SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Occupational Certificate: Security Officer 
110866  Occupational Certificate: Security Officer 
Development Quality Partner-SASSETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Safety in Society 
Undefined  86  Not Applicable  NQF Level 03  Regular-ELOAC 
Registered  SAQA 10126/19  2019-10-24  2024-10-24 
2025-10-24   2028-10-24  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the learner with the required knowledge, practical skills and workplace-based learning to prepare the learner to operate as a Security Officer. A Security Officer patrols, guards and monitors industrial, commercial, state and private property, railway facilities or other facilities to deter, detect, and investigate criminal and illegal activities, and to maintain secure environments within the ambit of the law.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Patrol premises to prevent and detect signs of unauthorised entry or infractions of rules.
  • Respond to emergency alarms, react to complaints received and investigate incidents.
  • Control access and egress to allow authorised entry and prevent unauthorised entry.
  • Use, inspect, maintain and report faulty security equipment.
  • Write security reports, complete registers and take statements.

    The security industry is globally recognised as a largest and fastest growing industry spurred on by the perception of increasing crime affecting individuals, business and government. The security officer occupation is a highly regulated occupation internationally and individuals wishing to practice as security officers must be licenced by the regulatory body. The demand to protect goods and services surges and with progressing technology this requires qualified and competent security officers to deter, detect, and investigate criminal and illegal activities, and to maintain secure environments.

    This Occupational Certificate: Security Officer is an entry-level qualification and typical learners include individuals who wants to enter the security industry or those already working in the industry without a formal qualification. It will provide learners with the required knowledge, skills and competencies in all aspects of legal, regulatory, procedural and visible security operations to operate in a professional manner.

    The qualification contributes to the development of qualified security officers in the country and providers career opportunities within the security environment. Qualifying learners will be employed by public or private security agencies, residential complexes and homes, educational, cultural, financial and health institutions, businesses and retail establishments, investigation service companies, transportation facilities, and organisations throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed. The qualification provides progression possibilities in related occupations to security related qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The related occupation which is Security Officer also provides for the following specialised skills which are developed into part-qualifications to expand employment opportunities in the areas of specialisations.

    The three part qualifications related to this qualification are:
  • Patrol activities.
  • Access control.
  • Asset protection.

    The qualification provides progression possibilities in security related occupations and qualifications. The related occupation also provides for the specialised skills which were developed into part-qualifications to expand employment opportunities in the various areas of specialisation. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the External Integrated Summative Assessment:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a Statement of Results or certifying a Work Experience Record. RPL for access to the Qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • NQF Level 2 qualification with Communication and Mathematical Literacy. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge Modules, Practical Skill Modules and Work Experience Modules.

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 541401-000-00-KM-01, Introduction to the Security Industry, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-KM-02, Legislation and Regulations Influencing the Security Industry, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-KM-03, Health and Safety, Level 3, 8 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-KM-04, Communications in the Security Environment, Level 3, 5 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-KM-05, Security Equipment, Level 2, 2 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 26.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 541401-000-00-PM-01, Inspect, Operate and Record Security Equipment, Level 2, 3 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-PM-02, Conduct Regular Patrols and Inspections of Buildings and/or Facilities, Level 3, 5 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-PM-03, Perform Access and Egress Control, Level 3, 5 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-PM-04, Evacuate Premises and Contact Appropriate Emergency Role-players, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-PM-05, Carry Out Emergency Responses, Level 3, 5 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-PM-06, Give Evidence in Court, Level 4, 5 Credits.
    Total number of credits for the Practical Skills component: 26.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 541401-000-00-WM-01, Security Equipment Inspection and Basic Maintenance Processes, Level, 2, 3 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-WM-02, Patrolling Processes, Level, 3, 8 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-WM-03, Access and Egress Control Processes, Level, 3, 10 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-WM-04, Emergency Incident Management Processes, Level 3, 5 Credits.
  • 541401-000-00-WM-05, Security Reporting, Recording and Legal Processes, Level 4, 8 Credits.
    Total Number of credits for the Workplace Experience component: 34. 

    1. Conduct patrol within a designated security environment.
    2. Conduct access and egress control.
    3. Identify and respond to emergency situations in a security situation environment.
    4. Complete written reports of occurrences, duties performed and comprehensive descriptions of observations. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Terminologies and concepts used in a patrolling environment are defined in terms of their meaning within the context of security services.
  • The general duties, standards, practices, regulations and prohibitions are described and applied in accordance with the applicable legislation.
  • Basic elements of security are described and applied in relation to access control, basic crowd maintenance vehicle control and shift-handover in terms of organisational standard operating procedures.
  • The primary purpose of conducting a crime prevention patrol is explained in accordance with organisational operating policies and procedures.
  • The types and reasons of patrols including "selective patrol" and "saturation patrol" used in the security environment are identified and explained within context.
  • Observation, monitoring and recording techniques are applied during patrolling.
  • The types of equipment used in patrolling are described, and appropriate equipment is selected and operated effectively in given security situations.
  • Factors that can influence an effective patrol are described with examples.
  • All five senses are utilised to detect irregularities or unusual events, hazards to self and others including risks, and observations are noted appropriately.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Various types of searching techniques and procedures to be conducted on people, goods and vehicles are identified and applied and breach of security is dealt with in accordance with the applicable legislative and organisational policies and procedures.
  • The correct way of searching persons, vehicles or goods/cargo/commodities is applied in accordance to the applicable legislative and organisational policies and procedures.
  • Relevant security documentation such as receipts, invoicing, registers and consignment notes are completed correctly to ensure security compliance.
  • Relevant security documentation such as receipts, invoicing, passes and consignment notes are screened for accuracy for conformance with access and egress controls.
  • Methods of screening and searching baggage, vehicles, people and handling property are identified and described, and irregularities are dealt with using effective communication techniques in accordance with organisational standards.
  • Assertiveness is maintained but being professional when interacting with the public.
  • Ways of escorting people within and between locations at the property to ensure safety are described and applied in line with organisational standard operating procedures.
  • Escorting duties of persons and vehicles are performed correctly to direct and/or accompany persons and vehicles within and between locations at the property to ensure safety and are done in a polite and sensitive manner.
  • Various security equipment used in access and egress control are listed and described in terms of their features and functions.
  • Methods of de-escalate, avoiding and resolving potential conflict are described and applied to deal with difficult interpersonal relationships.
  • Types of communication systems are identified, described and used in terms of their application in a security environment.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Different types of emergency situations that a security officer may encounter in the work environment are described.
  • Role and functions of a security officer is explained including emergency action drills or organisational incident management procedures in an emergency situation.
  • Details on how to protect and secure a crime scene are described in terms of legal requirements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Different types, purposes, structure and layout of reports and statements including an incident report that may be used in a court of law and at organisational disciplinary hearings in the security environment are described.
  • Rules of recording relevant factual data and circumstances in a pocketbook and occurrence book are explained.
  • A report is produced incorporating who, what, where, when, why and how in the report including the requirement of effective reporting.
  • An appropriate method of communication to report an issue or potential problems is explained and applied in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.
  • Reports and/or statements are completed and distributed in accordance with organisational policies and procedures to ensure confidentiality of information/evidence.
  • Protocols and procedures for the purpose of giving evidence in court are described.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development providers will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This Formative Assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external Integrated Summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) is required to issue this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. The external Integrated Summative Assessment for the qualification will be conducted by means of a written exam in decentralised assessment centres and the evaluation of practical tasks by a panel of assessors as well as evaluation of on-the-job performance in the workplace evaluated by workplace assessors registered with the AQP. 

    International comparability was conducted to compare best practice and training offered registered in the field of security officer. The countries include Australia and United Kingdom as they regarded as leaders for best practice in the security industry, both have occupational development processes and the standard and level of competencies developed for occupation required by the security industry.

    The Certificate II in Security Operations is a qualification aimed at Security Officers and aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework and classified in the Australian and New Zealand Standards Classifications for Occupations (ANZCO). The qualification comprised of 12 units of competency (core units and 5 elective units) which contribute to industry-supported vocational outcomes. The duration of learning of the qualification is typically 0.5-1 year which equals to 600-1200 hours and includes time spent developing competency in the workplace. The following units of competency are studied that compares favourably with the South African qualification:
  • Communicate effectively in the security industry (CPPSEC2001A).
  • Follow workplace safety procedures in the security industry (CPPSEC2002A).
  • Work effectively in the security industry (CPPSEC2003A/B).
  • Respond to security risk situation (CPPSEC2004A/B).
  • Work as part of a team (CPPSEC2005A).
  • Provide security services to customer (CPPSEC2006A/B).
  • First aid training (HLTFA301B/C, HLTFA311A or HLTAID003 or equivalent).
  • Patrol premises (CPPSEC2015A).
  • Control access to and exit from premises (CPPSEC2011B).
  • Give evidence in court (CPPSEC2009A).
  • Operate basic security equipment (CPPSEC2014A).
  • Screen people (CPPSEC2007A).
  • Screen items (CPPSEC2008A).
  • Protect safety of persons (CPPSEC2010A).
  • Contribute to investigative activities (CPPSEC2016A).
  • Protect valuables in transit (CPPSEC2013A).
  • Control and direct traffic (CPPCMN2001B).
  • Carry out vehicle inspection (TLIB2004).
  • Use communication systems (TLIE2007).

    The qualifications, however, differ slightly with the South African qualification in relation to the structure of the qualification in that some of the units in the Australian qualification cater for specialisations in general security services.

    United Kingdom (UK):
    Level 2 Certificate in Providing Security Services is a competency-based qualification with 22 credits comprising 28 units that could lead to employment in static and patrol guarding, door supervision, Closed-circuit television (CCTV) operation, retail, reception or events security, and key holding and alarm response, areas that have been identified as specialisations in the South African qualification and compares favourably in terms of level of standards and competencies covered. However, the search focused on the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the organisation responsible for regulating the private security in the UK that offers Security Guard Training course to enable learners to obtain licencing which compares favourably with the South African qualifications although the duration differs significantly. The course covers the following:

    Common Security Industry Knowledge:
  • Session 1: Awareness of the Law in the Private Security Industry.
  • Session 2: Health and Safety for the Private Security Operative.
  • Session 3: Fire Safety Awareness.
  • Session 4: Emergency Procedures.
  • Session 5: The Private Security Industry.
  • Session 6: Communication Skills and Customer Care.

    Security Guarding Specialist Module:
  • Session 1: Introduction to the Roles and Responsibilities of Security Officers.
  • Session 2: Patrolling.
  • Session 3: Access and Egress Control.
  • Session 4: Searching.
  • Session 5: Technology and Systems in the Security Environment.
  • Session 6: The Security Officer and The Law.
  • Session 7: Communicating, Reporting and Record Keeping.

    Conflict Management Module:
  • Session 1: Avoiding Conflict and Reducing Personal Risk.
  • Session 2: Defusing Conflict.
  • Session 3: Resolving and Learning from Conflict.
  • Session 4: Application of Communication Skills and Conflict Management for Security Guarding and Close Protection.

    The South African qualification compares favourably with the international offerings in Australia and the United Kingdom in terms of the content covered in the qualifications for security services or operations. The qualifications benchmarked differ slightly with the South African qualification with respect to the total credits which has an impact on the duration of the course which is slightly shorter as well as the fact that their structure has an elective component catering for specialisation which compares with the part-qualifications in the South African qualification context providing learners with employable skills and qualify them to operate and accumulate credits towards the full qualification. 

    Horizontal Articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally and vertically with the following qualification:
  • National Certificate: General Security Practices, Level 3.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Dog Handler, Level 4. 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for the external summative assessment learners must have a copy of a completed and signed Statement of Work Experience as well as proof of successful completion of the following subjects and modules or alternative programmes where applicable including Foundational Learning Competence.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:
  • None.

    Criteria for the Accreditation of Providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Security Officer: 541401-000-00-00.

    This qualification covers the following trades as recorded on the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD):
  • Not applicable as this is not a trade.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):
    Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA).

    Related Part Qualifications:
  • 541401-000-00-01, Occupational Certificate: Patrol Officer, Level 3.
  • 541401-000-00-02, Occupational Certificate: Access Control Officer, Level 3.
  • 541401-000-00-03, Occupational Certificate: Asset Protection Officer, Level 3. 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.