In the UK alone, there are currently over 378,000 SIA active licence holders, but in recent years there has been an increase in individuals being in possession of fake licences. Not only do illegitimate licenses damage the industry as a whole, but they also put the public at risk when these individuals do not have the proper training and knowledge to work in the security sector.
In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about spotting a fake SIA licence and what is required to work in the security industry.
How can you tell the difference between a fake SIA licence and a real one?
The first step in spotting a fake SIA licence is checking if the individual has their licence on display.
Any licenced holder will know that they are required to have their licence clearly visible on their person at all times when they are working. If they do not, it may be an indicator that they have something to hide.
There have been multiple SIA licence designs since 2007, so it is important to be familiar with each iteration to spot the difference between a real and a fake. Taking note of the expiry date will also be an indicator of whether the individual is legitimately licenced.
What are the penalties of using a fake SIA licence?
Anyone caught with a fake SIA licence faces prosecution under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act of 1981. If found guilty, the charge comes with a maximum penalty of a sixth-month prison sentence and a fine of up to £5000.
In the past, door supervisors found operating with a fake licence have been handed 12-month community orders and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharges. The SIA take fake licences incredibly seriously and is known to prosecute anyone working fraudulently.
How to check if an SIA licence is fake
The Security Authority Industry are adamant that those operating using a fake licence are caught and prosecuted. As such, they now have a Register of Licence Holders, which allows you to input your license number and check whether it is legitimate.
If you find that the licence is not registered, you should immediately report your concerns to the SIA.
Can you work in security without an SIA licence?
You will need a front-line SIA licence if you have been employed to carry out work as part of a contract for services that involve a licensable activity.
To clarify, a contract for services is when you or your employers have a contract in place to supply your security services to another organisation. An example of this is if you are employed by a private security company that has arranged for you to work as a security guard in a shop.
If, however, you will be working in-house and are employed directly by a company, such as being a security guard for a supermarket, you won’t require an SIA licence.
Whether you are providing services as part of a contract or working in-house, you will always require an SIA licence if you are engaging in licensable activities, e.g. door supervision on a licenced property.
How do you get an SIA licence?
In order to get an SIA licence, you must first be over 18 years old and have completed a valid SIA training qualification. There are three main training courses available; door supervisor, CCTV operative and security guard. This training is available through our Dynamis Education Funded Courses and is assessed by multiple choice exams and a practical assessment.
Once you have successfully completed your course, you can start the SIA application process on their website. The application will cost £190, and you will need to verify your identity using a photo ID.
This can be done at a post office, or you can have a British national with a valid British passport sign the back of your photo ID.
The SIA will verify your identity and run criminal background checks as part of the process. They will then reply to you within 25 working days with their decision, but the process can take up to 6 weeks.
If everything checks out, you should be fully licenced for the next three years!
What funded SIA courses are available at Dynamis Education?
At Dynamis Education, we are proud to offer a range of Funded SIA courses specialising in a range of licence-linked areas of the security sector.
We regularly update our Funded Courses page with any upcoming courses available to register for in Manchester and across the UK. Currently, we are offering qualifications in all areas of security services; CCTV, Security Guard and Door Supervisor.
As a leading provider of training and education services, we are dedicated to assisting you in getting the right qualifications for your chosen field.
So, if you are interested in learning more about the SIA courses we provide or have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our team on 08000 24 2443, or you can email us at email@example.com.