What training do security guards have?

All security guards in Dubai must undergo a weeklong course involving 36 hours of theoretical and practical training.

DUBAI // All security guards wishing to work in the emirate must undergo a week-long course involving 36 hours of theoretical and practical training.

They are then tested in three exams - oral, written and practical - and if successful they are granted a certificate by the Dubai Police Academy.

The certificate is accredited by the British vocational education organisation City and Guilds.

The programme includes classes on criminal investigation, firefighting and how to search vehicles and premises. About 40 per cent of the lessons are practical.

"Among the things they learn is how to preserve a crime scene, as well as how to search an establishment or vehicle," said Lt Col Naser Kathem, director of the International Centre of Security and Safety at the Dubai Police Academy.

Candidates also learn about conflict management and how to protect themselves and others in an emergency.

The classes are given by senior police officers and employees from other bodies such as Civil Defence, and take place at the academy.

Security companies are allowed to set up their own training sections but the exams must be taken at the academy.

"The oral exam is there to decide the strength of personality of the security guard, as each security guard needs to have a strong personality and needs to be balanced when dealing with members of the public," said Lt Col Kathem.

The training programme was introduced in 2005. Attendance was made compulsory in 2008.

So far, the academy has trained about 27,000 security personnel.