The importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as a guide to understand the security role and how to undertake specific tasks and duties.

In News by Elton Rangi

The security industry and its roles are varied in terms of requiring different skill sets, the specific duties involved, an understanding of legal compliance to manage any and all situations and scenarios.

Standard operating procedures are a written document guide often created in a hard copy form or commonly today accessible via a computer or smart device, and a PDF document to allow security personnel to have access to the document as a reference when required.

The most common pursue and use for standard operating procedures (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations.

In the security industry, step-by-step instructions can cover situations, scenarios, and duties as:

  • Signing in for duty.
  • Signing out equipment as site keys, mobile phones, etc.
  • How to operate tools as computer systems, CCTV systems, access control systems or a mobile device application.
  • Dealing with difficult or uncooperative persons.
  • An understanding of legal compliance as the Trespass Act, Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act or in the loss prevention sector the legality around theft and the apprehension process.

Case study

To give you an understanding of how standard operating procedures (SOP) can provide a guide in the form of a step-by-step process we have created a security situation as a case study.

A relief building concierge who is covering a shift, noted an alarm appear on the access control system:

  • The alarm read – emergency break glass activation, ground floor, zone 10, main glass doors.
  • The building concierge arrived on the scene, zone 10, ground floor, and found the main entry/exit doors open to the building allowing free and open access to the secure building.
  • The building concierge noted the emergency break glass had been activated, enabling the main doors to the building to be open.
  • The building concierge being a relief staff member was not too sure about how to reset the emergency break glass to reset and secure the doors.
  • The building concierge accessed his mobile tablet device to open a PDF copy of the site standard operating procedures (SOP), searched and referenced – How to reset an emergency break glass.

On using the standard operating procedures (SOP) as a guide the relief building concierge was able to reset and close the main entry doors to re-secure the building.