MITIE SECURITY has become the first security provider to develop a formal store detective qualification. Independently regulated and Ofqual approved, the Level 3 certification is equivalent to an A Level and has been realised to provide long-term career development opportunities in the security sector.
Having identified the fact that there was no formal qualification available to retail store detectives, Mitie took the opportunity to invest in creating the necessary training, which is badged as “the first of its kind”. The qualification has been configured using the knowledge of Mitie’s retail security experts and the expertise of the National Open College Network (NOCN), itself a leading regulated awarding organisation.
The course content has been designed to give store detectives the skills they need to perform their role and covers five mandatory units, among them ‘Dealing with offenders and evidence’, ‘Understanding the legal aspects of a retail store detective’s role’ and ‘Understanding the use of self-scan shopping systems in a retail environment’. Each unit is reviewed and discussed in weekly face-to-face coaching and development sessions.
To attain the new qualification, each colleague must successfully complete all five units which include practical assessments, such as role play scenarios. They must also pass a ‘closed book’ invigilated examination.
With around 250 store detectives employed by the business, Mitie will put at least 50 colleagues per year through the new training, as well as supporting those security officers who want to take the next step in their career.
Colleagues who complete the course then have the opportunity to progress towards a further qualification, such as the Level 3 Security First Line Manager Apprenticeship.
The inaugural cohort of ten colleagues started their course in the beginning of September and are expected to attain their qualifications later on this month.
Jason Towse, managing director of business services, said: “We’re proud to be leading our industry with the development of the UK’s first store detective qualification. We’re committed to offering not just a job, but a long-term career full of development opportunities for our people. The demand for security personnel throughout the pandemic has been unprecedented, and particularly so in the retail sector. Through initiatives such as this, we can attract the very best talent to our sector.”
Stuart Galloway, security product manager for the NOCN, responded: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Mitie to develop the Level 3 certificate for store detectives which underpins the business’ commitment as an employer when it comes to developing its members of staff and creating career opportunities within the security industry.”
*The NOCN Level 3 Certificate for Store Detectives is available to those aged 18 and over. Security Industry Authority accreditation and prior experience as a security officer or a store detective operating in a retail environment are necessary requirements for candidates