Course 2 Classic Member Service Programs


Course 2 of Core Competencies in Member Service concludes Tier 1 training and introduces Tier 2, which teaches primary security.

Primary Security

A member service officer (MSO) is a volunteer in an ARM-LP community trained to maintain a visible presence. A member service officer is an usher of sorts, though one with additional skills to recognize and respond appropriately to safety hazards.

Tier 2 of the Member Service Qualification prepares member service officers as subject matter experts. In this article, primary security means basic professional, especially …

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


Primary Security prepares ARM-LP members to understand how to recognize and resolve safety hazards and security issues. See Image 1.

Ethics. The ethics we use stems from ethical regulations established by Ontario’s Private Security & Investigative Services Act. The Act itself is of no use in this course and no portion of it will be taught.

The Act establishes standards that individuals are at least 18 years old, and…

  • are legally entitled to work in Canada, and
  • have a clean criminal record, and
  • successfully complete prescribed training.

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


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 in Canada requires mastery of a basic body of knowledge mandated by law in every province.



Learners will understand the role played by member service officers in delivering services to community-based organization served by ARM-LP.
Image 2 carefully distinguishes between member service and loss prevention. The distinction is important.

Loss Prevention & The Member Service Officer

Loss prevention is any activity a business or community undertakes to reduce or eliminate preventable loss. See Image 3.

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.

Private Responder Duties

Member service duties will rarely, if ever, include any type of enforcement action. Member Service Officers are assigned to provide protection against harm or loss to people on property. People on property includes …

  • The property itself, including buildings
  • Assets, including movable property and cash,
  • Information, reputation, or the general interests of the client or employer

MSOs may wind up accompanying or assisting either licensed security or first responders. Community Specific Post Orders will cover this more extensively.

Security & Member Service Officers

The Concierge. Trained to respond to common residential problems, such as elevator stoppage or fire alarms, a concierge is a residential security specialist. An ARM-LP member service officer specializes in communal space rather than residential, but beyond this the roles are identical. Some member service officers, however, will provide basic security roles while being visibly present, which is their principal role. This may include…

  • Staffing an Operations Post. The MSO performs her (his) duties at a fixed location, such as a reception desk, gatehouse, operations centre, etc.
  • Visibility Patrol. The MSO generally wanders to establish constant visibility on the site, often (but not always) on an assigned (but randomly timed) route.
  • Alarm Response. The MSO monitors alarm systems and responds as necessary; it is reasonable to expect this will be confined to fire, life-safety and first aid activities.

Typical Duties

A visible presence is the principal duty of any identifiable service professional in a public space.  Member service, however, is not fundamentally about reaction — which occurs when your presence requires law enforcement of some sort. Trespass is a common example. There are some laws that member service officers must understand to master their body of knowledge. Learning these vignettes builds awareness only.

Trespass. Ontario’s Trespass To Property Act authorizes property owners and their agents to prevent unauthorized use of the premises. This page links to provincial trespass legislation in Canada.

Criminal Acts. Section 494 of the Criminal Code empowers anyone to make an arrest in certain circumstances not covered in this course. ARM-LP does not advise member service officers to undertake such duties except when assisting licensed security or police. See Image 4.

Right & Freedoms. Every province protects human rights through provincial legislation. Member Service Officers must comply with these provincial acts. This page has links to the various human rights acts in force across Canada as of August 2020.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, however, is part of the Canadian Constitution and 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 Course 3.