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How to become a security officer

You can become a security officer in the NHS by applying for a vacancy on our recruitment website.

What is a security officer?

NHSScotland security officers maintain a safe and secure environment for patients, visitors, and staff within our facilities. They play a crucial role in preventing and responding to security incidents, protecting NHS assets, and promoting the overall well-being of individuals within healthcare settings.

Security officer

Starting your career as a security officer

Choosing subjects at school

To become a security officer, you’ll need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Administration and IT

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Education and training pathway

The following qualifications are useful to have:

  • IOSH or NEBOSH health and safety qualifications
  • traffic management
  • SIA-accredited training
  • full UK driving licence
  • customer service training or experience
  • security manager accreditation

You can apply for vacancies on our recruitment website.

Get to know the role

As a security officer you must be able to work under pressure while still being calm. The role is wide and varied. You’ll help to make sure that hospitals and other NHS sites are safe and accessible for patients, visitors, and our staff.

Your tasks may include: 

  • security patrols
  • CCTV monitoring and management
  • conflict resolution 
  • traffic management
  • access control and key management 
  • mobile patrols
  • dynamic risk assessments
  • daily safety checks of the helipad
  • transport patients to and from helipads as required under the guidance of clinical supervision
  • responding to fire alerts while in full PPE


You'll need these skills:

  • communicating 
  • problem-solving
  • collaborating
  • initiative
  • focussing
  • prioritising workload

Security officers work with the following: 

  • clinical colleagues
  • porters
  • domestic assistants
  • administrative assistants
  • the public
  • emergency services
  • local authorities
  • security supervisors

You could work in: 

  • hospitals
  • clinics
  • health and social care facilities

Learning and development

During your career as a security officer, you will need to complete training in different systems, policies, procedures, and equipment. It will help you gain the knowledge needed to comply with standards, laws, and NHS guidelines.

Some security roles involve working on a helipad. You’ll need to successfully complete Rescue and Fire Fighting Service training with the Civil Aviation Authority, which requires annual refresher training.

Your employer will discuss and inform you of training requirements during the local induction period. This will include subjects such as Control and Restraint, Information Governance, and Public Protection.

Career progression

Once in the role, there are opportunities to progress. Support is available from your manager or the training department. You’ll be encouraged to develop your skills and take courses leading to formal qualifications.

Gaining new qualifications will help you when applying for more senior roles such as security supervisor or security manager.

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Work placements and volunteering

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills.

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NHSScotland Careers blog

Our blog features how-to guides, case studies, and resources for career planning, researching roles, and discovering what it's like to work in the NHS.

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