How To Write A Daily Activity Report That Matters

how-to-write-a-security-guard-daily-activity-report During your security officer’s shift, the officer is responsible for capturing a substantial amount of information via the many reports that the officer writes.  Those reports include daily activity reports, incident reports, maintenance requests, truck logs, and a multitude of other reports.  Some would argue that the most important of these reports is the officer’s daily activity report.  The daily activity report is the most common of all security guard reports because one is completed by every officer, every shift.  Because security officers act as the eyes and ears of the customer, it is critical that your officers provide your customers with relevant and valuable information.  As such, it is important that every security officer knows how to write a daily activity report.   Here are some tips that your officers can use to provide your customers with quality daily activity reports.

Tips On How To Write A Daily Activity Report That Matters

Whether your organization is using daily activity report software like that provided by, or you are still using handwritten reports, you should find these tips helpful.

Tip #1: Branding is important


Every report that your organization provides to its customers should be branded with your company name and logo.  By doing this you will help your customers associate your organization with high quality products.  Building your brand helps build incredible value for your organization.

Tip #2: Make sure reports are time stamped


When your officers submit your reports every report should be time stamped and contain the location that the report pertains to as well as the officer who submitted the report.  This step is critical in maintaining the evidentiary value of the report if it is used in court.

Tip #3: Include shift start notes


At the start of the officer’s shift there are many details that the officer should be recording.  The three (3) most important details are: 1) The shift that the officer is working; 2) Any special instructions that the officer receives from the client, or a supervisor (these instructions should also be added to the Pass On Log); and 3) An inventory of the items that the officer receives and the condition of those items.

Tip #4: Make information easy to find


When your officers write a daily activity report they should make it easy for the reader to quickly find the information that they are looking for.  If you are using digital reporting, ensure that the officers are specifying the tasks that they are performing.  For example, if they are doing an “Employee Escort” that activity should be distinct and separate from their other activities.  By setting up the DAR in this way it is easier to quantify the officer’s activities throughout the shift.  If you are using handwritten reports, think about having the officer use highlighters to highlight their activities.  For instance, incidents might be red while maintenance issues might be blue.

Tip #5: Show consistent activity


Every observation that the officer makes should be accompanied by the time that the officer is making that observation.  If you are using daily activity report software, this time stamp will help demonstrate to your customers that your officers are active throughout their shift.  In addition, if the DAR turns out to have legal significance an accurate detailing of activities will be important.

Tip #6: Be descriptive


During the course of a shift there are a number of things that officers can add to their daily activity reports. Officers should provide the Who, What, When, and Where for observations that they are making.  Keep in mind that the phrase “Made rounds all secure” is unacceptable and demonstrates a lack of effort on the part of the security officer.  Even on uneventful shifts the officer’s report can include things like:

  • How long it took to complete a patrol
  • People that the officer sees or talks to
  • What the officer has observed looking out of the window
  • Things that the officer hears

Tip #7: The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Principle


As with many things, the KISS Principle also applies in writing daily activity reports.  Unless the officer has won a Pulitzer Prize, officers should refrain from attempting to show off their vocabulary.  An officer’s observations should be concise, descriptive, and factual.

Additionally, unless the officer knows something as a fact they should always refrain from stating their opinions or making speculations.  The report should contain NOTHING but the facts.

Tip #8: Use common language


Unless instructed otherwise, security officers should refrain from using 10 codes, unfamiliar abbreviations, or any terminology that would make the report hard to understand by a civilian reader.  See #7…

Tip #9: Include images


A picture is worth a thousand words.  If your officers are using reporting software be sure that they include  photos and images as applicable.  The officer should also reference the images in the report.  The images should include a timestamp as well as an indication of who took the image.

Tip #10: Follow up


In addition to the information that is directly submitted by the officer, information that comes to the officer or the customer after the report is submitted should be accurately time stamped and logged.  If you are using paper reports consider using the back of your reports for this information.

Whether your organization has implemented digital reporting or is still using handwritten reports, if your officers understand how to write a daily activity report your reports will be professional.  At some point your officers’ reports may be referenced by your customer, lawyers, or law enforcement so make sure they are representative of the quality of your organization.

Note: I hope you found this article on how to write a daily activity report useful, please feel free to share it as necessary.  To see an example of an electronic daily activity report please click this link:  Daily Activity Report Example 




By Courtney Sparkman


34 thoughts on “How To Write A Daily Activity Report That Matters

  1. zaffer Mohd

    how i write a daily report? I am working in a NGO, how i write community mobilization daily report, and status of every day

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Zaffer, I think that your question is a little out of my league. I’ve never had to write a community mobilization report. Sorry that I couldn’t be of more help.

    2. Robert Rockwell

      We are splitting a an eight hour shift do you use 1 day for both guards or do you use 2 separate reports for that shift 1 for each guard

      1. ORCadmin Post author

        Ultimately, it’s up to your company, but my belief is that every officer should have their own paperwork. So there would be 2 reports, 1 from each officer.

  2. Pingback: 2014, The Year in Review

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Abdul, to be honest I am not sure what a fueling supervisor is. Can you give me a little more information?

  3. zack

    Hey I’m starting a new job as a pool monitor, it requires written reports. There’s usually three guards watching the pool, actually two. One of us will sit in the back a little ways away from the pool and write reports (they don’t want water splashing on the paper so that’s why it’s only one person writing a report at a time. We can switch with each other whenever we want but I’m really confused since I’m new to this.

    It’s just monitoring a small pool in a private community and nothing really goes on lol. Sometimes it’s just like two or three people in the pool and I need help. What do I write in the report? Do I bring my own pen and composition book? What do I write in the log?

    There is literally nothing ever going on xD do I just write what time I took over the log writing and what time I started my shift and who I switched with? Or do I have to write down like how hard a kid was splashing in the pool? I go in for training soon but it would be nice to have a little insight before I train. So I don’t look dumb lol.

    Please please please help me out before Thursday >.< Thanks

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Zack, thanks for taking the time to read our blog.

      Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of experience in that type of reporting but I imagine that the requirements can range pretty widely depending on the organization. I would imagine a lot of your reporting would be about head counts and rule infractions. But most importantly if there is an incident you will probably need to record detailed information about why and how it happened.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. If you contact one of the organizations in your area that provides lifeguard training they will probably be able to give you a better idea. Good luck and don’t sweat it, you’ll be fine!

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Thanks for reading our blog! But I hope that you aren’t saying that because the company doesn’t pay you a lot that you don’t write good DARs.

  4. BJ


    Nice article. Would it be possible to provide me a template of the above daily reports table?



    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Musa, we will send you a copy of an old DAR template that we have. Thanks for checking out our blog!

  5. John ayokanmi banuso

    New on the job, and would like to know more about daily report and incidence report on campus.

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Al, we can send you a copy of a DAR and you can see the template. Thanks for checking out our website!

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Sausi, thanks for commenting. Our template is probably on par with what 90% of the security companies use, but there are always companies who would like more detailed reports. It sounds like you fit into the other 10%. How much more detail are you looking for in a DAR?

  6. Fran Ese

    Hi, could you be of help. I am a patient liaison officer, my role is to make weekly report of the experiences of our patients. I would like a template / advise on how to make an excellent report. Thank you.

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Fran, that is actually a pretty tough question. The easiest way to write an excellent report it is to speak with the person or people that will be receiving the report and find out what information is most important. With an understanding of their expectations, it will be MUCH easier to meet and hopefully exceed their expectations.

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Mahdi, it just takes practice and getting to know what your clients and company want and expect to see.

    1. ORCadmin Post author

      Hi Rebeca, thanks for the comments. A good daily report is essential across all industries. I had no idea that they were required in construction.


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