Security incident guard reporting is an essential part of physical security. Without it, security companies put at risk their reputation and their ability to stay in compliance. And while reporting itself has been an established process, how security companies choose to implement their reporting has changed.
We’ve seen security companies still use paper-based or simple online reporting. Yet those methods have failed to provide security guard company operators with two essential components of any business — data and analysis.
In this blog, we’ll explore what should be reported, how to standardize reporting efforts across your sites, and why guards must be trained on good reporting techniques — all in part to support getting better data and analysis from reporting.
What Should Be Reported
Putting a good report together means understanding and documenting the facts. Yet, facts aren’t as easy to capture simply if guards don’t yet know how to document clearly. Why is this so?
Facts themselves can be just about anything that’ll support the purpose or intention of a report. When a guard is documenting an incident, for example, guards have to feel comfortable reporting what they observe without bias. This goes back to security 101 basics of documenting who, what, where, when, and how of an incident.
Depending on a security company’s SOPs and any contracting guidelines, reporting must document an event with as much detail as possible. This step is critical especially when security guard companies depend on good reporting to justify their guards’ actions plus uphold contract requirements.
And this isn’t just for incidents. Special reports based on state regulations, such as fire extinguisher report updates or reports that occur on a timely basis for a client, must be standardized so that guards know exactly what needs to be documented.
How to Standardize Reporting
First, let’s break down what standardized reporting is and what it looks like. The basic definition of standardization includes three key phrases: required, agreed level of quality or attainment, and maximized repeatability.
When thinking about repeatability, reports must be flexible enough to be adapted if needed while also consistent enough for guards to use across one or multiple sites. The best way to standardize a report is to establish baseline templates. Templates consist of the top components that make up what needs to be documented to uphold a guard company’s SOPs and contractual obligations.
What’s in a Template?
Not all templates are created equally. Incident reporting software solutions typically vary in their ability to create configurable templates that are adaptable and can comply with any regulations and contract requirements. While some fail in their ability to authentically recreate what security companies need to maintain compliance, others excel. When transitioning to standardized reporting, here are 6 things to look for:
- Multiple field options to recreate hardcopy forms
- Drag and drop plus voice to text functionality for ease of use
- Media attachment support like time-stamped photos, audio, video, GPS location, and notes
- Configurable notifications and automatic alerts to stakeholders
- Guard authentication and supervisor follow-up abilities
- Reporting analytics to track status
Items Needed for Standardizing a Report Template
Although obvious, it’s critical to think about the purpose of each report and what they need to accomplish. When completing any report, either for a client, internal use, or for government mandated regulations, essential items must be recorded. Here are a few things to consider.
- • Is it important to have time stamped events?
- • Will evidentiary support be required, such as time-stamped photos, audio, GPS location, and notes?
- • Does the report require a specific layout?
- • Will the report require follow ups?
- • Is the report recurring?
Why Guards Must be Trained On Reporting
Guard training is an essential part of a successful security guard company and is the basis for ensuring that guards are prepared and capable of doing their job. When it comes to reporting, daily activities or incidents, guards are on the front-lines and are the first to respond if an incident occurs on site. That’s why guards must be trained to fill out reports with confidence and professionalism.
Good Training Techniques for Guards
“Soft skills”, like good listening or concise writing abilities, are all part of a security guard’s job. Good training starts with identifying what guards need to know in order to successfully complete their reporting duties appropriately. This includes training for tactical communication, basic observation, and good writing. Here are a few things to consider.
- • Will guards be interacting with the public?
- • Are they trained on reporting critical incidents?
- • How about de-escalation communication and listening skills to gain appropriate statements?
- • Will guards be prepared to uphold new COVID-19 guidelines and any related reporting?
Reporting — The Right Way
Without good reporting, security companies risk their reputation, their client’s confidence, and their ability to maintain successful operations, not to mention legal liabilities if their reports fail to stand up in legal litigation.
When transitioning from paper-based reporting to online, digital reporting, security companies are ensuring data and analytics take center stage when looking to grow and scale their operations.
About the Author
Christina Ortega is the Content Marketing Specialist for Trackforce Valiant. She aims to deliver valuable content that addresses key issues facing the security industry – and offers insights into the latest solutions being taken to confront them.
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