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Security staff

Security staff make sure that hospitals and other NHS sites are accessible and safe for patients, visitors and staff. They also protect buildings and valuable equipment.

Training and qualifications required

There are no set entry requirements for security officers. Employers usually expect security staff to have some experience of security or customer service, particularly dealing with challenging situations. Employers may ask for relevant training and will expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy. They may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths and a driving licence. Staff joining the NHS as a team leader or manager need experience in security work or with a uniformed service such as the Army or police. When you join the NHS in a security role, you will have an introduction to the site, departments, systems and procedures. You will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date by going on short courses on particular topics, such as conflict resolution or physical intervention.

Expected working hours and salary range

Security staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 2. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at band 3. Security staff in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. The work involves shifts which include early starts, evenings, nights and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for porters working outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

Security staff need to be able to understand a situation quickly, remain calm in stressful situations, confident and reassuring, resilient in dealing with other people’s challenging behaviour, able to follow procedures, able to work alone or in a team, prepared to go into unknown or unpredictable situations and physically fit for walking and standing. They also need good communication, teamwork and customer service skills.


With experience, security officers can become team leaders supervising other security staff. With further experience, you could become a manager responsible for the security of a hospital, area or trust or be responsible for security and related areas such as health and safety and fire safety. You may be able to move into other support services roles or into other areas such as estates.
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