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National and International History and Evolution of the Private Security Industry

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The National and International History and Evolution of the Private Security Industry



In this assignment I will be discussing the National and International History and Evolution of the Private Security Industry. I will be discussing the history and evolution of security, private security in Ireland, the legislation and regulation act 2004, P.S.A. regulations, key features of I.S. 999:2004 and the rights and responsibilities of security guards, employers and clients. After reading this assignment you will have a clear understanding of the history of the private security industry.

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International History and Evolution of Security

The private security industry is a very important part of our everyday lives. It has evolved over many years through the ever changing society we live in. Advances in technology and the ever present demand for the safe guarding of people and assets.  Organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union operate within International security. Organisations such as these prevent and mediate between countries on a large scale.

“The United States, being the most important unit in the international system, was the initiator. In 1947 the US administration introduced the National Security Council, which became a model for several countries around the world.” (https://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C14/E1-35-04-02.pdf)

Private Security in Ireland

“The Private Security Industry in Ireland has its Origins dating back to the 1960s when the first commercial security company; K Security was set up by Bill Kavanagh” (SSI Manual, Page 1)

Before private security companies came into force it was run by a government body or security was hired by the company themselves. Security personnel are licenced and monitored by the Private Security Authority of Ireland (P.S.A.). The PSA started licensing security personnel in 2006 and security employees in 2007. The PSA’s headquarters is in Tipperary Town with inspectors operating nationwide.

Background to Legislation and Regulation 2004 Act.

The Act was amended by Part 4 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011.”(https://www.psa.gov.ie/en/PSA/Pages/legislation). The 2004 act is the primary legislation that the P.S.A. operates within. The act was created for and on behalf of the P.S.A.

The board of the PSA consists of An Garda Siochana, FAS, Security Institute of Ireland and various Governmental Departments.

“This Act will come into operation on such day or days as may be fixed by order or orders made by the Minister, either generally or by reference to any particular purpose or provision, and different days may be so fixed for different provisions and different purposes of this Act.”

P.S.A. Regulations


“To regulate the activities of employees involved in the private security industry to ensure that the interests of consumers are fully protected through the establishment, promotion, monitoring and enforcing of the appropriate standards.

Their mission, vision and values provide the overall strategic direction for the PSA. These help to guide the decision making by helping them to set priorities and determine the allocation of resources.” https://www.psa.gov.ie/en/PSA/Pages/mission_statement


The PSA in line with the Private Security Services Act 2004 and 2011 has the following statutory mandate:

  • Granting and renewing of PSA licences.
  • Issuing PSA cards to licensees.
  • Suspending and revoking licences.
  • Establishing and maintaining a list of licensees.
  • Specifying standards to be overseen in the provision of security services.
  • Specifying the qualification for the granting of licences.
  • Commissioning research projects and activities necessary for the planning, development and provision of these services.
  • Investigating security services being provided by any person.
  • Establishing and administering a system of investigation and verdict on complaints.
  • Monitoring the supply of private security services.
  • Meeting with licensees.
  • Advising the Minister for Justice and Equality on any matters relating to the above and keeping the Minister informed of developments that would assist in developing procedure.

Key Features of Legislation and Regulation I.S. 999:2004

I.S. 999:2004 (Guarding Security Service) is the standard in which the P.S.A operate. , this standard is certified by the National Standards Authority of Ireland. This standard is the minimum that is required for an individual or company to gain a licence from the P.S.A. The requirements of this standard include Company Organisation, Staffing and Training.

Some key features of this standard include:

  • All qualified employees will be issued with the appropriate Identification badge (PSA Licence) which must be displayed at all times while on duty. The company must also ensure that these licences are reviewed at certain stages throughout employment.
  • Basic Training – Defined in the P.S.A. standard as the minimum qualification or training required by a security officer.
  • Assignment Instructions (A.I.) – The Assignment Instructions are agreed and endorsed by the client, these are the instructions or duties to be carried out by the Security Officer on the particular site.

Rights and Responsibilities

Security Guards

A Security Officer is defined as any licensee who is paid a wage or salary to perform one or more of the following functions:

  • Prevention or detection of vandalism or trespassing on private property.
  • Prevention or detection of loss, and or theft of merchandise, money, bonds, stocks, notes, valuables or documents.
  • Protection of individuals from bodily harm.
  • Conformance to, and enforcing of, established company rules, regulations, policies and practices related to reducing crime.
  • The reporting and arrestment of criminals.


It is the right and responsibility of a security employer to ensure that their employees are sufficiently trained and hold the correct licence or licences for the work being performed. The employer must ensure that all procedures and policies of particular sites are communicated and adhered to by their employees.


The Client must communicate their policies and procedures to the security company and the Security Officer through the use of A.I’s (Assignment Instructions). To ensure that these procedures and policies are being adhered to for the security of their assets and customers. They must also ensure that the staff onsite are sufficiently trained and familiar with the important locations such as Fire Assembly points.

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On conclusion of this assignment I have learnt a lot about the Private Security Industry in Ireland. I have learned a lot in particular about the laws and regulations of the industry and the requirements of a person to attain a P.S.A. license from the Authority.

I have also learnt a lot about the responsibilities and assignments a security officer will come across in their working day.


International History and Evolution of Security

Private Security in Ireland

  • (SSI Manual, Page 1)

Background to Legislation and Regulation 2004 Act.

PSA Regulations

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Security Officer – (SSI Manual, Page 6)

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