The expert knowledge examination according to § 34a of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act is an entry-level qualification for employees in the private security industry. It serves as proof of basic knowledge, especially with regard to fundamental legal aspects relevant to working in the guard and security service. In addition, the successfully passed expert knowledge examination with proof from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce is a prerequisite for carrying out special guarding tasks and being allowed to become self-employed as a security contractor.
A certificate of competence is required for the following activities
As a security guard (employee), you need proof that you have successfully passed an examination of competence at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) (according to § 34a GewO) if you provide security in the entrance area of discotheques in the hospitality industry (bouncers), patrols in public traffic areas (e.g. city patrols), patrols in areas with actual public traffic, activities to protect against shoplifters (department store or store detectives). (e.g. city patrols), patrols in areas of the premises with actual public traffic, activities to protect against shoplifters (shop detectives), guarding of asylum and refugee accommodation (only in a managerial capacity) as well as guarding of large events with protected access (only in a managerial capacity).
The purpose of the expert knowledge examination
Why there is the expert knowledge examination has several reasons. When private individuals — including employees of security companies — guard other people’s lives or property, this entails special duties and a great responsibility. As a security guard, you have to know your rights and the legal limits, i.e. what is allowed and what is forbidden. On the other hand, due to their position as guarantor, they are obliged to prevent damage to the client. In contrast to the police, you do not have any special powers and must therefore be able to weigh up exactly to what extent you are allowed to interfere with the rights of third parties in a particular situation. If you go too far, you run the risk of being charged with offences such as deprivation of liberty or bodily harm. If you sleep on duty and do not comply with your duty to protect, you can also end up in court for committing an offence by omission if you cause harm. For these reasons, among others — listed here as examples — it is important to acquire the specialised knowledge in order to later have the necessary confidence to act in the guarding business.