Ministry of the
Solicitor General

PSIS - Security Guard Testing Guide Communications

Private Security and Investigative Services

Basic Testing

Security Guard Test Preparation Guide

Section 9 - Effective Communications

Security guards encounter a wide range of situations and are required to act professionally under all circumstances. Effective communication is an essential skill for security guards in order to adapt to different scenarios and defuse situations when required.

Communication Skills

There are many different mediums for communication, including writing (reports, company policies), in-person, by phone, by e-mail, through two-way radios, and by video recording.

Security guards must be able to communicate with a wide array of individuals both orally and in writing to obtain information. Information provided by a security guard, presented orally or in writing, should always be clear and concise, and use appropriate language. Information should be conveyed accurately and without personal bias or opinion.

Communication also uses non-verbal cues, such as body language. A security guard’s posture, gestures, facial expression and eye contact can all convey information.

Security guards should check with their employers about communication protocols for specific situations, such as fire alarms, and the use of special communications equipment like two-way radios (See Appendix B for Association of Public Safety Communication "10" Codes).

Some general rules applicable to all communications are:

  • Be brief.
  • Be explicit.
  • Be concise.
  • Make sure you are understood.
  • Do not be antagonistic.

Tactical Communication

It is important to adjust a communication style to accommodate a situation or an audience. Security guards should be able to adjust their behaviour and demeanour accordingly. Assisting an injured individual will not require the same communication tactics as controlling a rowdy crowd. Effective communication also ensures that security guards can be assertive without being confrontational.

In any situation, it is important to communicate in a clear and concise manner. The tone, volume, and cadence with which a message is presented can have a significant outcome in how it is received by its audience. Tone, volume, and cadence are especially important when dealing with people over the telephone where nonverbal cues are not available to help them interpret your reaction to the situation.

Interpersonal Skills

Security guards must frequently interact with others, whether it is their employers, peers, clients, or the public. Being courteous and professional are always essential and help to establish rapports and build trusting relationships. Strong interpersonal skills also allow security guards to relate well to others and prevent or defuse difficult situations.


See Appendix B: Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) "10" Codes.

Saskatchewan Justice – Corrections, Public Safety and Policing: Private Investigator and Security Guard Training Manual (2012)

  • Chapter 3 – Conduct of Security: Professionalism and Public Relations