself, makes it home safely. How you do that depends on how you have evaluated and managed the risks around you in the first place.
Why security providers should get the COVID-19 vaccine
As Queensland’s vaccination program ramps up, we’re highlighting the top reasons security providers across the state should get the jab.
You are on the frontline
Security providers perform an important frontline role in keeping the Queensland community safe. In doing so, you’re potentially interacting with hundreds of strangers each shift.
Vaccination is a way to protect the people around you including your colleagues, your friends and family, as well as the wider community.
It’s an opportunity to protect yourself
As a security provider, you spend your days protecting others, and this is your opportunity to do something to protect yourself. Arm yourself against COVID 19 by getting the vaccination.
Vaccinations will help us get back to normal life
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and free, and they are our pathway out of this pandemic. It will offer us the chance to reunite with family, friends and colleagues.
You can register your interest for a vaccination booking or find your nearest general practice or pharmacy at www.health.qld.gov.au/vaccinebookings.
Thank you for helping to keep Queenslanders safe throughout the pandemic and beyond.