QNUK Level 3 Award in Understanding Reasonable Force (Security) (RQF)


This qualification is aimed at those wishing to understand the laws that pertain to the use of force and self-defence within a security setting.

It is critical that all security operatives have a clear understanding on what the law clearly permits in relation to the use of force. Unfortunately there have been far too many cases of security operatives being prosecuted due to a lack of legal knowledge and justification. This means that security operatives can literally talk their way in to criminal charges and a conviction due to a lack of specialist legal knowledge.

The private security industry is facing the most challenging time in its history, where the actions of private security operatives are being called into question more frequently and are having to defend their use of force in the courts.

This arguably is one of the most important areas that all security operatives should receive specialist training from a competent and specialised legal tutor. This could ensure that you prevent criminal charges and the ordeal of facing a criminal court trial being taken against you and help you stay out of jail as well as keeping your SIA Licence.

Every member of the public has a mobile phone and we see a daily influx of incidents involving security operatives being uploaded daily to social media sites and shared thousands of times. The negative effect that this has can be overwhelming for the security operatives and the employer also faces negative media attention and the potential lose of security contracts.

Designed by an expert

This course has been specially designed, prepared and written by a 31 year veteran of the private security industry and highly competent Expert Witness on the Use of Force.

Any Use of Force Encounters can involve a fluid, dynamic incident and any number of things can go very wrong, very quickly and quick decision making skills are required, but also importantly security operatives must be able to account for their actions and create justification within their incident and use of force report forms.

It is imperative that security operatives have a full understanding as to the law in relation to reasonable force to safeguard themselves from false allegations and potential criminal charges or civil action.

Statute v Common Law

This specialist course is not just based on statute law, but various case precedents as well as the latest legal cases and evidence from the criminal courts surrounding use of force by private security operatives and others who use of force. Our course is a valuable resource for all security operatives and security organisations who deploy security operatives to retail and licensed premises.

We have assisted many solicitors and advocates within the legal profession in understanding the legal parameters of use of force by private security operatives through 31 years of occupational experience and 20 years of study of the criminal laws that pertain to it.

We go far beyond any other course of its kind and is evidence-based training from private legal research of over 752 legal cases, thats why we offer this as a Level 3 qualification through Qualifications Network UK.

Whats more, this course unlike any other covers the three separate legal jurisdictions across the United Kingdom. So you can rest assured that by attending a course in Scotland, as an example, then it will cover Scottish Laws that pertain to the use of force instead of other courses that cover English Law only.

Can you really afford to forego this course?

A key benefit of having your security operatives undertake this course is that security professionals should undertake continuous professional development to expand their legal knowledge in decreasing employers liability and compensation through pre-incident risk management and post incident forensic findings. Our training is directly designed with teaching security operatives on the street, and preventing officers from being unjustly convicted of criminal excessive use of force.

Security operatives receive minimal training as part of their SIA licence linked qualification and unfortunately the security training sector is drowning with poor standards and a lack of quality training. These courses are often taught by individuals who have never worked in the private security industry and lack any occupational competence. The other issue is that it can potentially be many years after an initial training course before a security operative will carry out any continuous professional development meaning that people forget and as such can literally talk themselves into criminal charges due to a lack of knowledge as to what the law permits and justification required by the courts.

This is the only qualification of it's kind that covers the three separate legal systems across the U.K. depending on where the learner is planning on working.

Not just for security operatives...

It is vitally important that managers, supervisors and directors of security companies also attend this course to gain vital legal knowledge on this specialist legal course.

It is also important for respective clients such as those in the retail sector and licensed trade to undertake this course. This will assist in managers and directors to understand the legal requirements to use reasonable force and what legally makes up 'reasonable force'.

If you have not achieved this qualification then how can you justify any actions against an employee who states they have used reasonable force if you lack comprehension as to what the law permits. This would be legally problematic for an industrial tribunal.

False and dangerous information

It comes as no surprise to security officers that they receive legally misleading information stating that they cannot use force, or that they are not allowed to restrain a violent offender or even a child. This is simply not the case in Scots, English, Welsh or even Northern Irish Law and this can be highly dangerous not to restraint. 

Book your place Now!

Please note that places are limited to 12 learners to 1 tutor. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Ultra Vires

Unfortunately private security operatives have been provided with unlawful information that is not only illegal to do so but is actually a criminal offence to provide misleading or incorrect information that endangers a member of the publics life. Door supervisors and police officers are members of the public and can legally challenge any information that they receive that they feel places their own or another life at danger. 

Some of the most ridiculous things we have herd from statutory bodies is that it is illegal to use handcuffs, wear safety boots such as steal toe capped boots, or that it is illegal to use a pain compliance techniques. This information is in direct contravention to your human rights under article 2 the Right to Life but must be legally challenged where upon you hear such erroneous and legal falsehoods and we will provide full clarification on this and more... 

Who should do this course?

The Level 3 Award in Understanding Reasonable Force (Security) (RQF) is intended for those in a security role who wish to gain an understanding of the laws that pertain to the use of force and what constitutes reasonable force in law. It has been designed:

  • For individuals who work in the retail sector, licensed trade, event security, corporate security, hospital security officers and other front line roles
  • For managers who are interested in knowing more about use of force by security operatives
  • For directors who want to understand the use of force 
  • For those in human resources who require a professional development qualification for a clearer understanding on the use of force by their security operatives for the purposes of internal audits and or disciplinary  
  • For individuals who have completed some introduction to training qualifications
  • For those that wish to prevent / off-set civil liability to their company through a civil action case being brought for a use of force incident.
What can I do with this qualification?

There are a number of things this qualification can be used to evidence

  • Demonstrate to the legal profession such as police, prosecutors and courts that you are trained to a higher standard than others within the security industry
  • Evidencing your professionalism to current or future employers
  • Reflection on own practice grounded upon reading
  • Dedication to professional values in law that impact on working in your area
  • Differentiate yourself from others within the private security industry by achieving this qualification to those in the licensed trade, security companies and licensing boards
Learning Outcomes
What are the learning outcomes for this course?

Unit 1 Principles of reasonable force for security personnel

  • Understand Human Rights legislation as it applies to the individual and the use of force
  • Know how to use the national decision-making model
  • Understand the importance of justification through incident report writing skills

Unit 2 option 1 Legal requirements of Reasonable Force (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

  • Understand the law in relation to reasonable force as it pertains to England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Unit 2 option 2 Legal requirements of Reasonable Force (Scotland)

  • Understand the law in relation to reasonable force as it pertains to Scotland
Which legal system is covered on this course?

This qualification is available to learners across the UK.

  • Due to legislative differences in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, compared to Scotland, learners are able to undertake the unit(s) including specifications of Law in the country in which they may be working.
  • For ease of use we have broken this down into two separate assessment papers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a separate version for Scotland.
Prerequisites/Before the course
Prerequisites/Before the course
  • You must be a minimum of 18 years old
  • Good reading & writing skills in English at Literacy Level 2 or above
  • This is an intensive 1 day course and you must be prepared to undertake the course in this full knowledge. Do not turn up to this course un-prepared as it is not a tick box course and is a specialist course to enable you to gain the full facts as to the law in relation to the use of force
  • A photographic proof of identification [Any 1 of the following]
    • Valid Passport (any nationality)
    • Signed UK Photo Card Driving Licence
    • Valid Warrant Card issued by HM Forces or Police
    • Other photographic ID card, e.g. Security Industry Authority Licence (must be front-line).
  • English Skills: Security operatives are likely in the course of their work to be required to make calls to the emergency services, or need to communicate to resolve conflict. It is essential that security operatives are able to communicate clearly. It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that each learner is sufficiently competent in the use of the English and/or Welsh language. 
  • As a guide, learners should as a minimum have language skills equivalent to the following;
  • a B1 level qualification on the Home Office’s list of recognised English tests and qualifications
  • an ESOL qualification at (Level 1) on the Ofqual register taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • an ESOL qualification at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 5 awarded by the Scottish

Qualifications Authority (SQA) and taken in Scotland

  • Functional Skills Level 1 in English
  • SQA Core Skills in Communication at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 5
  • Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 1.

There are no other pre-requisites for this qualification.

Ideally learners must provide at least 1 form of photo I.D. If photo I.D is not available, 2 forms of non- photographic I.D can be produced.

Acceptable forms of photographic I.D (1 required) are:

  • Signed UK Photo card driving licence

  • Signed passport (any nationality)

  • Valid EU Photo identity card

  • SIA Front line security licence (with photo)

  • Current and valid warrant card issued by HM forces or Police

  • Current and valid Prison service card (with photo)

  • UK biometric residence permit

  • Proof of age card

  • Employee photo identification card

  • Student photo identification card for a recognised educational establishment

  • Firearms license (with photo)

Acceptable forms of non-photographic I.D (2 required) are:

  • Current driving license – paper version

  • Birth certificate

  • Marriage/civil partnership certificate

  • Mortgage statement (issued within past 12 months)

  • Bank or building society statement (issued within last 3 months)

  • Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter (issued within last 3 months)

  • Credit card statement (issued within last 3 months)

  • Pension or endowment financial statement (issued within last 12 months)

  • P45 or P60 statement (issued within last 12 months)

  • Council tax statement (issued within last 12 months)

  • Valid work permit or visa issue by UK government

  • Utility bill – excluding mobile phone bill (issued within last 3 months)

  • Benefit statement e.g. child benefit, pension (issued within last 3 months)

Awarding Organisation
Who are QNUK?
Qualifications Network are an OFQUAL approved nationally recognised Awarding Organisation.
Certificate Title
Certificate Title
QNUK Level 3 Award in Understanding Reasonable Force (Security) (RQF) (Your certificate will state which legal system you have undertaken and this is clearly displayed upon your qualification.
Example Qualification
Possible Results
The course is marked by the multiple choice exam paper and also the completion of an incident report. 
Course Fees
Course Fees 
£165 Temporarily reduced to £125 until 12th of March then the course fee will  return to the original price of £165. (No hidden charges!)
Reasons to do the course with us
  • Specialist Legal Trainer with 31+ years’ of door supervision experience (and still on the doors), 23+ years’ experience of delivering Training in Self Defence, 16+ years' delivering Security & Conflict Management courses (pre-dating the SIA), 10+ years’ experience of delivering Physical Intervention courses, 8+ years of delivering Handcuffing Courses, 8+ years’ experience of working as an expert witness on the use of force.
  • We have helped hundreds of learners in getting through their security qualification and we now focus on advanced courses as our primary business model and commitment to advancing the private security industry. 
  • We (Proactive Training Scotland) are a Qualifications Network approved centre and dedicated to #RaisingProfessionalStandards within the security industry. 
Our Guarantee
Our 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • If you are not satisfied with our course, you can ask for a refund on the day of your course and you do not need to provide a reason. We are really confident about our course.
  • To comply with our terms and conditions you must bring to attention to the course tutor before you sit your exam. 
  • You will not be permitted to undertake the course exam if you do ask for a refund and you must hand back your course training manual. Failure to comply with these conditions will terminate your rights to a refund.
Course dates

Please see our course booking page for dates. Please note that we run this course very seldom due to legal work. 

Follow Up Support
  • On-going Email Support after the course (We normally respond within 2 hours.)
  • Telephone Support during Office Hours (9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 2pm to 6pm Saturday and Sunday)
  • On-going support through our Facebook Group page which you will be added to after attending the course
Certificate Turnaround Time
  • The awarding organisation Qualifications Network have a turn around time of 7 days after receipt of receiving the course paperwork. We send your qualification within 24 hours after receipt from QNUK by recorded delivery.  
Delivery method

The course is only delivered face to face to give you the best available training which allows you to:

  • Ask the course tutor lots of questions throughout each lesson
  • Videos are used to evidence actual cases and we examine the use of force in these cases
  • We clearly explain the legal concepts surrounding reasonable force
  • Legal case precedents are used to help to clearly legal points that pertain to the use of force and what constitutes reasonable force in law
  • An in-depth handbook covering the law is provided to all learners 
  • Discussions with peers and tutor on the course help to create better understanding of each topic

and much more...


Candidates are assessed for this qualification using the following methods:

  • Multiple-choice question paper
  • Written report

Multiple-Choice Question paper

  • Each candidate will be assessed for this qualification by the completion of a multiple-choice question paper.
  • Candidates will be required to score a minimum of 70% correct answers to achieve a pass.

Written report

  • Learners have up to 45 minutes to complete an incident report form.
  • This report must provide an appropriate justification for the use of reasonable force.
Reasonable adjustments

All candidates are required to complete the assessment criteria in a manner appropriate to the purpose of the qualification.

The prescribed assessment methods for this qualification should not unfairly disadvantage candidates, who would otherwise be able to demonstrate competence in the assessment criteria and in line with the purpose of the qualification.

If you feel the assessment methods above would disadvantage you please contact us in advance of the course to discuss reasonable adjustment.

If you would like to book please click below. External link to Proactive Training Scotland.

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