Key Response Officer

If you are looking to get into an exciting part of the security industry then you might want to consider becoming a Key Response Officer. In this role, you will be responsible for checking the safety of premises after an alarm has gone off as well as other duties related to the building you are keeping secure. You may also be dispatched from the control room to handle emergencies as they arise. To become a Key Response Officer you have will have to complete the right type of training and you must be physically fit. That’s because you may have to respond to situations that require a strong physical presence for suppression of an offender in some cases. Your role may also include monitoring alarm systems at both commercial and private properties.

Wage rate hourly


Typical hours

20 to 48 hours a week usually includes weekends


Door Supervisor Licence or Security Guard Licence

Total cost

Between £350 and £440 including your licence fee

How to become a Key Response Officer

As with any sector in security, you must first become licensed should you decide to become a Key Response Officer. There are two licenses that are required for this position. They are the SIA Door Supervisor License or Security Guard License. Both of these licenses will equip you with the skills that you need to properly carry out the duties of a Key Response Officer.


Course cost

The general security guard course is a four-day course and costs £179.99. 

The SIA Door Supervisor License license is a six-day course that also features multiple-choice exams as well as practical assessments. The training for the license starts at £199.99. For only an extra £20 and two days, we think it’s best to cover your bases and be licensed for venues and positions which involve the sale of alcohol. This way you can be posted to a wider variety of assignments which could mean more cash for you.

There is also a license fee to pay after training of £190.00 and it is valid for three years.

You can apply and pay for your license, at a local post office or online. The total cost of the course and the license is £439.99. 


Legal Requirements

The SIA License requires you to:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have proof that you are allowed to work in the UK (such as visa)
  • A criminal background check
  • A mental health check
  • Have passed you SIA course

You can find out more about the mental health requirements as well as the criminal background check in other blogs on the site. 

Become a Key Response Officer

Start a successful career as a Key Response Officer by following these steps:

Book your Door Supervisor course or Security Guard

This is the first step to become a Key Response Officer

Pass the course

Can consist of multiple choice exams and includes a physical assessment.

Apply for your SIA Licence

You can apply for your licence through the postoffice after passing the course

Apply for jobs in your area

Once you have your licence, you can start applying for Key Response Officer jobs in your area






3 years

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Typical job description and responsibilities

Key Response Officer’s Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Checking and securing properties when there is a suspicion of unauthorized entry or an emergency
  • Understand the alarms in place at the property so that you know what type of call you are responding to and if relevant authority needs to be contacted for assistance
  • Liaison with police, your client and service technicians when the need arises
  • Prepare comprehensive reports after responding to events as required
  • Help Control Room staff with light duties when you are not active in the field


Following training for this role, you will be equipped with the skills to:

  • Resolve problems that may require communication with the police
  • Visit clients to resolve ongoing alarm issues
  • Provide detailed information and reports
  • Assist Control Centre operations
  • Investigate matters of concern


Key Response Officers are also expected to be:

  • Honest and reliable
  • Have a driver’s license even though this is dependent on the company  
  • Have enough command of the English language to be able to deliver a report
  • Be able to respond quickly and be confident when handling situations that arise
  • Be a team member


Working Conditions

A Key Response Officer works closely with the Control Room to monitor and ensure security and safety at a variety of places. When you are out on the field you can expect long hours on your feet as you will be required to make the necessary patrols and inspections to ensure a building is secure.

You will also be expected to learn more about alarm systems so that you can understand the calls that you are responding to. This will help you to have a better understanding of the situation that you might have to face. The nature of this job is round the clock and even though you will work in shifts it may mean that you will be called out to duty on some weekends and maybe public holidays. When there is no need for being out on the field you will be expected to liaise with the Control Room Operators to give assistance.


Skills and personal qualities required: 

A Protection Security Officer needs to be:

  • Dedicated to observing the behavior of individuals
  • Detail-oriented
  • Physically fit  
  • Quick problem solver
  • Able to quickly communicate with the rest of the team and coordinate accordingly
  •  Able to detect suspicious movements and behavior
  • Knowledgeable of licensing laws and health and safety regulations   
  • Able to write basic reports and detail events accurately


Education required

There are no specific qualifications such as GCSEs required to take your SIA course. However, because all you need is your SIA qualification you will be competing with a lot of people from countries around the world who have the right to work in the UK. You should have at least a strong command of English as you will be required to listen and understand situations as well as write reports and communicate with your team.


Benefits of the jobs:

  • Increased earnings as you learn more about the security industry
  • Developing real investigative skills
  • Learning more about the corporate world
  • Learning how to respond to emergencies
  • Developing teamwork skills



 Life skills they would acquire:

This job should put you in a great position to learn more about alarms and CCTV systems. It will also help when it comes to learning about being part of a team. You will have to learn how to coordinate with the authorities as well which can help give you an insight into how the emergency services operate and respond.

  You can also expect to:

  • Learn about working in a team effectively
  • Learn how to quickly and efficiently respond to an emergency situation
  • Gain new tech skills
  • Improve decision making
  • Increase observational skills

How much does a Key Response Officer actually earn

Wage rate and hours

A lot of your job will entail liaising with your control room in some situations and sometimes with other authorities. You will be expected to have expert investigative skills when dispatched so that you can properly evaluate a situation. It is an aspect of security where you will be on-call during your shift so you can expect long hours. 

Most Key Response Officers start out making about £10.00 an hour. With more training and responsibility as you progress through the ranks, you may be able to get up to about £15.00 an hour. 


How much does a Key Response Officer earn?

As with many other shift systems in the security industry, you can expect to work anywhere between 20 to 48 hours when you are getting started. Since there is always a need for a Key Response Officer, you can probably expect to work on weekends and public holidays as well. 


The table below shows how much you could earn: 



Typical weekly (40 hours) 

Typical annually (40 hours per week) 


£10 to £12

£400 to £480

£20,800 - £24,960


£12 to £16

£480 to £640

£24, 960 - £33,280






A new Key Response Officer can hope to earn around £20,800 a year, which is on par with many other sectors of the industry. While this may be less than the annual pay of more senior officers, the chance for growth as you gain experience is very possible. It is a role that you must be specially trained for and you will find that the skills earned can help you gain more as you show proficiency in the role. With the right type of dedication, you can move to more senior roles where you can expect to earn as much as £33,280 a year.

It’s quite possible to advance significantly in this role and increase your earnings in a quick time. It is more likely however if you continue to qualify yourself and train more. The job does come with some risk and so some companies may offer extra compensation because of this as well. This largely depends on how fast you can learn the job. With a dedication to the role, you can increase your earnings as time passes and your security team believes that you are more dependable.

Which personality traits suit this career the most

  • Reliable
  • Multitasker
  • Attention to Detail
  • Trustworthy
  • Communication Skills
  • Strategical Thinking

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