Security Staff

Security is very important in NHSScotland, from protecting patients and staff to property, facilities and valuable equipment. Access to hospital premises must be limited to people with a genuine reason to be there.

All staff and patients expect to be cared for in a secure environment.

Staff working in Security Services may be based at hospital entrances and exits to monitor people going in and out. They also help to prevent damage and theft.

Some posts involve working shifts over a 7-day period, 24 hours per day.

Security Officer

Working as a Security Officer, you may be responsible for a range of areas, from protecting staff and patients to security buildings and equipment. In a hospital setting, you may provide cover during the night to the Accident and Emergency department.

Some of the tasks involved in the job include:

  • challenging anyone who is not a member of staff or a patient
  • making sure visitors have a reason to be in the hospital
  • asking official visitors to sign in and issue them with a pass
  • helping to deal with any incidents or emergencies which might threaten the security of staff and patients
  • diffusing potentially difficult situations
  • working closely with police or other emergency services when required
  • monitoring CCTV
  • patrolling the outside of the hospital including the grounds

Security Supervisor

As a Security Supervisor or Support Services Manager, you would normally be office-based. You may also be responsible for the security of one or more NHSScotland sites. Some of the tasks involved in these jobs include:

  • supervising staff in the security team
  • planning and organising staff rotas and shifts
  • preparing security plans
  • advising NHSScotland staff on security issues
  • arranging staff training

Useful skills include:

  • a mature and responsible attitude
  • excellent communication skills
  • teamworking skills
  • a good level of physical fitness

Useful abilities include:

  • the ability to follow procedures
  • the ability to interpret and understand a situation quickly
  • the ability to remain calm in difficult or challenging situations
  • the ability to use technical equipment, such as CCTV

Security Officers are likely to need a good standard of general education, including English and Maths. It is also useful to have some experience of working with people, such as stewarding at an event, either from paid employment or voluntary work.

To join NHSScotland as a security supervisor or support services manager, you will need the following qualifications:

The specific entry requirements will depend on the role. The qualifications asked for may also vary depending on the recruiting NHSScotland Board. You are advised to contact each individual Board to find out its specific entry requirements.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

For security services roles, you may also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

Modern Apprenticeships in Facilities Services at SCQF Level 5, Facilities Management at SCQF Level 7 or MA Hospitality (Supervision & Leadership) at SCQF level 7 are frameworks for people interested in working in facilities management. Find out more about these Modern Apprenticeships on the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) website:

Healthcare Support (Non-clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is another framework for people interested in working in a healthcare setting in a non-clinical support role. For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at:

When you join NHSScotland in a Security role, you will have an introduction to the hospital site, the departments and their systems and procedures. You will also be given the security services workbook, provided by Health Facilities Scotland (HFS).

Once employed, NHSScotland encourages staff to study Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs). You may have the opportunity to study for additional qualifications, such as:

Look on the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) website to find the full range of qualifications on offer for staff working in facilities services.

Career pathways

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
  • physical intervention
  • security procedures, responsibilities and the law
  • patrolling
  • fire safety
  • communication skills

Gaining new qualifications will help your career prospects, leading to more senior roles with a greater level of responsibility.

With further experience and qualifications, you could progress from Security Officer to Estates Supervisor, or Support Services Manager. Senior Management roles include Facilities Manager and Head of Facilities.

Learn more about the NHSScotland Estates and Facilities career pathways.

Security staff are able to join the following organisations:

Security Industry Authority

SIA acts as a licensing body and also defines and delivers training for the security industry. Find out more on the SIA website.

NHS Protect

NHS Protect is responsible for the security of people and property across the NHS, including personal safety and lone working. Find out more on the NHS Protect website.

British APCO

British APCO is an independent, user led, professional members association. It aims to promote, influence and advance the development and use of communications and information management systems for the safety and security of the public. Find out more on the British APCO website.