Security control room managers are employed by corporations and specialised security companies to protect life and property. They are highly trained, as security work deals with potentially dangerous situations. They work in the security control room, and operate and monitor all the functions within it including surveillance, alarm, telephonic and radio systems, as well as the distribution of keys and recording details in the logbook.
A security control room manager’s tasks may include:
- day-to-day management of the alarm receiving centre control room
- management of a team of control room operators
- directing patrolling security officers to attend to incidents and helping to coordinate situations with the supervisor
- operating security-related and personal protective equipment following departmental procedures
- maintaining the technical security systems
- maintaining strong relationships with emergency services
- producing regular reports for senior management and clients; meeting with clients and customers.
Why did you choose the security industry? I actually wanted to become a chartered accountant, but unfortunately there was no money available for me to further my studies. Security was the only option at that stage, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.
What training did you undergo and where? In order for any person to become a security officer, you need to be registered with PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority). In order to become PSIRA registered, you need to do your security grading (Grade E to Grade A). If you go into the armed response division, you need to be firearm competent and must have armed response training.
Is experience as important as formal training? Most definitely, formal training can’t prepare you for the real-life situations you’ll be faced with while on the job.
Describe a typical day There is no typical day. Every day you deal with different people and different situations. We deal with alarm activations and every time an alarm signal is received a person’s life could be in danger.
What do you enjoy most? I work with a brilliant team of people that make coming to work exciting. I enjoy the different challenges I face on a daily basis, whether it is client or staff related.
Anything you don’t like? I don’t like an unhappy client. Service delivery is a very important aspect of the business and we always strive to go the extra mile for our clients. The other dislike about this industry is the long hours one has to work.
Have you overcome personal hurdles? A year ago I was diagnosed with hypertension. As I am working in a stressful environment, I had to teach myself to stay calm in stressful situations.
Your career highlight? I was promoted to Control Room Manager in 2009. The control room is the heart of the business, so being the Manager means one has a huge responsibility.
Any future goals? I’m currently studying to become a computer technician and, on completion of this course, would like to enter the IT field, and maybe start my own business.
What makes or breaks a manager in the security industry? One needs to be focused on service delivery, meeting deadlines, and must have a lot of patience, especially when it comes to staff. You must have good interpersonal and communication skills.
What advice would you give to someone starting out? In the beginning security was just a job to me, but it has become a career. Hard work and dedication is the only way to climb the ladder in this industry.
Your job in three words Challenging • Stressful • Enjoyable
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED?
Security control room operators typically start by training to be security officers, often through an in-service training programme with an employer. There are also various diploma and certificate courses offered at various levels of specialisation by colleges and instructors. A school qualification of Grade 10 is required to study certificate courses and a National Senior Certificate is needed to study diploma courses. Make sure to choose a course with a Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) and Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) accredited training institution. Security officers have to be certified by PSIRA and registered with them before being able to practice as security service providers. Some employers require security officers to have a shooting license.
WHERE CAN I STUDY?
Ubuntu Security Training and Development
Grade E to A Training
Enforce Training Academy
Grade Training Courses: Security Industry
Tsu Protection Services
Grade E to A Training
Enpower Training Services
Grade E to A Training
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Central University of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Zululand
Vaal University of Technology
Walter Sisulu University
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFO?
Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority – www.psira.co.za
Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority – www.sasseta.org.za
Security Association of South Africa – www.sasecurity.co.za
Institute for Security Studies – www.issafrica.org
WHAT SUBJECTS DO I NEED?
Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended:
• Not required