The number one question people ask when seeking job opportunities within the security industry is, “How do I get a security guard licence?”. Although the process may seem daunting, the answer is simple.
We’ve answered common security licence questions below to help you prepare for the process:
- How Do I Get a Security Guard Licence?
- Do You Need a Security Guard Licence to Be a Security Guard?
- How Do I Apply for a Basic Security Officer Training Exam?
- Is the Basic Security Officer Training Exam Hard?
- How Long Does It Take to Receive a Security Licence?
- How Much Does It Cost to Get a Security Licence?
- Why Should I Become a Paladin Security Officer?
Keep reading to discover how you can acquire your security licence and start working as a security guard!
How Do I Get a Security Guard Licence?
Depending on the province you live in, there are different requirements needed to acquire a security licence. However, a common element for obtaining a security licence, regardless of province, is training. In addition to completing a required number of training hours, you will also need to write and pass the security licence test, as well as apply for a security licence.
Do You Need a Security Guard Licence to Be a Security Guard?
The answer is yes. In order to work as a security guard, you must hold a valid security licence for your province. Therefore, it is essential you go through all the requirements mandated by the province you reside in first.
Depending on the province you live in, there are a certain number of Basic Security Officer Training (BSOT) hours required. For example, when you have successfully completed your BSOT hours in Ontario, you will receive a Training Completion Number (TCN), which can then be used to apply for a security licence test. After completing your training in British Columbia, you will write an exam to receive a Basic Security Training (BST) certificate. This certificate will be submitted, along with other documents, to apply for your Security Worker Licence.
To discover province-specific requirements for obtaining a security licence, click on the province you are looking to work in below:
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
How Do I Apply for a Basic Security Officer Training Exam?
In Ontario, once you receive your TCN, your next step is to book your security licence test through your province’s website or through an agency. After the booking is complete, you will receive a date allowing you to write the test. You must provide valid identification to take the security licence test, and the test will typically take 90 minutes to complete.
Is the Basic Security Officer Training Exam Hard?
Just as you would study for an exam in high school or university, it is important to put time aside to study for the security licence test. Some provinces provide practice tests and other resources to help you prepare and pass the test successfully. The more prepared you are, the more confidence you will have when writing the test. The less you prepare, the harder the exam will be and the higher your chances are of failing it.
Passing grades will vary depending on the province. Therefore, it is important for you to confirm what the passing mark is for the security licence test by reviewing your province’s website.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a Security Licence?
After you are notified that you have passed the security licence test, you will go through an application process to receive your hard-copy security licence. Depending on the province you’re applying for, there is important information you must provide to avoid having your application declined or delayed, such as:
- Have a signature from a “valid” guarantor
- Provide a photo of yourself that meets all government regulations
- You may be subject to a background check in order to be approved for licensing
In Ontario, a copy of your security licence will be mailed to you. However, it may take 6 or more weeks to receive a physical copy of your security licence. In British Columbia, you will receive your BST certificate immediately after successful completion of the exam. You will then need to apply for the Security Licence separately and submit your BST certificate copy with it.
It is important that you request a digital copy of your security licence, as this will allow you to start applying for security jobs. If you have a valid digital copy of your licence in Ontario, you can start working as a security guard right away.
While the licencing process may seem lengthy or challenging as you read this, rest assured these are generally straight forward and present little difficulty for the applicants.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Security Licence?
The cost of becoming a security guard and acquiring your security licence will vary depending on the province you reside in. However, the cost can range between $350 - $450. Below is a breakdown of these costs:
1. Basic Security Officer Training (BSOT)
The BSOT is a training module, which must be completed before writing a security licence test. Certain security companies and agencies will provide this training at a cost of $200 - $300.
2. Security Licence Test
After completing the BSOT, you can apply for your security licence. The fee to write the exam depends on the province you’re apply for, but the cost is typically between $75 - $80 plus tax.
3. Security Licence Application
After passing the security licence test, the next step is to apply for the security guard licence. The fee for applying also depends on the province you reside in, but the cost ranges from $75 - $120 with tax included. It is important to keep in mind that you will also need to pay for fingerprint costs, which are around $75 in British Columbia.
Why Should I Become a Paladin Security Officer?
Say goodbye to the cost of becoming a security guard and the stress of acquiring your security licence! Paladin Security offers company-paid training and security licencing for new employees.
Additionally, all necessary equipment and uniforms needed to work at a particular site, are supplied to Paladin Security Officers free of charge.
Interested in becoming a Security Officer with Paladin Security? Click here to apply.
Set Yourself up for Success
Read the rest of our security guard blog series to help you prepare for your career in the security industry:
- How to Become a Security Guard
- How Much Do Security Guards Make in Canada?
- Security Guard Career Path
- Security Guard Resume: What Security Companies Expect?
I have completed the BSOT modules successfully and have received the certificate. How can I write the BST exam in order to get the security licence.
Employee # 60270
Hi Zahida, please reach out to your Employee Care Coordinator or another member of the People & Culture team, as they will be able to assist you with this.
I want to apply for basic security officer training hours at paladin security. Kindly guide me how to opt for the same
Hi Jaynish, we only provide security training to Paladin Security employees. If you are interested in working with us, you can apply for a position at: https://www.paladinsecurity.com/careers
Rupinder kaur says
Can i work with the company with BSOT?
Yes, you will need BSOT as well as your security guard licence. Thanks!
Katherine Nelson says
I have a valid Alberta security license and worked in that province for 10 years. Is my license transferrable to Nova Scotia or do I have to take the courses again?
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Katherine, Licenses are usually province-specific so it’s likely you’d have to take a test or course to recertify.