You Got a BSIS Audit. Now What?

Don't panic

The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) is the government agency that licenses and regulates the Alarm, Locksmith, Private Investigator, Private Security Services, and Repossession industries in the state of California.

If you get a call from a BSIS investigator, chances are something unusual happened. That doesn't mean it’s a bad thing, but an improper response could make it worse.

Why Would BSIS Call?

It could be for any number of reasons. Maybe a former disgruntled employee filed a complaint, a citizen has worries that a guard is not licensed, or perhaps your firm handled security for an event at which violence broke out and your employees were involved. Or it could just be the luck of the draw for a periodic random BSIS audit of your personnel files.

The knee-jerk reaction is to get defensive. Circle the wagons. Make sure everyone has the same story. Hide the records. Don’t volunteer information. That’s exactly the type of behavior that leads BSIS investigators to think there is more to “it” than meets the eye, whatever “it” may be.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Actually, the best response is to be as open and transparent as possible with the investigator. The truth is, they are not there to get you in trouble – it is not in anyone’s best interest to find fault with how a security-related incident was handled – it’s a black eye for everyone.

Rather, a BSIS audit is initiated to determine what you did right, help you maintain or get back into compliance if anything is out of line, and assist with damage control.

Open the books. Let them see whatever they ask for; personnel histories, activity logs, training curriculum, certificates of completion, etc. After all, you can’t say no and resistance draws suspicion.

In the event a training deficiency or missing record is identified, the BSIS audit investigator will usually offer a window to remedy the situation. This is when you want to demonstrate a sense of urgency to correct the problem ASAP. Establish a personal relationship with your investigator and view them as a partner rather than the enemy.
Not sure what they want or how to proceed? Ask, they’ll be more than happy to tell you. Should another incident arise in the future, you’ll have a contact at BSIS who knows you are trying to do the right thing.

Have questions BSIS can’t answer or don’t have the internal resources to rectify the problem? Reach out to CALSAGA, the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards & Associates at They advocate on behalf of the security industry in the California State Legislature and at BSIS to make sure your voice is heard.

Allow Defencify to Help with Compliance

We offer this advice because at Defencify, we want to see all security guard firms grow and prosper. Towards that end, we also offer a solution that helps with compliance for when BSIS knocks on your door.

The Defencify online learning platform not only ensures a high quality education and state-approved licensing for security officers, but it also serves as a central repository for all employee training and employment histories.

Certificates of completion and current license status and renewals are stored in the cloud for each guard. The Defencify Learning Management System (LMS) platform makes it to easily access the burden of proof demonstrating your firm has done its due diligence in hiring and training its workforce to stay in compliance, insulating your firm from fines and other regulatory issues.

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Don’t wait for BSIS to come calling and scramble to gather the data you need. Contact Defencify to learn more about what you can do to ensure compliance and minimize the fallout from your next BSIS encounter.


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