Chapter 2 – The PSISA & Code of Conduct

New criteria were developed under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act for equipment, licensing, training, vehicles, uniforms and testing standards.
For eligibility to obtain a security license, it is compulsory for all applicants to undergo the required training and testing. Notably, the completion of training and testing is required once. For you to operate as a security guard, it is mandatory for you to possess a Security License.
“No person shall act as a private investigator or a security guard or hold himself/herself out as one, unless the person holds the appropriate License under the Act”.

Compulsory Criteria for Applying for a Security License

When applying to obtain a security license, the following mandatory criteria must be satisfied by an applicant:
  • Have a clean criminal history
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a Canadian work permit
  • Must have satisfactorily completed all required security training and testing
If any of these mandatory criteria are not met by an individual, the person’s application will be denied.

Background Check of Criminal Record

All candidates must have a background of their criminal record before obtaining a security license and before their existing security license is renewed every year.
Anyone who has been condemned of any crimes, as determined in the Criminal Record Regulation, will be denied a license except they have granted a pardon.

Code of Conduct

For those in the security industry, new standards for professional Code of Conduct are established by the law.
There will be no room for discrimination, racism, and utilization of needless force.
This regulation is used to determine the kind of activity that is suitable and unsuitable for security guards when performing their roles.
It will be noticed by the security guards that honouring the Code of Conduct is majorly about using common sense. It is expected of the security guards to apply an Honorable manner when relating to anybody.

Security Criteria

The PSISA rules stipulate that a security guard need to:
  • Behave with utmost honesty and integrity
  • Abide by all municipal, provincial and federal regulations
  • Ensures all individuals are treated impartially (without being discriminated)
  • Shun the use of vulgarity and insulting language
  • Shun the use of extreme force
  • Operate at work without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Act in a dignifying way in all circumstances
If a person is convicted for breaching the Code of Conduct or any regulations of the PSISA, such a person could be sanctioned with imprisonment of as much as one year and/or be fined.
The fines could be as much as $25,000 for persons and $250,000 for business entities.
An individual working as a security guard must always have his/her license every time and must provide proofs of being a security guard when requested.

Uniform of Security

It is compulsory for each individual who is working or holding himself/herself as a security guard to wear a uniform that is in compliance with the rules.
A uniform that is in compliance with the Uniforms Regulation must be worn by all security guards, except Loss Prevention personnel and bodyguards.
For a security guard that is employed by a licensed security guard, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the uniform complies with the criteria established by the Uniform Regulations.
NB: It is essential for the security guards to understand the uniform regulation. After the issuance of the appropriate uniform to a security guard, it is the responsibility of such a guard to make sure that they wear the full uniform when on duty. Fines and suspension could be meted out to any security guard who breaches the uniform regulation.

Security Uniform – The Fundamental Issues

The word “SECURITY GUARD” or “SECURITY” must be boldly shown on the uniform in certain dimensions and locations.
An identification tag must be on the uniform. The license number, license name or both must be displayed on the identification tag.
No trait of resemblance to the uniform of the police must be noticed in the uniform of the security guard. These traits include:
  • Forage cap that looks like the police’s
  • Trousers with stripes on its side
  • Rank chevrons
Exception:
These limitations are not applicable to an individual that is:
  1. Working as a bodyguard
  2. Offering services that are targeted at preventing property loss through vandalism or theft in a residential, industrial, retail or commercial location.
Anybody with a security license issued by the Act must NOT portray himself/herself as someone whose duties or services are related to the police.

Restricted Terms

When identifying themselves, any security guards, investigators or persons delivering services related to private investigations or security guards must never utilize any of these titles or their variations:
  • Law enforcement
  • Detective or private detective
  • Officer
  • Police
Whether in written or verbal form, security guards must not identify themselves with any of these terms.
If any of the regulations of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act under the Code of Conduct is breached, there may be a suspension of your security guard license for a period of 3 months.

Chapter 2 –PSISA (Research and Assignment for 30 minutes)

ResearchThe current website of PSISA offers this reading material. You are expected to spend 30 minutes on studying the material and getting important information by researching the website of PSISA.Any essential material that you study online must be noted. After the 30 minutes, you will be authorized to go on with the rest of the lesson. This chapter does not need taking notes.
Assignment: When doing this assignment, utilize your imagination to create and write a short example of a situation in which a security guard was able to use the guidelines of the PSISA and Code of Conduct to solve an issue. It is a fictional example that you can create yourself.
Website Reference: www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PSIS/BasicTesting/SecurityGuardStudyGuide/TheActandCodeofConduct/SG_act_conduct.html

Private Security and Investigative Service

Overview of the chapter
The security industry is controlled by the PSISA. Resultantly, it is important for security guards to understand the PSISA so that they can adhere to the rules and restrictions, such as the Code of Conduct.
A few of the main elements that affect the licenses of a person directly include:
Licensing Requirements (subsection 10(1) of the PSISA)
For eligibility for obtaining a security guard license, everybody should:
  • Ensure that they have completed the training and/or testing required by law.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a clean criminal history, as decided by the Clean Criminal Record Regulation (NB: there are a few criminal convictions or charges that do not affect eligibility for a security guard license. To get further information, check the Clean Criminal Record Regulation).
  • Have a legal Canadian work permit.
  • Anyone who submits an application for a security guard license must provide proofs of satisfying these criteria. In case they do not satisfy the criteria, they will be denied the application. Check the website of the ministry to get further information on the requirements for identification.

Basic Rules and Standards of Practice

These are a few of the guidelines that security guards should remember while performing their duties every day. These rules are under sections 35 to 40 of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act.
When performing their duties, security guards should always have their license (this include security guards that work in plain clothes such as bodyguards and loss prevention personnel).If anybody should require them to identify themselves, they must do so with their license as proof.
A uniform must be worn by security guards while performing their duties, only the loss prevention personnel and bodyguards are exempted. Learn more about the Uniforms Regulation below.
Apart from their uniform and license, a security guard is NOT allowed tohold any symbol of authority, such as a metal badge.
Security guards must NEVER avail themselves of the roles of the police or identify themselves as police officers. Consequently, security guards are not allowed to utilize any of the following titles when describing their duties:
  • Police
  • Law enforcement
  • Officer
  • Detective or private detective
For instance, security guards are not allowed to call themselves security officers.

Regulations

Apart from the PSISA, the security guards are controlled by many other regulations. Only employers are affected by lots of these rules. Nevertheless, security guards must know these rules, especially the ones that are directly applicable to them:

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is basically about the form of act that is proper or improper for security guards to show while performing their duties. Security guards will notice that honoring this regulation, in lots of situations, is just about common sense.It is expected of the security guards to handle the people with utmost regard and professionalism.For example, the regulation requires that the security guards have to:
  • Behave honestly and with integrity
  • Adhere to the municipal, provincial, and federal rules
  • Relate with all individuals impartially (without discriminating them)
  • Shun the use of vulgarity and insulting language
  • Shun the use of extreme force
  • Operate at work without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Must wear uniform
All security guards are required to be uniformed in adherence to the Uniforms Regulation; only loss prevention personnel and bodyguards are exempted. For a security guard that is employed by a licensed security company, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that all requirements for uniforms are satisfied. It is worthwhile to understand that security guards should know the regulation because they are meant to be uniformed appropriately when performing their roles every day. A few of major elements to consider include:
The word “SECURITY GUARD” or “SECURITY” must be boldly shown on the uniform in certain dimensions and locations.
An identification tag must be on the uniform. The license number, license name or both must be displayed on the identification tag.
Any traits of resemblance to the uniform of the police must NOT be seen in the uniform of the security guard. These traits include forage cap that looks like the police’s, trousers with stripes on its side, and rank chevrons.

 

Eligibility for obtaining a security guard license

Clean Criminal Record

This includes some criminal acts that are indicated under the Private Security Investigate Service Act. Convictions of these crimes without receiving a pardon disqualify an individual from being eligible to obtain a security guard license. Any application submitted by such an individual will be denied.
Individuals that were charged or convicted of any criminal offense that is not listed under the PSISA may be able to get a security guard license. To determine the applications of any limitations to their license, their file must be reviewed by the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch (PSISB).To discuss their peculiar case, the candidate may be invited to speak before the PSISB.

Complaints by the Public

If any member of the public believes that any licensed security agency or guard has breached the PSISA or its regulation, a public complaint may be filed by such a person against the agency or guard.
Facilitation can occur as a result of public complaints. In addition, the case may be investigated by the PSISB. Resultantly, the licensed agent or guard may be charged which may, in turn, lead to the issuance of warning or suspension of the license.

Penalty charges for going against the PSISA

If any security guard contravenes the act, such an individual could be penalized with imprisonment of as much as one year, fine of as much as $25,000, or both. Therefore, to avoid facing penalty charges or complaints, security guards must adhere completely to the PSISA and its regulations.

What does the PSISB mean and what is its basic role?

 
This PSISB stands for Private Security and Investigative Service Branch.
Its main role is to oversee the licensing of private investigators, security guards, and licensed security agencies.