Possessing an SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence is a key requirement for anyone that wishes to work in the private security sector in the UK.
Some private security jobs that require individuals to hold an SIA licence include close protection, door supervision, key holding, public space surveillance, and security guarding.
The SIA conducts a criminal record check as part of the licensing process to ensure that those working in the industry are suitable for the role.
If you have a criminal record, you are probably wondering whether this will prevent you from obtaining an SIA licence.
This article will provide an overview of the SIA’s approach to criminal records and the factors that are considered when evaluating an individual’s suitability for a licence.
Are UK criminal records checked when you apply for an SIA licence?
Yes, UK criminal records are checked when you apply for an SIA licence.
As part of the application process, the SIA conducts a criminal record check to ensure that the applicant does not have any prior convictions that would make them unsuitable for the role they are applying for.
The SIA website states that they check criminal records to ‘decide if you are suitable to hold a licence.
We look for things that show you might be a risk to the public, or that you are not suitable to work in the private security industry for another reason, such as dishonest behaviour.’
According to government guidance, you may also be asked to provide evidence of criminal record checks from other countries if you live outside of the UK or have spent 6 continuous months or more outside of the UK in the last 5 years.
The outcome of the criminal record check is considered along with other factors when deciding whether to grant an SIA licence.
Does a criminal record prevent you from getting an SIA licence?
Having a criminal record does not automatically prevent you from getting an SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence.
The SIA considers each application on a case-by-case basis by considering the nature and severity of the offence, as well as how long ago it was committed and any evidence of rehabilitation. However, if the criminal record is relevant to the role for which the licence is being applied, the SIA may reject the application.
The SIA can revoke a licence if an individual is subsequently convicted of a relevant offence. It is important to disclose all relevant information about your criminal record when applying for an SIA licence.
How to check if you can get an SIA licence
To check if you are eligible to obtain an SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence, you should check the qualifying requirements in the SIA’s Get Licenced guide.
This outlines the requirements you must meet to apply for a licence, such as being over the age of 18 and having the right to work in the UK. You should also review the criteria for specific licence types, as some may have additional requirements.
If you have a criminal record, you can use the Criminal Record Indicator tool on the SIA’s website. The tool asks questions about you and your criminal record and then uses your answers to estimate whether you would pass the criminality checks.
Are there any other requirements for an SIA licence?
Yes, there are other SIA licence requirements in addition to the eligibility criteria. These include:
- Completing a training course: Most SIA licence types require the completion of an approved training course, such as SIA Door Supervision training or a Close Protection course.
- Proving your identity: You will need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence, to demonstrate your right to work in the UK.
- Payment of fees: You will need to pay the relevant fees associated with your licence type, which may include the cost of training and the cost of the criminal record check.
It is important to note that these SIA licence requirements may vary depending on the type of licence you are applying for, so be sure to check the specific requirements for your licence type on the SIA website.
Where can you get an SIA licence?
You can apply for an SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence online through the SIA website. The application process involves the following steps:
- Choose your licence type: Determine which type of licence you require for the role you wish to work in. Popular licence types include door supervision, security guarding, or close protection.
- Complete the required training: To apply for an SIA licence you will usually need to first complete an approved training course.
- Gather the required documentation: You will need to provide proof of your identity. Some of the documentation you may require for this includes a passport or driving licence, a passport-style photo, and any relevant certificates from your training course.
- Apply online: Complete the online application form for an SIA licence on the SIA website and pay any fees required.
- Undergo the criminal record check: The SIA will conduct a criminal record check as part of the application process. You may need to provide additional information about any relevant convictions or cautions.
- Wait for the decision: Once you have submitted your application, the SIA will review it and decide whether to grant you a licence. You can check the status of your application online.
The SIA aims to process applications as quickly as possible, but processing times may vary depending on demand and the time it takes to complete the criminal record check.