The Security Institute courses: Answering your Questions

Working with learners day in, day out, we’ve come to understand the most common questions they have before embarking on a training programme with us. It won’t surprise you to know that many learners have similar questions to one another: What are the modules, how can I pay, how many credits is it worth, and so on. To that end, we’ve put together this handy FAQ guide to address some of the common questions and concerns we come across and hopefully clear up any confusion that may be preventing you from considering further study.

At PerpetuityARC Training, we deliver a suite of online, virtual, in-house and classroom training. But it’s no surprise that the most popular training courses are the online Security Management training programmes delivered in partnership with the Security Institute:

The titles might be long but don’t be put off! In this guide, we’ve separated the questions into two sections: one focusing on the Security Institute Advanced Certificate in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 3, and the remainder focusing on the Diploma in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 5 and the Advanced Diploma in Security Management [QNUK Endorsed] Level 7. Without further ado, let’s begin…


The Security Institute Advanced Certificate in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 3

What can you tell me about the Level – what does Level 3 mean?

A Level 3 qualification is the working equivalent to A-level/post A-level study. This means learners will work towards meeting the same academic targets, including demonstrating an understanding of the course materials (reading the material then reiterating in your own words) and applying your own examples. Learners will also need to be able to follow lines of questioning and answer two-part questions, for example ‘describe and explain’. A common example of a question at Level 3 is the following: According to the text, what are the responsibilities of the Security Manager at ‘Fictitious Company A’?


What are the immediate benefits of this course?

There are a huge number of immediate benefits from joining these courses, benefits that have real meaning to your everyday role as a security professional:

  • Free Security Institute student membership for the duration of your studies which also qualifies you for additional PerpetuityARC Training course discounts
  • Access to the Security Institute mentoring platform
  • Industry networking events throughout the year
  • Free CPD webinars with industry specialists covering a range of topics from mental health, CSyP application workshops, and study toolkits
  • Access to the Security Institute job’s board listing the latest jobs across the industry.

“The material you’re learning has immediate real-world application to your job role”

From an academic point of view, these training programmes will introduce learners to new concepts and people across the industry. The material you’re learning has immediate real-world application to your job role. You’ll also gain an internationally recognised BTEC certificate and support upon a guided career training pathway – following on with the Level 5 and 7 courses. Finally, the Level 3 programme allows you to pick and mix the modules depending on what’s relevant to you and your job role.


What modules can I study?

The Level 3 Advanced Certificate is made up of six modules: three core modules (non-optional) and three elective. The three core modules are as follows: Introduction to Security Management, Security Department Management, and Information Security. This is supplemented by a further three elective modules of your choice.

The choice of elective modules are as follows:

  • Health & Safety
  • Strategic Security
  • Retail Security
  • Physical Security
  • Terrorism awareness & Management
  • Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management
How do I relate the materials that I study to ‘real-world’ best practice?  

By putting it into practice during training. This course not only introduces learners to security management concepts, but also introduces you to relevant policies and procedures within the security management sector. It does this by focusing on key pieces of legislation and their application to the ‘real-world’. Additionally, you are encouraged to apply the theory you’re learning to experiences extrapolated from your own workplace. This ensures effective knowledge application and retention.

How am I assessed?

All learners are assessed through a series of short written answers guided by the use of scenarios. This work is then marked against set assessment criteria, which culminates in the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Certificate upon successful completion. To aid in the best chance of success learners will be supported by their very own PerpetuityARC Training course tutor throughout the programme, as well as having access to various resources on the online learning platform.


Diploma in Security Management and Advanced Diploma in Security Management


What is the difference between a Level 5/6/7?

Quite a bit! The qualifications are obviously different but there’s the time required to complete. Generally speaking, the more advanced the level, the more time is needed to complete the course. There’s also a marked difference in academic writing skill. With regards to our courses, the Level 7 Advanced Diploma requires a significantly higher level of academic ability and time compared to the Level 3 or Level 5 courses, so do bear this in mind. Finally due to the awarding level and complexity of the course there are different price points depending on the course and level.

“A Level 7 is THE penultimate level you can do before an academic PHD as it is, in essence, an extract of a Master’s degree.”


Try not to be put off by the intensity of a higher-level qualification. Attaining these qualifications opens career doors for the holder so is definitely worth considering if you’re really looking to push through the industry. A Level 7 is THE penultimate level you can do before an academic PHD as it is, in essence, an extract of a Master’s degree.


How does the Diploma in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 5 differ to the Advanced Certificate in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 3?

Great question! The Diploma in Security Management BTEC Level 5 is more research based than the preceding Level 3, meaning learners will need to undertake extracurricular reading and research to support their answers. Additionally, the questions are more essay based than Q&A and you will need to use Harvard referencing. Every Level 5 assignment is two parts: theory followed by practical application of theory. This is because the Level 5 is equivalent to a foundation degree and therefore a ‘step-up’.

Secondly, unlike the Level 3 all the modules are mandatory; there are no optionals. Assignment answers must feature examples in order to correctly answer the question. But this is where learners can use their own experience and take advantage of ‘real world application’ we talked about earlier.

The final point of note is that the Level 3 typically takes 6 months to complete, and the Level 5 typically takes 12 months.


Is the Level 7 Advanced Diploma equivalent to a Masters Degree?

No. But it is set at Master’s level which means that you will be expected to write at the same standard as Masters students. A full Master’s degree is 180 credits, whereas the Level 7 is only 40 credits of a full Master’s degree. In other words, it’s a slice of the pie but not the whole thing.

If I complete the Level 5, can I get onto the Master’s course straight away?

Yes. Learners who successfully complete the Level 5 are eligible to apply for the MSc programme, however as part of the application process we will review the work you have completed on the Level 5 to assess your academic writing and research/referencing skills. Typically most of our Level 5 learners are successful with their applications however if we do feel that you require some improvements in one of the aforementioned areas we may ask you to write a piece of work to further assess your academic ability. If the work meets the criteria and you are able, you will be accepted onto the course. Alternatively, if you needed more support in those areas, we may ask you to consider completing the Level 7 Advanced Diploma first to further develop the appropriate academic writing skills. This gives you the best chance of success as an MSc programme is a big leap from the Level 5 or 7.


“The Diploma in Security Management and Advanced Diploma in Security Management show dedication, commitment and sound knowledge of security management.”

What are the benefits of the Level 5 and Level 7?

The Level 5 and 7 training programmes carry all the same benefits as the Advanced Certificate Level 3, with the added benefit that learners can apply for full membership status with the Security Institute, rather than an associate or affiliate membership.

The Diploma in Security Management SRF BTEC Level 5 and Advanced Diploma in Security Management Level 7 show dedication, commitment and sound knowledge of security management backed by a recognised qualification from a reputed training provider. It is ideal for those who want to have existing experience recognised with an industry-accepted qualification and are seeking a respected career pathway through the industry.


Upon completion of the Advanced Diploma in Security Management Level 7, do I receive any credits towards a Master’s degree?

Masters, KeevaYes! We currently deliver a Master’s course in partnership with the University of West London whereby learners who have completed the Security Institute Advanced Diploma QNUK Endorsed Level 7 can apply for 40 RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) credits to the MSc course. This means that you will be exempt from two MSc modules – as the Level 7 counts for two modules – which reduces your overall course fees.

The use of RPL credits varies by university and isn’t always accepted; it’s at the university’s discretion as to accept RPL. For example, we can accept 40 RPL credits for the University of West London, but another university may only accept 20 RPL credits so always check before applying.


What are the course deadline dates?

As these are flexible distance learning courses which are self-paced, we do not have set deadline dates. However, learners are expected to complete the programme within the typical course duration (see PerpetuityARC Training website for full details). Should learners experience extenuating circumstances preventing them from completing on time, they can request a deadline extension in writing to us.

“You won’t lose access to the course if you don’t finish within the timeframe.”


What if I don’t complete the course in 9 months?

If you feel you won’t or can’t complete in time, you can request an extension in writing. Be assured you won’t lose access to the course if you don’t finish within the timeframe of the programme. You will continue to have access to the learning portal whilst actively learning and participating on the course.

How can I pay?

We require the full fee amount prior to course commencement. If you would like to pay in installments this is available however the full fee still needs to be paid before enrolling on the training course. Members of the Security Institute and the Defence Discount Service are eligible for discounts. There is also additional finance options available for UK students via Kandoo. Speak to a member of our team for full details.



We hope this helps with some common questions and concerns experienced by many security professionals. Our programmes are designed to challenge you whilst being engaging and rewarding. Many learners who have completed these distance learning programmes have experienced career progression and expansion because of the knowledge they have gained, helped by the wealth of tools and mentoring available at the Security Institute. If you’re interested in studying any of the above courses with us or have a question we haven’t answered here, please reach out to a member of the PerpetuityARC Training team who will be more than happy to assist you. Email or call +44 (0) 1489 896549.

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