If you aspire to, or already work in the private security industry, you might already be aware that an SIA licence is an essential part of the job, but why? To help regulate this industry, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) was created in 2003 and has since been responsible for setting the standards of private security companies across the UK.
To discover why an SIA licence is so important, what it allows you to do and how you can obtain one, we can help. At Dynamis Education, we have years of experience across a broad range of sectors to ensure we provide our customers with both professional and affordable training. In offering a wide selection of SIA licence-linked qualifications and courses, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to!
What is an SIA Licence?
A legal requirement for any person or business that wants to work in the private security industry, an SIA licence verifies that you have the training and qualifications to work in the sector. This compulsory licence covers a wide range of designated security activities including physical, manned security roles as well as CCTV surveillance.
There are two different types of SIA licence: a front-line licence and a non-front-line licence.
The former is essential if you perform a licensable front-line activity (such as manned guarding or CCTV surveillance) as part of your role and comes in the form of a plastic photocard that must be worn during working hours unless your job involves covert surveillance.
A non-front-line licence, on the other hand, comes in the form of a letter and must be obtained if you manage, supervise or employ individuals that perform licensable roles. You must also have a non-front-line licence if you are a director or partner of a company that also employs directors, partners or employees that perform licensable activities as part of their job.
What does an SIA licence allow you to do?
As touched on above, a front-line SIA licence ensures that only individuals that have undergone the proper training and possess the appropriate licence-linked qualifications can be hired to fill a private security role. An SIA licence therefore permits the holder to work in a variety of private security roles – depending on the type of SIA licence or licences they successfully apply for.
This can include everything from manned guarding, security guarding, and door supervision to close protection, protecting cash and valuables in transit, and public space surveillance (CCTV). As well as these activities, it can also cover key holding and vehicle immobilising (the process of attaching an immobiliser to a vehicle to prevent it from moving).
What is an SIA qualification?
A SIA qualification (also known as a licence-linked qualification) simply refers to a training course that teaches you the skills and knowledge required to hold the relevant licence. In some cases, you will need to obtain several qualifications in order to apply for a particular SIA licence. To find out more information regarding which training and SIA licence you require for your chosen private security role, we recommend checking out the official Government guidance.
How much is an SIA licence?
To apply for one SIA licence, it costs £190. They are valid for three years (apart from vehicle immobiliser licences that only last for one) but can be renewed for £190. Discounts of 50 per cent are available if you are applying for more than one licence at once or renewing an SIA licence. To find out whether you meet these criteria, explore the relevant Government guidance.
You will only be asked to pay the licence fee once your application has been completed and submitted. Alternatively, some employers will apply and agree to pay the licence fee on your behalf, but this should be discussed and agreed with your employer before you start an application. In this case, the Government will contact your employer directly to arrange payment.
Unfortunately, the fees for SIA licenses are non-refundable and it remains the same regardless of whether your application is accepted, rejected or cancelled. SIA licences cannot be paid for in instalments and front-line licences will also require a licence-linked qualification, so you’ll need to obtain one of these before applying for a front-line licence. Thankfully, however, many of these licence-linked qualifications can be paid for in manageable instalments.
At Dynamis Education, we are passionate about education, so we don’t want finances to prevent you from boosting your career prospects. This is why we provide our customers with two payment options. You can either pay for the course in full or use our Laybuy payment method to pay via six weekly interest-free payments. By spreading the cost, we hope to smooth your path to gaining vital qualifications.
How do I obtain an SIA licence?
To submit an application for an SIA licence, you’ll need to apply online. However, before you apply you’ll need to ensure you have a relevant licence-linked qualification (if you’re applying for a front-line licence) and the information required to complete the checks. Because the licence fee is non-refundable, ensuring you’re prepared, and all of your information is correct makes obtaining a SIA licence much smoother.
To assist with the Government checks, you will be required to provide proof of identity (three identity documents from various groups including a photograph of yourself), details of the addresses you’ve lived at within the last five years and you must also have the right to work in the UK. Once you have this information, you can begin to fill in the online application form.
You can save and revisit the application form when completing sections 2-8, but after completing section 9 (the final declaration section) you won’t be able to alter any information you’ve inputted. From here, you’ll receive a ‘next steps’ message that will guide you through the remainder of the process. You may also receive requests for further information later on.
You can also apply through your employer, in which case you won’t be required to complete, submit or pay for your SIA licence application. All you will be required to do is to create an online SIA account and to link this account with your employer’s account. You will then be asked to provide proof of identity. Once you have provided this proof of identity, you will need to wait for the checks to be completed and for a decision to be made.
How long does it take to get a SIA licence?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the checks that vary from person to person (depending on their background) there is no set timescale for receiving an SIA licence. However, one of the easiest ways to ensure a decision is made as soon as possible is by taking the time to make sure all your provided information is complete and correct. Not to mention, if you follow the steps and requests for further information in a timely manner, this will also help.
Plus, the speed at which your application is processed will also depend on factors outside of your control including the number of applications the Government are currently processing and the response times of organisations that the Government work with (such as organisations that carry out DBS checks). However, you can use the Government’s decision timescale estimator to provide a rough estimate of when you can expect your application decision to be made.
Furthermore, you can also check on the status of your SIA licence application by logging into your account and exploring your applications. You status will either be ‘next steps’, ‘checks in progress’ or ‘decision made’. To assist with speeding up the ‘next steps’ and ‘checks in progress’ stages, it’s imperative that you follow any instructions without delay.
The complete process of obtaining a SIA licence, however, starts at applying for and being awarded the relevant licence-linked qualifications. A necessary part of applying for a front-line SIA licence, these essential training courses often last between three and six days, so it’s worth factoring this into when you can expect to obtain an SIA licence.
What qualifications do I need for SIA?
To apply for a non-front-line licence, you don’t need any licence-linked qualifications or training.
However, to apply for a front-line licence, you will. The relevant training and qualifications differ depending on the type of front-line licence.
For example, if you wanted to apply for a front-line door supervisor licence, you will be required to have a first aid qualification (Emergency First Aid at Work qualification or equivalent) and a Level 2 Award for Working as a Door Supervisor in the Private Security Industry.
This must be awarded by one of the following; British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Body (BIIAB), Highfield Qualifications, Laser Learning Awards, National Open College Network (NOCN), Pearson, Qualifications Network (QNUK), SFJ Awards.
At Dynamis Education, we offer a wide variety of SIA licence-linked qualifications and training courses. Our SIA Door Supervisor Course, for example, is a six-day course that provides learners with the tools to manage and resolve conflict, giving them the opportunity to achieve a nationally-recognised Level 2 qualification (Pearson BTEC Level 2 Award for Working as a Door Supervisor within the Private Security Industry).
Alongside learning more about the role and responsibilities of a door supervisor, our course also provides applicants with a broader knowledge of the private security industry. This includes the purpose of the industry, the functions of the regulator and even the acceptable work practices to build a wider understanding of this area of security.
Featuring helpful benefits like free e-learning, weekly payment plans, as well as instant results and free multiple resists before the course comes to an end, achieving this qualification paves the way for a career in the private security industry. However, if a door supervisor course doesn’t feel like the right option for you, then don’t worry: there are many more SIA licence-linked qualifications and courses to explore.
What SIA licence training should I choose?
Naturally, the qualifications required for different SIA licences will vary, so we suggest giving us a call to find out which training course matches up with your private security career prospects. To discover which qualification/s you need for your chosen front-line licence, you can also check out the latest Government guidance.
To find out more about our SIA Door Supervisor Course or any other educational courses on our website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can either call us for free on 0800 024 2443 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our friendly and knowledgeable team have a wealth of experience when it comes to finding the right course for our customers, so please get in contact with us if you’re looking to gain through training!
Alternatively, you can always send us a message online by using our helpful contact page that’s packed with useful info including our address. Simply fill in your basic contact details (name, email, subject, phone number and message) and one of our expert team members will be in touch shortly to discuss your education requirements.