What is the difference between being licensed, registered and certified? 
There are three words that the PPSB uses to signify various levels of approval. 

  • Registered- Security officers whose registration applications have been approved by the PPSB are officially registered. 
  • Licensed- Security companies and Private Investigator firms whose business applications have been approved are officially licensed. 
  • Certified- Individuals whose applications are approved as instructors are certified.


Is Fenix Training Group authorized by the PPSB to teach security courses?
Yes. Fenix Training Group is licensed by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board, License #007584P7. Any Fenix instructor who teaches any portion of a PPSB course is also a certified instructor through the PPSB. Fenix instructors are all experts in their field and have many combined years of operational experience in each discipline taught.

I want to work as a security officer in North Carolina. What do I need to do?
Any individual wishing to work as a security officer in North Carolina must attend training mandated by the PPSB. The first course is the 16-hour
Unarmed Basic Security Officer Training course.  For those individuals who wish to work in an armed capacity, they must attend the 20-hour Armed Basic Security Officer Training  course. Individuals who wish to work in the armored car industry must attend the 16-hour Unarmed Armored Car Security Officer Training course and those who will serve in an armed capacity on an armored car must take the regular 20-hour armed class.

What age do I have to be in order to work as a security officer?
To work as an unarmed security officer you must be at least 18 years of age. To be an armed security officer you must be at least 21 years of age. There are no exceptions to these age requirements regardless of experience and background.

I am a security officer in another state. Will the PPSB accept my state's security certification?
No, the PPSB does not accept or reciprocate with any other state's security officer training certifications. Individuals with previous experience in another state must go through the unarmed and armed courses to become acclimated with North Carolina laws, regulations and standards, and to be eligible to become registered as a security officer.

Do I have to be a resident of North Carolina to work as a security officer? 
No. Many residents of other states attend the Fenix BSOT course prior to moving to North Carolina. In addition, there is a large number of security officers that live outside the state and commute into North Carolina to work in the security field.

Once I complete the mandatory training, what do I need to do to find work as a security officer?
Fenix recommends that prior to searching for work with a state-licensed security agency that you have all your documents and forms in order. This will help to impress upon potential employers that you are a well organized candidate for hire and serious about finding a good position.  Start by making sure that you have the original training course completion certificate along with several copies of it.  Note- Do not give any security agency your original training certificate unless you have accepted an offer of employment. Keep the additional copies of the training certificate on-hand for your own records. Print off the Unarmed Registration/Renewal Application if you have completed just BSOT-U. If you have completed BSOT-A, print off the  Armed Registration/Renewal Application. These forms can be filled out online and then printed off, which we suggest you do. If there are any spaces you are not sure about, leave them blank. We HIGHLY recommend that you go to your local police department or Sheriff's Office to have your fingerprints taken and printed digitally. Print off the Authorization for Release of Information form and fill it out. This form MUST accompany your fingerprint card. Include in your documents a copy of your criminal background report (must be obtained from www.ppsbcheck.com,see below). Once you have your paperwork together, start calling licensed security agencies and applying for work. Once your employer sends your paperwork to the PPSB, your employer will receive your security officer ID card, typically within 3-5 months.

I have a past criminal conviction on my record. Will this prevent me from being able to get registered as a security officer with the PPSB? 
If you have a criminal charge or conviction on your record, this does not necessarily disqualify you from becoming registered. There are some criminal convictions that may prevent you from being approved and registered by the PPSB. Please call the PPSB at 919-788-5320 and ask to speak with someone in Registrations for more information concerning your specific charge or conviction.


Where can I get a copy of my criminal background record? 
While some agencies may run a criminal background check for you (some agencies may charge for this), Fenix recommends that you purchase your own criminal background report from the only online site approved by the PPSB, 
www.ppsbcheck.com. The PPSB will NOT accept any criminal background checks from any other providers. We recommend that you fill out the information for your criminal background check from a COMPUTER, not from a mobile phone (mobile phone users report difficulty). Follow carefully the directions on the website and do not leave any time gaps in your address. Be sure to account for all military time and/or extended periods overseas. It typically takes 24-72 hours to get your report back. Once you have it, print several copies of it for your records and save to your computer or tablet.

Once I complete the BSOT course how long do I have to find employment?  
The Unarmed Security Officer training certificate is good for one year from the date it is issued. The Firearms Training Certificate is good for ninety days from the date it is issued. If an individual does not find work within those time frames, they must go back through the course to acquire a new training certificate.

Once I am hired, do I have to renew my registration each year? Do I have to have continuing education hours?
Security officers must renew their registration annually. Keep in mind that the expiration date on your hard card may not coincide with your hire date. Your PPSB hard card expiration date is what matters. Each security officer should start the renewal process 60-90 days before the expiration date. Unarmed security officers do not have any educational requirements to renew. However, armed security officers must attend a 4-hour class to review laws and safe firearm handling procedures, and then qualify with a score of 80% or better on both day and night courses of fire. DO NOT wait until the last minute to try and renew your registration! Each year many security officers let their registrations lapse and must take the courses over. Also, do not leave it up to your employer to remind you to submit your annual renewal application. Mark it on your calendar and make sure it is submitted early!

I work for a security agency that says they have turned in my application and paperwork to the PPSB. Should I verify this with the PPSB?
Yes! Fenix strongly recommends that you contact the PPSB directly a couple weeks after you begin work to verify that your application packet was sent in by your employer and received by the PPSB. The direct office number is 919-788-5320 and ask for Registrations. If the PPSB does not show receipt of having your application, immediately contact your employer to verify that it was actually sent in. Request verification in writing from your employer if need be.


The website states that you do not teach students to shoot with revolvers. Why is this?

​Several years ago, Fenix and the School of Protective Services made the conscious decision to stop training security officers on the use of revolvers as a primary weapons platform. Several larger security companies throughout the state still issue revolvers to security officers as the primary weapon. However, the reality of the world we live in today clearly shows that the revolver is a slower, antiquated weapons platform that carries a very limited number of rounds. In addition, revolvers require the use of two hands to reload quickly and effectively, especially in high-stress situations. We simply do not believe that revolvers should be carried any longer by security officers and other armed professionals, PERIOD. Semi-automatic pistols however, which are standard issue by all police departments, are lighter, faster, easier to control, are ergonomically correct, allow for the carriage of more ammunition and can easily be operated with one-hand. The bottom line is that for the security officer working with a firearm, utilizing a quality semi-automatic pistol is easier and provides more options in critical situations than a revolver.   

What is the Private Protective Services Board or PPSB?
The North Carolina Private Protective Services Board, also known as the PPSB,  is a division of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. It is the governing body that oversees all aspects of the security industry, including alarm systems and private investigators. All business licenses for protective services or security companies, licensing for private investigators, individual registrations for unarmed and armed security officers,  and training and certifications for instructors are issued through the PPSB. The PPSB meets every other month on even numbered months in various locations throughout North Caroline. For more information on the PPSB, please visit  www.ncdps.gov/pps

Frequently Asked Questions

North Carolina Private Protective Services