WELCOME TO THE SIA LICENCE HUB
Your online resource for SIA Licence and training advice. The Hub has everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as a security officer.
Licence and training requirements, profiles of UK training centres, step by step guides and helpful career advice are just some of what you will find on this website. We will help you get licensed the right way.
FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND THE HUB
The SIA Licence Hub is set out in 5 main sections.
- SIA Licencing – Step by step advice on licensing and how to apply for one
- SIA Training – What type of training will you require and how to successfully pass
- SIA Courses – Search the course section for a training course near you
- The Blog – All articles from the Hub in one place
- Job Board – check out latest listings from Jobs Indeed
You’re here because you want to get your SIA licence and begin a career in the security industry. We aim to provide you with all the information you need to make the step as painless as possible. One of the first steps is to find out for sure whether the security career you want to pursue requires a licence.
Do I need an SIA Licence?
There are two types of SIA licences available; one is required for front line security personnel, the other for non front line personnel such as supervisors. They can be described as follows:
Front line SIA Licence
This is required if undertaking one of the following licensable activities:
- Manned Guarding
- Cash and Valuables in Transit
- Close Protection
- Door Supervision
- Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
- Immobilisation, Restriction and Removal of Vehicles
The front line SIA Licence is credit card-sized plastic card that must be worn and made visible, (subject to the licence conditions).
Non-front line SIA Licence
This licence is required for those who manage, supervise and/or employ individuals who engage in one of the above activities. A non-front line licence is issued in the form of a letter that also covers key holding activities.
Which licence do I need?
If you are finding it difficult to determine which SIA Licence you need, the SIA have an excellent Licence Identifer tool on their website. You can find it Here
SIA Licence Integration
In some circumstances the SIA do allow for more than one licensable activity to be carried out under the same licence application. You can find out more on Licence integration Here
SIA LICENCE COST – HOW MUCH WILL IT BE?
- General 3 year licence application = £220
- Immobiliser Licence (1 year) = £220
The SIA licence cost is payable to the SIA and will cover the cost of them processing your application. Remember, fees are non refundable so make sure you have all your documents in place.
The SIA licensing department accepts UK bank cheques, and payments from debit/credit cards registered in the UK. (Cheques from foreign bank accounts cannot be accepted, nor can credit cards that are billed or registered outside the UK.)
SIA Licence Cost – Handy Money Saver Information
- Paying your own SIA licence cost? You will be able to claim tax relief against your taxable income – For more info visit the HMRC website
- Need more than one licence? Get 50% off the cost of your second licence. More info Here
How long will it take?
The SIA website boasts of processing a minimum of 80% (correctly completed) applications within 25 working days.
If your application is of a more complicated nature, (requires criminality or qualification enquiries etc) it may take longer than 25 working days.
The SIA ‘Get Licensed’ Booklet
The SIA publish a comprehensive, ‘Get Licensed’ booklet containing all the information about SIA licensing that you will find on this site. Download it Here
SIA LICENCE CRIMINALITY CHECKS
In its role over seeing the correct and universal standard of the security industry, it is an important objective of the SIA to ensure the integrity of licence holders. This in turn means there are stringent background tests to prevent criminals from working in SIA licensed roles.
So what exactly are the criminal checks, and how may they affect you?
Some people have criminal records, that does not mean to say they should penalized for past mistakes for the rest of their lives. You may have a small conviction from years past, and may wonder if can you still apply for an SIA licence and work as Security Guard?
Apart from the usual identity checks, the SIA will conduct criminality checks against a five year period of records. (Motoring offences do not apply, and will not be taken into account except in very extra-ordinary circumstances)
If you have a conviction or caution within the 5 year period, your application will go through further checks. It does not necessarily mean you will not be granted your licence. The process your application then goes through is as follows:
The Security Industry Authority will evaluate the offence to determine whether it was,
The following is a list of “relevant” offences in the context of an SIA licence application:
- Offensive weapons
- Sexual related offences
- Drug related offences
- Theft and fraud
- Proceeds of crime
- Violent and abusive behaviour. Convictions for assault
- Social security offences
- Criminal damage
- Private Security Industry Act offences
- Licensing Act offences
- Convicted for the abuse and neglect of children
- Some driving offences (extremely serious and attracts a prison sentence whether or not it was actually served)
It is important to be realistic. If you have any convictions for the above offences, they will seriously hamper your chances of successfully applying for a SIA licence. Generally, any of the listed offences discharged in the 2 years up to the date that you make your application would lead to a refusal of the SIA to grant you your licence.
Furthermore, if in the offence categories listed above your charge was serious, the SIA will refuse a licence application unless the sentence you received ended at least 5 years prior to the date you make the application.
Exactly how does the SIA judge an offence to be serious?
The SIA will look into the maximum length of sentence for each of the relevant offences listed above. If the maximum sentence is of 4 years or higher, the SIA will state the offence as serious for the purposes of your SIA licence application.
Having said that, Sexual offences, violent crimes and offences involving terrorism or the proceeds of crime are all rated as ‘serious’ in the eyes of the SIA. The maximum sentences attached to these crimes are not considered.
Any offence you may have been charged as carrying an “Offensive Weapon” is classified as serious even though the sentences attached to this category of crime does fall below the 4 year threshold.
Court of Conviction
If you faced your conviction in the Magistrate’s court it is more than likely the offence will not be classed as serious. The reason for this is that the Magistrates Courts deal with lower criminal cases. There is no power within those courts to apply sentences of over 4 years or more. From an SIA licence perspective a conviction within the Magistrates will be considered only relevant.
The Crown court is the higher criminal court and can give sentences of over 4 years. Any proceedings and subsequent sentence within the Crown court will be seen as serious and treated as such by the SIA when processing your licence application.
Character of Applicant
Importantly, the SIA will look to see if your offence was a “out of character” mistake. If the offence is judged to be isolated, the SIA are in a position to request a mitigation. This gives the licence applicant an opportunity to provide a professional reference, or evidence of voluntary training/activities that show positive cause. In such circumstance the SIA may grant a licence.
Do not let a conviction from your distant past put you off training and applying for an SIA licence. However, it is wise to take into account the SIA view on more recent criminal activity. In many instances it will prevent you from working as a security officer.
WHAT TYPE OF SIA TRAINING DO I NEED
Depends on what you want to do. If you have already decided head to our SIA training section and select the desired role.
If you remain undecided head to our blog section for job descriptions and insights into the various career paths available
APPLYING FOR YOUR SIA LICENCE
What documents do I need?
The SIA require that you send documents that sufficiently prove your identity and current address. The break these documents down so that you must send the following:
- Two identity documents from group A. One of the documents must show your address and at least one must show your date of birth.
- One identity document from group A and two documents from group B. Again the same as above applies, at least one document showing your address, the other your date of birth.
Any documents you send will be returned by courier or post.
The following rules apply to any documents that are sent with your SIA Licence application:
- All documents must be originals.*
- The documents you send must confirm your correct name, current address and date of birth.
- Remove all documents from plastic holders, sleeves and wallets etc
- All documents must be in English, (or be translated from an approved translator)
*Where it is impractical to send your passport outside country of issue, a notarised copy from an accredited notary from your country of residence, will be allowed.
You will also need a passport photograph of yourself. The same rules apply as for when you have your pasport photograph taken, (45mm x 35mm in size) front profile with face filling most of image, plain background etc.
This photograph will be the one on your Licence should your application be successful.
You will need to send a good-quality, passport-style colour photograph (45mm x 35mm). If your application is successful the SIA will print this onto your licence.
New SIA Licence application process explained
The process of applying or renewing your SIA Licence is about to be streamlined with the aid of the Post Office. As from Autumn 2013, applicants will be able to have their documents and photograph checked at any local post office. Existing methods of applying will continue into next year, at which point there are plans for the current paper based applications to be discontinued.
The SIA has stated that the new SIA licence application procedure, (ie having them conducted face to face at the post office), will help prevent administrative errors and will also reduce the amount of rejected applications and the possibility of fraud.
This new Post Office service shows that the organization, which celebrates 10 years of service this year, is continuing to make innovative changes for the good of the security industry.
The new application process step-by-step
The new application system will work in the following way:
- You will apply for a licence by logging on to the SIA website and entering your application details online (currently applicants have to download and print the online form)
- Using the SIA online system you will be instructed what documents you need to supply.
- You will then be able to visit your local Post Office where they will have access to your online details. This will be checked against the supporting documents you have brought with you. This means you will no longer have to send important documents through the post to the SIA.
- The Post Office will then take a photograph of you and create a digital version of your signature.
- You will then pay the Post Office directly for your licence application. There is no extra fee for applying using this method.
- The Post Office will then send an electronic version of your licence details to the SIA.
- If the application is successful you will receive your licence through the post in a matter of weeks.
A worthwhile improvement to the licence application process we think you’ll agree.
SIA LICENCE APPLICATION – 5 COMMON MISTAKES
In 2012 the SIA released a statement that detailed the most common mistakes made on the SIA licence application that led to a severe delay for the application or in some cases refusal.
If you are about to apply for you licence, take note of the below. It may well help you.
Common SIA Licence Application Mistakes
- In at number one is simply not providing the correct number of supporting documents. Check the relevant section about documents at the SIA website here.
- Applicants are consistently failing to select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on Question B2: “Have you ever been issued with an application or licence number not listed above?” – This question is in fact mandatory. It has to be answered one way or another.
- There is also an issue with Counter-signatories. Questions C1 to C8 are not being answered with enough detail, so applications are being returned asking for more information. Counter-signatories are also failing to sign and date the back of the photographs applicants provide. C9 and C10 are also mandatory questions.
- The simple “Yes” or “No” answer to question D7 asking whether applicants have a valid overseas passport also needs to be answered. Many are leaving this blank when it is in fact mandatory.
- Section E has to be answered comprehensively. If you don’t supply all of your address details going back with 5 years, with explanations of any blanks, your application will be returned to you. This has to be answered in detail. You must not leave any gaps in this history.
The SIA website has a “How to fill in your SIA licence application form booklet” – You can download it here.
- Apply for your SIA Licence. (Redirect to SIA website application page)
SIA LICENCE CHECKER
You have sent off your SIA licence application (along with the 200 odd pound to do so), and you are quite frankly rather anxious to get licensed. Understandable, you want to start job searching and nail that security officer job as soon as possible.
Well thankfully, the guys at the SIA have an online facility called the SIA licence Checker. Using this tool you can check the progress of your SIA licence application online, anytime of the day. While you are waiting for their decision on your licence, you can keep yourself updated on how far they are through the process by using the SIA Licence Checker.
There are several stages to the application process that the SIA licence Checker will help you review:
- The SIA department of the Home Office will receive your application form pack
- Your application form is entered into their system and then the process begins
- The SIA will then run all the relevant qualifications, criminality and identity checks.
- (With the new Post Office application process, identity checks can be completed in person)
- The SIA department then makes a decision on whether they will grant you an SIA license or not.
The SIA state that this process, in around 80% of correctly submitted applications, should take only 25 working days.
Using the SIA Licence Checker
When you first click to login to check your application you will be taken through to the SIA secure server site. Here you will be asked to enter details relevant to your application.
What Information do I need to use the SIA Licence Checker?
The details that you will be asked to enable you to login to the checker are as follows:
- Your application number (this is the most important piece of information for tracking your application progress, and will have been given to you on receipt of your licence application)
- Date of birth
- Middle name, if applicable
What will the SIA Licence Checker tell me?
The SIA licence checker will give you an ‘at-a-glance’ indication of your application progress in the licensing process. Where necessary the checker will also give you an exact explanation of what is happening. The SIA website cite the following descriptions as examples of the sort of update you may receive with regards to your application.
- ”Your application was received on [DATE]. We are currently making sure you have provided all the information we need. We aim to process correctly completed applications within five weeks.”
- “Your application was incomplete. A letter was sent on [DATE] which explains what information we require to resolve this. We have not taken payment for your application.”
Clearly, you do not want to be seeing the second comment. However, this does show that you will know if there has been an issue with your licence application, and the SIA will clearly state what that problem is.
The SIA licence checker will also be able to tell you whether the SIA have made a decision on your application, and what that decision is. If you have been granted a licence the Checker will be able to tell you what your licence number is and whether your licence has been dispatched.
When There Are Delays In The Progress Of Your Application
The actual application process begins from the moment your application has been entered into the system and will end when the decision has been made.
However, if during the process your application fails validation, the process stops will come to a stop. The most common reason for this is submission of an incorrect application form or failure of one of the security checks.
In most instances the application process runs smoothly. The SIA state that where any additional checks such as qualification enquiries and/or overseas criminal record checks have to be made, your application could take longer than 25 days.
- Check on a submitted SIA Licence Application. (Redirect to SIA website)