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What is the guard register?

What is the guard register?

In 2019, the sta­te and nati­on­wi­de guard regis­ter was new­ly intro­du­ced, which is obli­ga­to­ry for the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. In this artic­le, you will learn what the pur­po­se of the guard regis­ter is, who makes ent­ries in it, what the guard ID is all about and much more that you should know as a secu­ri­ty employee — but espe­ci­al­ly as a pro­fes­sio­nal in the secu­ri­ty industry.
Inci­den­tal­ly, the guard regis­ter can be found on the inter­net at

Basic infor­ma­ti­on on the guard regis­ter (BWR)

The Ger­man Guar­ding Regis­ter is a cen­tral and digi­tal regis­ter that con­ta­ins infor­ma­ti­on on guar­ding per­son­nel (secu­ri­ty staff) as well as on the guar­ding trade ope­ra­tor (secu­ri­ty con­trac­tor) and the com­mer­cial enter­pri­se (secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny). Sin­ce July 2020, the Fede­ral Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or and Home Affairs (BMI) has been respon­si­ble for the law on secu­ri­ty guards and thus also for the regis­ter of secu­ri­ty guards. As the fede­ral aut­ho­ri­ty respon­si­ble for the ope­ra­tio­nal manage­ment of the regis­ter sin­ce Octo­ber 2022 is the Fede­ral Sta­tis­ti­cal Office (Desta­tis):

Sin­ce the intro­duc­tion of the Guar­ding Regis­ter (BWR), all trad­ers in the guar­ding sec­tor are obli­ged to regis­ter their com­pa­nies and their secu­ri­ty staff in the BWR. In future, only the aut­ho­ri­ties respon­si­ble for enfor­cing the guar­ding laws may make chan­ges to the ent­ries of natu­ral per­sons. For this pur­po­se, trad­ers pro­vi­de infor­ma­ti­on in the BWR on the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on, relia­bi­li­ty, iden­ti­ty and acces­si­bi­li­ty of secu­ri­ty personnel.

About 1,300 muni­ci­pal public order offices and other com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Län­der check the infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded, appro­ve or reject com­mer­cial enter­pri­ses and secu­ri­ty per­son­nel. In doing so, they use the BWR to access infor­ma­ti­on from the Asso­cia­ti­on of Ger­man Cham­bers of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce (DIHK) regar­ding qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons and from the Fede­ral Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­ti­on (BfV) regar­ding reliability.

If someone wants to work in the guar­ding busi­ness, they have to pass a back­ground check. The results of this check are recor­ded in the guar­ding regis­ter. The regis­ter also con­ta­ins infor­ma­ti­on on pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons as well as infor­ma­ti­on on the iden­ti­ty of the regis­tered person.

Employ­ers in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor are obli­ged to car­ry out a search in the guard regis­ter befo­re employ­ing a secu­ri­ty employee (guard). This is to ensu­re that only sui­ta­ble and relia­ble per­sons are employ­ed in the secu­ri­ty sector.

The guard regis­ter is thus inten­ded to con­tri­bu­te to impro­ving secu­ri­ty and qua­li­ty in the secu­ri­ty indus­try and to streng­thening public con­fi­dence in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty industry.

What is the guard regis­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on number?

The guard regis­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on num­ber (in short: guard ID) is a uni­que iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on num­berwhich allows for clear iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on and attri­bu­ti­on. A guard ID is assi­gned when the guard is first ente­red into the regis­ter. The ID of a secu­ri­ty guard is valid even if the employ­er chan­ges, i.e. it always remains the same for a per­son — at least if one is con­ti­nuous­ly employ­ed in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor wit­hout lon­ger inter­rup­ti­ons. Secu­ri­ty guards, i.e. secu­ri­ty con­trac­tors, also recei­ve such a 7‑digit ID number.

How do I obtain a guard ID as an employee?

If you are new to the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try, you will recei­ve your guard ID when you first enter the guard regis­ter. The initi­al regis­tra­ti­on is done by your (poten­ti­al) employ­er. If you chan­ge secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies, you should request your guard ID direct­ly from your pre­vious employ­er. The advan­ta­ge of this is that you can be released imme­dia­te­ly becau­se the regis­ter can be che­cked more quick­ly with the new employ­er. You should also find your guard ID as an indi­ca­ti­on on your ser­vice card.

Do I have to pay for the guard ID if I want to work in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty industry?

No. In prin­ci­ple, the employ­er has to bear the­se cos­ts, which ari­se from the (first-time) regis­tra­ti­on of the guard in the guard regis­ter. Some employ­ers have the idea of char­ging the­se cos­ts to the new employee or deduc­ting them from the first sala­ry. Such beha­viour is not very serious. The situa­ti­on is dif­fe­rent, of cour­se, if poten­ti­al employees deli­bera­te­ly pro­vi­de fal­se infor­ma­ti­on (e.g. about pre­vious con­vic­tions): fair play for both sides!

Can I car­ry out all acti­vi­ties in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try with a guard ID?

No. For cer­tain acti­vi­ties you need the Exami­na­ti­on of exper­ti­se accor­ding to § 34a GewO or addi­tio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons such as wea­pons exper­ti­se. In addi­ti­on, it may be that the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty atta­ches cer­tain con­di­ti­ons to employ­ment or pro­hi­bits employ­ment com­ple­te­ly, e.g. due to pre­vious convictions.

Can I work in a secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny wit­hout a guard ID?

Not in prin­ci­ple, but it depends on the spe­ci­fic acti­vi­ty: If you pro­fes­sio­nal­ly guard lives or pro­per­ty of others, an ent­ry in the guard regis­ter is requi­red. Wit­hout a guard ID and cle­arance, you may not work for a secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny as a secu­ri­ty guard. Howe­ver, the­re are acti­vi­ties that do not fall under guar­ding, such as pure ste­war­ding acti­vi­ties or ticket vali­da­ti­on. In this case, you are not working as a com­mer­cial secu­ri­ty guard and do not need a guard ID.

As an employ­er, what do I have to pay par­ti­cu­lar atten­ti­on to in the guard register?

First and fore­most, it is important that all employ­ed guards have been repor­ted and that the Release has been car­ri­ed out befo­re they work in the secu­ri­ty ser­vice for even the first minu­te. In addi­ti­on, the con­cre­te Ran­ge of appli­ca­ti­on be spe­ci­fied and also regu­lar­ly updated, e.g. if a secu­ri­ty guard takes on more deman­ding tasks (e.g. as a shop detec­ti­ve or cer­tain manage­ment tasks) ins­tead of pre­vious­ly simp­le guar­ding tasks (e.g. in pro­per­ty pro­tec­tion), espe­ci­al­ly if for this the Exami­na­ti­on of exper­ti­se accor­ding to § 34a Gewo requi­red is.
A Dis­mis­sal of an employee for exam­p­le, must be noti­fied to the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty via the guard regis­ter no later than 7 weeks after ter­mi­na­ti­on of the employ­ment rela­ti­onship so that the employee can be deregistered.
Also Chan­ges in the mas­ter data such as chan­ges of address of employees, entre­pre­neurs and com­pa­nies, new tele­pho­ne avai­la­bi­li­ty, etc. must of cour­se be repor­ted in order to keep this infor­ma­ti­on up to date.

It should also be noted that — depen­ding on the local aut­ho­ri­ty — the regis­tra­ti­on of new secu­ri­ty staff can some­ti­mes invol­ve con­sidera­ble wai­ting times during the exami­na­ti­on of the regis­tra­ti­on up to the final release. Fur­ther­mo­re, every new instal­la­ti­on for guards is a Fee to pay. This is curr­ent­ly usual­ly at least 50 euros, but can also be con­sider­a­b­ly hig­her in some regions.
If a guard is alre­a­dy regis­tered, i.e. an ID is available, this only needs to be re-lin­ked — the­re are then no fees for the entrepreneur.

Inci­den­tal­ly, ent­ries are curr­ent­ly auto­ma­ti­cal­ly dele­ted after 12 months fol­lo­wing the dere­gis­tra­ti­on of secu­ri­ty guards. This means that if an appli­cant regis­ters with a guard ID and has not work­ed in the indus­try for over a year, it is very likely that the check will have to be com­ple­te­ly redone.

What all is in the guard register?

The data that may be recor­ded in the regis­ter and pro­ces­sed by the regis­ter aut­ho­ri­ty is set out in § Sec­tion 11b para. 2 of the Trade, Com­mer­ce and Indus­try Regu­la­ti­on Act (GewO) set.

  • To Trad­ers is recor­ded: Sur­na­me, sur­na­me at birth, first name; sex; date of birth, place of birth, coun­try; natio­na­li­ties; tele­pho­ne num­ber, e‑mail address; regis­tra­ti­on address con­sis­ting of street, house num­ber, post­code, town, adden­dum, coun­try, sta­te and regio­nal key; places of resi­dence in the last five years con­sis­ting of street, house num­ber, post­code, coun­try and sta­te; type of iden­ti­ty docu­ment with issuing aut­ho­ri­ty, issuing sta­te, date of issue, iden­ti­ty docu­ment num­ber, expiry date, machi­ne-rea­da­ble name if available and con­tent of the machi­ne-rea­da­ble zone; if appli­ca­ble. Fur­ther data for legal per­sons (e.g. legal form, regis­tra­ti­on num­ber and regis­tra­ti­on court, busi­ness address, cont­act details).
  • To Com­mer­cial enter­pri­se (secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny), infor­ma­ti­on such as the busi­ness name, legal form, type of regis­ter and fur­ther data on the ent­ry in the regis­ter as well as the busi­ness address of the main branch and, if appli­ca­ble, that of other busi­ness pre­mi­ses and, fur­ther­mo­re, addi­tio­nal data on acces­si­bi­li­ty such as tele­pho­ne num­ber and e‑mail address are stored.
  • To the Secu­ri­ty guards (guards/security staff), the fol­lo­wing per­so­nal data is stored: Fami­ly name, sur­na­me at birth, first names; gen­der; date of birth, place of birth, coun­try of birth; natio­na­li­ties; regis­tra­ti­on address con­sis­ting of street, house num­ber, post­code, city, adden­dum, coun­try, sta­te and regio­nal key; places of resi­dence in the last five years con­sis­ting of street, house num­ber, post­code, coun­try and sta­te; type of iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on docu­ment with issuing aut­ho­ri­ty, issuing sta­te, date of issue, iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on docu­ment num­ber, expiry date, machi­ne-rea­da­ble name if available and con­tent of the machi­ne-rea­da­ble zone.

In addi­ti­on, among other things, the fol­lo­wing is stored:

  • Date of gran­ting of permission
  • Scope of permission
  • Expiry of the per­mit, if applicable
  • Indi­ca­ti­on of the acti­vi­ty of the guard
  • Pro­hi­bi­ti­on of employ­ment, if applicable
  • Relia­bi­li­ty veri­fi­ca­ti­on data (date, type and result of veri­fi­ca­ti­on, etc.)
  • Indi­ca­ti­on of the cont­act details of the com­pe­tent licen­sing authority
  • Sta­tus of the per­mit procedure
  • Data from the guard regis­ter inter­face to the Fede­ral Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Constitution
  • Data on cer­ti­fi­ca­tes of com­pe­tence and trai­ning from the cham­bers of com­mer­ce and indus­try of guards and tradespeople
  • Cont­act details of the local com­pe­tent authority

What are the advan­ta­ges and dis­ad­van­ta­ges of the guard register?

Of cour­se — the main­ten­an­ce of the guard regis­ter is time-con­sum­ing. Howe­ver, as an elec­tro­nic regis­ter, it also offers advan­ta­ges that lie in the digi­ta­li­sa­ti­on and har­mo­ni­sa­ti­on of the pre­vious­ly ana­lo­gue (paper) processes.

The­se are signi­fi­cant advan­ta­ges of the guard register:

  1. Con­trol of qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons: The guard regis­ter enables a sys­te­ma­tic con­trol of the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons of secu­ri­ty guards, as they have to pro­ve at least a qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on accor­ding to § 34a GewO in order to be registered.
  2. Cus­to­mer safe­tyRegis­tra­ti­on in the guard regis­ter pro­vi­des cli­ents with a hig­her level of secu­ri­ty, as they know that the secu­ri­ty guards employ­ed are vet­ted and qualified.
  3. Pro­tec­tion of the public: The guard regis­ter helps to increase the secu­ri­ty of the public by exclu­ding per­sons wit­hout the requi­red exper­ti­se and per­so­nal relia­bi­li­ty from car­ry­ing out secu­ri­ty activities.
  4. Trans­pa­ren­cyThe guard regis­ter crea­tes trans­pa­ren­cy about the qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons and relia­bi­li­ty of secu­ri­ty guards and thus ensu­res more trust in the industry.
  5. Mini­mi­sing abu­se: Regis­tra­ti­on in the guard regis­ter redu­ces the misu­se of secu­ri­ty ser­vices by unqua­li­fied or unre­lia­ble per­sons (e.g. per­sons with a rele­vant cri­mi­nal record).
  6. Legal basis and bin­ding force: The guard regis­ter takes up legal regu­la­ti­ons that stan­dar­di­se and regu­la­te the trai­ning and qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on of secu­ri­ty guards.
  7. Effi­ci­ent con­trols: The guard regis­ter enables the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties to effi­ci­ent­ly check whe­ther secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies and employees com­ply with the legal requirements.
  8. Pro­fes­sio­nal deve­lo­p­mentRegis­tra­ti­on in the guard regis­ter some­ti­mes pro­mo­tes the pro­fes­sio­nal deve­lo­p­ment of secu­ri­ty guards, as it crea­tes incen­ti­ves for fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on and training.
  9. Cre­di­bi­li­ty of the indus­try: The Guard Regis­ter con­tri­bu­tes to the cre­di­bi­li­ty of the secu­ri­ty indus­try by under­li­ning the pro­fes­sio­na­lism and serious­ness of the regis­tered com­pa­nies and employees.
  10. Effi­ci­ent exch­an­ge From infor­ma­ti­on: The guard regis­ter enables aut­ho­ri­ties nati­on­wi­de to quick­ly exch­an­ge rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on on secu­ri­ty forces, which impro­ves coope­ra­ti­on and collaboration.

The­se are major dis­ad­van­ta­ges of the guard register:

  1. Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve bur­den: The estab­lish­ment and main­ten­an­ce of the guard regis­ter requi­res a cer­tain amount of bureau­cra­cy and admi­nis­tra­ti­ve work, both for the aut­ho­ri­ties and for the com­pa­nies wis­hing to regis­ter them­sel­ves and their staff.
  2. Cos­tsRegis­tra­ti­on in the regis­ter of guards invol­ves cos­ts. The­re are, of cour­se, up-front cos­ts for tho­se who have to under­go ins­truc­tion, expert exami­na­ti­on or spe­cial trai­ning — alt­hough this was requi­red even wit­hout BWR.
  3. Rest­ric­tion of mar­ket access: Qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on and regis­tra­ti­on requi­re­ments can make mar­ket ent­ry dif­fi­cult for poten­ti­al new ent­rants to the secu­ri­ty industry.
  4. Delays: Pro­ces­sing regis­tra­ti­on appli­ca­ti­ons and issuing guard IDs can take time, which can lead to delays in recrui­ting secu­ri­ty guards.
  5. Pro­tec­tion of per­so­nal data: The guard regis­ter con­ta­ins sen­si­ti­ve infor­ma­ti­on about secu­ri­ty guards, so it is important to pro­tect the data from misu­se or unaut­ho­ri­sed access.
  6. Moni­to­ring effort: In order to ensu­re the effec­ti­ve­ness of the guard regis­ter, the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties must car­ry out regu­lar checks and moni­to­ring mea­su­res, which means addi­tio­nal work.
  7. Excep­ti­ons and loopho­les: In some cases, secu­ri­ty forces or com­pa­nies might try to cir­cum­vent the regis­tra­ti­on requi­re­ment or exploit loopho­les, which could com­pro­mi­se the effec­ti­ve­ness of the registry.

Guard Regis­ter: Visi­on & Reality

On the intro­duc­tion of the guard regis­ter on 1 Janu­ary 2019, the lawy­er Jörg Zitz­mann ana­ly­sed in the Pod­cast for pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty the back­ground. He goes into the back­ground of the intro­duc­tion of the regis­ter, explains what the guard regis­ter means for trad­ers and secu­ri­ty staff, who is respon­si­ble, what data is coll­ec­ted and how high the cos­ts are for the exami­na­ti­on and regis­ter entries:

(Source: Pod­cast for pro­tec­tion and secu­ri­ty / Jörg Zitzmann)


Over­all, it can be said that the guard regis­ter has more advan­ta­ges than dis­ad­van­ta­ges. It pro­vi­des trans­pa­ren­cy, can increase secu­ri­ty and con­fi­dence in the pri­va­te secu­ri­ty indus­try. If a guard ID has alre­a­dy been assi­gned, both employees loo­king for a new job and secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies bene­fit from acce­le­ra­ted elec­tro­nic pro­ces­sing. Nevert­hel­ess, the­re are also dis­ad­van­ta­ges, such as the time-con­sum­ing initi­al crea­ti­on and veri­fi­ca­ti­on of employees, com­bi­ned with not incon­sidera­ble cos­ts, which are not uni­form nati­on­wi­de, as well as the con­ti­nuous data main­ten­an­ce. Loopho­les are also pos­si­ble — espe­ci­al­ly if actu­al on-site checks of the deploy­ed secu­ri­ty staff are rare.