Security Guard Requirements in Vermont Including the Requirements for Starting a Security Company

The Vermont Board of Private Investigative and Security Services registers armed and unarmed security guards who work as employees; the Board licenses independent practitioners and professionals who serve as qualifying agents for security companies. Security guards must complete state-mandated training while qualifying agents must meet experience and examination requirements.

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Select a Vermont Security Guard Topic:

Security Guard Training Requirements

Registrants must complete a training program. Some courses are delivered in-house by the security agency. In other cases, the student will enroll in a course by an outsider provider; the course must be Board-approved. In order to receive a permanent registration card, an individual must complete 40 hours of approved training. The following is the expected curriculum, though variances may be granted:

  • Role of security guards – 2 hours
  • Legal powers and limitations – 4 hours
  • Ethics and conduct (including Board rules) – 4 hours
  • Patrolling and investigation – 4 hours
  • Communication and public relations – 4 hours
  • Observation and note taking – 4 hours
  • Emergency response – 8 hours
  • Access control – 2 hours
  • Evidence – 2 hours
  • Statements – 2 hours
  • Report writing – 4 hours

The student can expect testing; the Board approves security guard examinations and the criteria they use for passing.

In some cases, security guards may be exempted from the usual training requirements, all or in part. The licensing agency will consider the circumstances of those who have been employed long-term in the field, who have met similar educational requirements in another jurisdiction, or who have had equivalent training for other job roles; the latter could include military, law enforcement, or emergency medical technician. Individuals who have been granted a waiver may still be required to complete training in areas such as Board rule.

Registration is renewed every two years. The first renewal period is typically shorter.

Temporary Security Guard Registration

The licensing agency issues part-time temporary registration to individuals who are completing educational requirements and awaiting FBI background check results. Temporary registrants must have supervisors readily available. In order to receive a temporary credential, the trainee must complete at eight hours of training. This includes the following:

Security guard role – 2 hours Legal powers and limitations – 3 hours Ethics – 3 hours

A part-time employee (one who works less than 80 hours a month) will have a longer time period in which to complete the full training program. However, he or she will not receive permanent credentialing until such time as the full 40 hours has been completed.

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The Board may credit up to ten hours of hands-on practical training toward the 40-hour requirement needed for permanent registration; practical training hours cannot be applied toward the eight-hour requirement for temporary registration.

Armed Security Guard Requirements in Vermont

An armed guard must be trained by a Vermont-licensed instructor. The student will have classroom instruction in safe handling of firearms and in legal responsibility. There will be at least 12 hours devoted to general firearm safety, use, and responsibility and at least four hours devoted to the particular weapon that will be used on the job. Classroom learning will be assessed through examination. The student will also need to shoot a qualifying range.

An armed guard will need to requalify during each renewal period. The requalification course is to be at least six hours.

Qualifying Agent Requirements

A security agency must have a qualifying agent who meets experience and knowledge requirements. In some cases, a security agency is headed by a sole proprietor who does not employ other security guards.

A prospective qualifying agent must demonstrate two years of work experience. The licensing agency will accept 2,000 hours of experience accrued in the two year period preceding application. Experience may be in the security industry or as a sworn member of a law enforcement agency (

The qualifying agent must pass an examination. Candidates can prepare by studying statutes and rules. The examination is administered at the Board office. The Vermont licensing agency allows two examination attempts. A candidate who does not pass after two attempts must wait a year and then re-apply.

Licenses are also renewed biennially.

Background Check Requirements

All registrants and qualifying agents are required to have criminal background checks performed by the Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) and the FBI. The applicant will initiate the process by signing a release form and having it notarized. The form will be submitted to the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation. The Office of Professional Regulation will then send an authorization certificate and a list of fingerprinting sites. A $25 fee will be assessed at the fingerprinting site.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the Professional Regulation website ( The application includes professional fitness questions and questions about child support, tax, restitution, and court fine status. Some applicants will need to attach supporting documents.

Security guards will need to have training documentation on file.

Prospective qualifying agents will submit character references and documentation of experience.

Out-of-state licensees will need to provide a verification of licensure form to the state(s) of licensure.

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The applicant will need to attach a two by two photograph to the application form.

The application fee is $60 for unarmed guards and $120 for armed guards. It is $150 for unarmed qualifying agents and $200 for qualifying agents who seek armed status.

Additional Information

The Board of Private Investigative and Security Services is under the banner of Vermont Professional Regulation ( A Board representative can be reached at 802-828-1134.

Regulations change periodically. The most current version of the rules went into effect in April of 2015.