This is Unit 2 of Core Competencies in Member Service.


Safe Member Service

Tier 2 Training

The Member Service Qualification In Primary Security prepares your member service officers to be subject matter experts. Subject matter expertise concerns how to recognize and resolve safety hazards and security issues. In this article, Primary Security means the basic skills expected of any security or loss prevention professional, especially …

  1. Deportment: a polite, calm and reasonable approach
  2. Fluency: good interpersonal communication skills
  3. Spontaneity: the ability to think on your feet
  4. Critical Thinking: problem resolutions that are quick and efficient
  5. Foresight: good observational and monitoring abilities
  6. Insight: the ability to follow instructions
  7. Expertise: a good knowledge of security and security systems


The Member Service Qualification In Primary Security prepares ARM-LP members to understand how to recognize and resolve safety hazards and security issues.

The Private Security & Investigative Services Act

This is not a licensing course.

This unit introduces learners to Ontario’s Private Security & Investigative Services Act (“Act”). The Act (this link opens a new tab or window in your browser) professionalizes security in Ontario; it provides a syllabus to formalize training, but our primary interest is in the Act’s ethical regulations.

Members do not need to know the Act as such; Member Service Qualification requires you to fluently understand the ethical regulations.

Minimal Standards. The Act establishes standards that individuals are…
at least 18 years old, and
      1. are legally entitled to work in Canada, and
      2. have a clean criminal record, and
      3. successfully complete prescribed training.

ARM-LP communities should carefully heed these guidelines. It’s possible that a mature 16 year old can handle routine member service duties, but it’s also a risk management issue. ARM-LP strongly suggests that only legal adults undertake such volunteering.

The Regulations

Seven regulations made pursuant to the Act affect security Member Service Officers, contract security agencies, and in-house security.

Uniforms & Evidence of Authority. A security guard must be identified by the uniform he (she) wears. There are standards with respect to colour, rank indication, logos, and crests. A “display of authority,” such as a badge, may not be issued.

Exemptions. The Act does not require licensing for lawyers, credit reporters, or anyone who investigates the background of an employee or prospective employee. In-house security departments must register but are exempted from licensing. ARM-LP strongly recommends that communities register as in-house security departments. Companies or individuals licensed under the Insurance Act, such as insurance adjusters or underwriters, are also exempted, as are peace officers, and other security professionals licensed elsewhere in Canada with valid reasons for operating in Ontario.

Security Is A Profession

Member Service Qualification is not a licensing course. The intent here is to inform member service officers that security is an important component of member service.
Professions set standards for licensing, most commonly mastering a body of knowledge. Security is in Canada by a basic body of knowledge mandated by law in the province’s licensing act. Individuals who want a license in Ontario must (1) complete a minimum 40 hour course and (2) successfully complete a proctored examination.



Learners will understand the role played by member service officers in delivering services to community-based organizations.

The Member Service Officer

ARM-LP trains service professionals to provide member service in community-based organizations. ARM-LP training stresses service leadership; member service officers understand security and loss prevention, but principally train to help community-based organizations and the membership they serve.

Loss Prevention

Loss prevention is any activity a business or community undertakes to reduce or eliminate preventable loss.

Loss Prevention considers policies, practices and procedures that organizations or business use to preserve profit or retain clients or members. Member service is a form of loss prevention.

Loss Prevention is sometimes considered a type of “private policing.” ARM-LP is not of this opinion. Member service officers have roles quite distinct from the roles and goals of any type of law enforcement. Let’s quickly review typical police roles…

Police constables

Monitor criminal activities, investigate crime, and implement crime prevention
Patrol communities, respond to emergencies, and protect people and property from harm or loss
Enforce the law, especially criminal law
Issue tickets, make arrests, and testify in court

Public Policing vs Private Responding


“Private Responder” (PR) means a member service officer who is an immediate responder on private property. An ARM-LP requires a Private Principal Responder to hold emergency first aid and naloxone administration certifications.

The Private Respoder’s Duties

Member Service Officers are assigned to provide protection against harm or loss to people on property. This includes…

  1. The property itself, including buildings
  2. Assets, including movable property and cash, and
  3. Information, reputation, or the general interests of the client or employer
  4. Law enforcement isn’t on this list, but there is an exception…


A private responder asked to assist a police officer has a duty to do so, as does any citizen. This is codified in the s 129 of the Criminal Code.

Security & Member Service Officers

The Concierge

There are minor differences between a concierge and a Member Service Officer. Trained to respond to emergencies regarding elevator stoppage, fire alarms, etc., a concierge is a residential security specialist. An ARM-LP member service officer specializes in commercial space rather than residential, but beyond this the roles are reasonably identical. Both a concierge and a member service officer is expected to staff a particular post such as a front desk or a reception area; each also requires sophisticated client interaction and communication skills. Some member service officers, however, will provide very basic security roles, including…

Operations Post. The MSO performs her (his) duties at a fixed location, such as a reception desk, gatehouse, operations centre, etc.

Site Patrol. The MSO generally patrols the site, often (but not always) on an assigned (but randomly timed) route.

Alarm Response. The MSO monitors alarm systems and responds as necessary; we expect this will be confined to fire, lifesafety and first aid activities.

Typical Security Duties

A visible presence is the principal duty of any identifiable security professional in a public space. The member service role differs strongly, however: member service is not fundamentally about reaction, which occurs when your presence requires law enforcement of some sort. Trespass is a common example.

The provincial acts that regulate security services do not convey special legal authority to security guards. There are some laws that member service officers must understand to master their body of knowledge. Learning this builds awareness only. We will not extensively teach law even in a general way.

The Criminal Code

Law enforcement should be left to licensed security personnel. It is unprofessional to ask member service officers to undertake this role. It is also unprofessional, however, for you to be unaware of these matters.

Section 494 (Arrest Without Warrant)

Oft-called “citizen’s arrest,” you may have some legal authority to…
  • Prevent trespass, and remove trespassers when encountered
  • Arrest anyone found committing certain types of criminal offence
  • Use reasonable force if necessary to…
    1. protect him- or herself (or others) from harm
    2. prevent crimes committed or about to be committed
    3. make arrests

Loss Prevention Headquarters would show concern when a licensed security guard performs any of these duties. LPHQ discourages a community from imposing these duties on member service officers except as a last resort.

Human Rights Acts & The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Every province protects human rights. Member Service Officers must comply with these provincial acts. The Charter, however, applies across Canada. Member Service Officers must understand the Charter, especially Section 7, which establishes the legal rights of people with respect to acts by the federal government.

These laws are important, but they are background to the real role every member service officer has: to ensure that members of ARM-LP communities are well-served. This assurance is provided by post orders, which we will learn of in Unit 3.