Private security career paths
: establishing the foundations of a structured progression model for the manned guarding sector

  • Declan Garrett

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The commercial manned guarding sector of private security continues to grow, outnumbering public policing. Underlying drivers include government austerity measures leading to more reliance on the private sector, outsourcing, crime and the fear of crime. Unfortunately, the sector is often unable to attract the best candidates since it is rarely viewed as a viable career option. Internationally, private security has been subject to increasing regulation for the purpose of raising standards and, in turn, public confidence. However, the sector lacks the key elements of a structured career path, and there have been few endeavors to establish the foundations of one to support the professionalism of private security.
This study assesses the current picture within the sector and seeks to identify the elements required to develop the foundations of a structured career path. The research involved a qualitative method, adopting a grounded theory approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with private security sector representatives internationally. The study established that structured career paths do not currently exist, with a number of barriers inhibiting progression. The research identified the need both for progression based on training and education, and the sector to strive to be a profession of its own representing the key element required as the foundation to devising career pathways.
Date of Award30 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAlison Wakefield (Supervisor) & Martin Tunley (Supervisor)

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