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Security steward certification

The duty of security stewards is to maintain order and security and to prevent crime and accidents at the event or site for which they have been appointed as security stewards. Security stewards may be employed, for example, at public meetings or events organised under the Assembly Act, at hotels or restaurants under the Act on Accommodation and Food Service Operations, on campsites under the Outdoor Recreation Act and on passenger ships under the Seamen’s Act.

Under the Public Order Act and with the permission of the police, security stewards may also be appointed to assist the police in maintaining order and security at shopping centres, public transport stations or on public transport. However, such assignments can be performed only by people who are employed by guarding services suppliers and have valid certification to act both as a security steward and guard.

People of the age of 18 years or over whose personal characteristics make them suitable for the job and who have undergone the training specified by the Ministry of the Interior may be certified as security stewards. The length of the basic training is 32 hours or at least four days. To renew their certification, security stewards must complete an 8-hour-long refresher course specified by the Ministry of the Interior. In addition to the basic and refresher training, security stewards may be required to undergo further forcible means training, which lasts for 12 hours, and, in order to carry gas sprays, to satisfactorily complete special forcible means training lasting a minimum of 11 hours.

Training for security stewards is arranged by the local police, certain vocational institutions and such parties on whose behalf persons with valid security steward trainer certification issued by the Ministry of the Interior work as trainers. A list of certified security steward trainers is available in Finnish on the website of the Security Sector Supervision Unit at

Participation in the basic and further training requires that the person has passed a written theory test and any necessary skills test to demonstrate professional competence in practice. The police may also require the organiser of the event to familiarise its security stewards with any special issues or facilities at the event location.

If, as a part of his or her work duties, a security steward carries a gas spray, he or she must undergo gas spray training identical to the one completed by guards. Starting 1 March 2011, it comprises a general module with a minimum of six lessons (1 October 2002 to 28 February 2011 the duration of the general module was 4 lessons) and user training consisting of at least of five lessons. Only persons authorised by the Police College or the National Police Board are allowed to act as trainers in the courses.

Security steward certification is granted for a maximum of five years at a time by the local police department of the applicant’s municipality of residence. Applications for certification can be submitted to any local police department but they must be submitted in person.

When applying for security steward certification, the applicant must provide

  • a completed application form
  • 2 passport photographs
  • a certificate of completed basic or refresher training approved by the Ministry of the Interior
  • if necessary, a certificate of a passed obedience test for dogs accompanying security stewards when carrying out certain assignments
  • if necessary, a certificate of satisfactorily completing further forcible means training for security stewards
  • if necessary, a certificate of satisfactorily completing the training that enables the person to carry gas sprays.

The provisions on the rights and obligations of security stewards are laid down in the Security Stewards Act (533/1999).

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