Updated: Mar 14
The Alberta Government requires you to pass the Alberta Basic Security Training (ABST) program in order to get your Security Licence and work as a security guard in Alberta. There are a lot of training companies out there right now who teach the ABST program. But are they all the same? Do they all provide the same value? Does it matter who you get trained by? Which training company has the best ABST course? How do you choose which ABST course is the best? This article will help you how to evaluate which course and trainer is best for you.
And at the very bottom of this article, we share what our report card is.
Why is it Important to Choose a Good Trainer?
It actually matters a lot to your career and your safety who you choose to be educated by. The decisions you make in this industry can positively or negatively affect your ability to progress in your career, for example into a supervisor position, or pivot into close protection or law enforcement work, so it's very important to do your research and choose wisely.
Although this is the first foundational course to start working in the industry, what you learn will form the basis for how to view the industry, the responsibility of safety of yourself and others, how seriously you take your job, your character and reputation, and how you learn any advanced training which gets built on top. If the foundation is cracked, and the building gets taller with advanced training and more experience, the likelihood of it coming crumbling down is high.
Good versus Poor Trainer
A good training provider will give you a solid, deep understanding, of the fundamental aspects of the job to be successful and advance and help everyone stay safe. They will give you real life scenarios and teach from experience to help you understand the complexities of making good decisions on the job.
A poor training provider will rush you through the concepts at a high level just so you can get your licence. They can see this course as a formality rather than important foundational information, and this unhelpful attitude can rub off on you and how you approach your education. This also minimizes the importance of the responsibilities of the job, and puts you and others at unnecessary safety risk.
How do you do Research to Choose a Good ABST trainer?
1. Check to make sure the program is accredited
An accredited training program means that the branch of the Alberta government called Alberta Justice and Solicitor General has approved the course and training company to teach it and trusts them to deliver the content well. Training companies must go through a formal approval process with the government to be considered accredited.
A full list of all current accredited training companies for the ABST course is available on the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website. Click on the latest document in the list: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/security-services-and-investigators-act-approved-training-courses
2. Choose a reputable company
How long have they been in business? Choose a company that has been around for at least a handful of years.
What other training programs do they provide? Do they only offer ABST or do they have a more well-rounded list of course offering which demonstrates the depth of their knowledge.
What is their reputation in the industry? What do experienced individuals in the industry say about them?
Is it clear who the owner is? Does that person have a good reputation? Some companies are not forthcoming about who actually owns and runs the business. They should be open and transparent about who they are, otherwise it can seem like they are hiding something (such as lawsuits, which we have seen).
3. Evaluate the experience and reputation of the instructor
The experience level of the instructor for this program is absolutely key to your success, so it is important that you choose your trainer based not only on their qualifications and ability to teach this course, but also their real-life experience level of having worked in the industry themselves. Some trainers have little to no experience in the industry (some have never worn a uniform of any kind, or managed this function successfully), and some approach this course as a formality or an inconvenience to getting you on a site. This can directly affect your safety and your development in the field.
Whether you choose us or another provider to do your ABST training with, please take a few minutes to do proper research as it matters to your career and your safety! If you do this research on Tip of Spear, you will be pleasantly surprised. We pride ourselves on providing some of the best training in the industry. See below for our Report Card.
Tip of Spear's Report Card
Our ABST and AIT programs have been accredited with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General since 2011
As of July 16/21, our ratings are: Google 4.8/5, 81 reviews, Facebook 5/5, 48 reviews, BBB Accredited A+ business. We have been in business since 2011 and have 14 training programs. Regarding reputation, we are known as a trusted education leader in Alberta and the go-to training academy for many individuals and security businesses. Our owners, Dave Suffern and Ida Agronin have both been in the industry for 30+ years, have the qualifications and experience to run successful programs, and are well known and respected.
Our instructors, Dave Suffern and Kathie Brooks have worked as security guards themselves for years, have additional education and experience in the areas of adult education, and have been teaching and helping students pass their exams for decades.
If you would like to take the course with us, learn more and register for the online or classroom Alberta Basic Security Training.