Most of the workforce in the security industry is regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which draws its powers from the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
The SIA is responsible for licensing individuals working in specified security roles.
The security sector encompasses a wide variety of security occupations, ranging from the traditional uniformed security officer to highly skilled technicians installing security systems alarms.
How to become SIA licensed:
Step 1 - Training and Qualification
You will need to obtain a formal qualification, specific to the licensable activity you intend to carry out, in order to apply for an SIA Licence.
The following activities are licensable:
• Cash and Valuable in Transit
• Close Protection
• Door Supervision
• Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
• Security Guard
• Vehicle Immobilisation
In order to obtain a formal qualification you are required to attend a training course at the end of which you will sit an exam.
The SIA have endorsed awarding organisations who offer the qualifications linked to SIA licensing and approve training providers.
This link shows you the training providers that are approved by these awarding organisations: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/training-ApprovedTrainingProviders.aspx
How do I know which qualification corresponds to the activities I intend to undertake?
Click on the following link to find information about the types of licences and qualifications available: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing.aspx
How long will the training take?
Depending on the licensable activity you are being trained in, you should expect the training to take 2 to 5 days.
How long will I have to wait until I get my exam results?
It will normally take between 7 and 14 days for your exam results to arrive.
Step 2 - Get Licensed
When you have obtained a qualification on completion of SIA training the next step is to apply for SIA licence.
This link takes you to the SIA website where you can either fill an application form on line or request an application pack: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/Step-By-Step.aspx?page=Pages/licensing-applying.aspx
How much does it cost?
The licence application fee is £245 for a three year licence. The fee is to cover the cost of processing your application and is not refundable
How long does it take to process my application?
As long as your application is completed fully and valid, it will normally take up to 6 weeks for your application to be completed.
Can I work whilst I am waiting for my licence application to process?
Yes you can work as soon as you receive an acknowledgement letter from the SIA, which can take 2 weeks following your SIA licence application. However not all Security companies will accept SIA reply letters acknowledging your licence application. The SIA runs an "approved contractors' scheme" and it is only the Security companies that are on this scheme and 'operating under a licence dispensation notice' that might consider you for work if you meet their requirements