How to obtain an SIA Licence

How to obtain an SIA Licences

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the regulator for the UK private security industry and issues SIA Licences. It has two main duties: the compulsory SIA licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities within the private security industry; and management of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), which assesses industry suppliers against certain industry criteria.

The SIA ensures that licensed security operatives are properly trained and qualified to carry out their job, with licensing covering areas such as manned guarding, key holding, vehicle immobilising, CCTV operation and door supervision.

Available SIA Licenses

Cash and valuables in transit – this license is required when guarding property against destruction, damage, theft and involves the secure transportation of property in vehicles specially manufactured (or adapted) for such purposes.

Close Protection – this license is required when guarding one or more individuals against assault or injuries that might be suffered because of the unlawful conduct of others.

Door Supervisors Licence (Door Supervision) – this license is required if manned guarding is undertaken in relation to licenced premises.

Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) – this licence is required when manned guarding is carried out through the use of CCTV (e.g. the CCTV operator) to monitor the activities of members of the public, or to identify a person.

Security Guard – this license is required when manned guarding activity does not fall under the descriptions of door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, or public space surveillance (CCTV) is undertaken.

A key-holding licence is required when keeping custody of, or controlling access to, any key or similar device for operating a lock, with certain qualifications.

In July 2016, the SIA introduced a new online licencing system, allowing individuals to register for online accounts and apply for or renew licences online. The website also allows individuals to change their personal details remotely.

SIA approved contractors have access to Licence Management and Licence Assist services, allowing them to apply online on behalf of consenting staff. The Licence Assist service also keep employers informed when a licence is granted to one of their employees and allows employers to check the licence status of licence-holders. Providing all the same benefits, the licence management services allows employers to carry out identity checks for new applicants without having to visit a post office and allows employers to update their employee’s details on their behalf.

How much does an SIA licence cost?
The cost of an SIA licence application to individuals has been reduced from 1st April 2020. Individual licences for all sectors will cost £190, down £20 from £210, licences last for three years.

A front-line vehicle immobiliser licence runs for just one year for the same price. The reduction applies to both new applicants and anyone renewing existing licences.
Covering the cost of processing the licence application, this fee is non-refundable. A licence holder paying the fee themselves can claim tax relief against their taxable income.

SIA Licence Training
To secure a front-line SIA license you must offer evidence that they are properly qualified to do their job. This means obtaining an SIA-endorsed qualification.
Different qualifications are needed for different licences, which the SIA details on its website, covering the training needed for:

Cash & Valuables in Transit
Close Protection
Door Supervisors
Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
Security Guards
Vehicle Immobilisers

There are no training and qualifications required for a specific key holding licence, however, be aware that callouts may result in the undertaking of additional activities that would need to be covered by the appropriate front line licence.

The above information could change at any time. It is important to stay up to date with SIA updates around licencing information by signing up to SIA emails, so that you aren’t caught out.