When someone perpetrates a crime, the security guard on site has to fill in an incident report. When nothing happens, he or she still has to fill in a daily activity report. What this means is that report writing is an integral part of a security guard’s job description. If you want your security guard company to succeed, you’ll have to make sure that each of your guards possesses the necessary report writing skills. Knowing what good report writing skills are is a key to hiring the right guards and keeping your customers.
So, What is Proper Report Writing Skills?
A good report is one which complies with all the following requirements.
a) It has the Basics Covered
A report is an official document, and as such it must meet certain standards. For one, it should be professionally written and presented. A professional document is factual and straight to the point. If a security guard is detailing an incident, everything in that report should be true because later that document may be used as evidence. A good security report, whether for an incident or just to account for the work done at the site, is also chronological. It tells the story of what happened from the moment the officer physically arrived at the site and moves on from there.
Something else you as a security officer or security guard company owner should note is that security reports (especially incident reports) are given in the third person to avoid any confusion. However, some clients prefer having reports written in the first person, so first consult the customer. Reports also make sure of military times, so all security personnel should know their 6pms from their 0600s.
b) It has the Right Language
As you’ve read earlier, a report should be written in the professional language. But what does that mean? Do you know? Professional language is official, it doesn’t use slang. However, it might use slang or even a few foul words where the officer is directly quoting a witness or suspect. But that’s not all that makes a good report. A well-written account of the facts is not only official, but it is also conversational. It puts the reader in the situation the officer is detailing. Additionally, it makes correct use of punctuation and abbreviations. For instance, a seasoned security guard does not use abbreviations or acronyms in a report without first introducing them. One way to do this is first to write out the name or phrase in full then put the abbreviation in parenthesis. From there, you can use the abbreviation or acronym in the report.
c) It Answers the 5 Ws
A good report detail the who, what, why, when and where of the incident it covers. Where a security guard is not sure of one of these facts, it’s advisable to note that uncertainty in the report.
d) It’s Complete
No security guard should ever hand in a report with a blank space anywhere. If a particular question does not apply to him, let him write N/A or cross it off with an X.