The Ultimate SIA CCTV Licence & Training Guide

Mar 6 • CCTV Operations, Featured • 19636 Views • No Comments on The Ultimate SIA CCTV Licence & Training Guide

Obviously you have reached this page because you want to pass your SIA CCTV Training and apply for your licence to become a CCTV operator. Well we are pleased to say you are in the right place.

This article will provide all the information you need, from what licence you need to become a CCTV operator, to the kinds of training you will need to go through, and ultimately how to land that first CCTV job.


The Sia CCTV Licence

One of the first steps is to look into the requirements of the SIA CCTV licence, and whether you will be eligible for one.

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. To become a CCTV Operator you will need a front line SIA licence.

The front line SIA Licence is credit card-sized plastic card that must be visibly worn by all frontline security personnel while on duty.

To be eligible for an SIA licence you must be over 18 and have legal rights to work in the U.K

Before applying for the licence you will need to have passed the SIA training course in CCTV operations and will need to clear the SIA criminality checks.

Head here find out more about the SIA criminality checks.

sia licence cards

How much will it cost?

A front line 3-year SIA licence application will cost £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.

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, i.e it requires further criminality checks or foreign qualification enquiries the application may take longer to process.

SIA Licence Integration

In some circumstances the SIA will 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.

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 CCTV Course Training

SIA CCTV Training

Before you can apply for your SIA CCTV licence, you will need to pass the relevant CCTV training course.

Fortunately there are hundreds of CCTV training providers based all over the UK. You will want to ensure that the training centre you choose is SIA approved.

The best place to find an SIA approved CCTV Training provider is to head straight to the SIA website. There you can use their online database to search the available courses near you.

The SIA CCTV Course

To become a CCTV operator, you will need to pass what is called the Public Space Surveillance course. (Commonly known as the CCTV Course).

The CCTV course involves two training modules. At the end of each module is an exam that you must pass in order to be able to apply for your licence.

Depending on the training provider you choose, the course may be delivered over four days or during weekends and/or evening sessions. The public space surveillance training course should last approximately 32 hours in face to face teacher / tutor time.

CCTV Course

1. Core Learning and Qualifications for a CCTV Course (Public Space Surveillance)

To give you a better understanding on what is covered on the course and what you will be expected to learn, we have laid out the core modules for you to read.

At the end of this section, you will also find some example exam papers that have actually been used on the CCTV training course in the past.

2. Licence Core Learning for Common Security Industry Knowledge (10 hours)

Session 1: Awareness of the Law in the Private Security Industry

Session 2: Health and Safety for the Private Security Operative

Session 3: Fire Safety Awareness

Session 4: Emergency Procedures

Session 5: The Private Security Industry

Session 6: Communication Skills and Customer Care

3. CCTV Operations (Public Space Surveillance) Specialist Module (22 hours)

Session 1: Introduction to the Roles and Responsibilities of the CCTV Operator and other CCTV Staff
Session 2: Codes of Practice, Operational Procedures and Guidelines
Session 3: CCTV Equipment and its Operation
Session 4: Control Room Communications and Access Control
Session 5: Legislation
Session 6: Dealing with Incidents
Session 7: CCTV Surveillance Techniques
Session 8: Emergency Procedures in the CCTV Control Room
Session 9: Health and Safety at Work in the CCTV Environment

CCTV Course Exam Papers

CCTV examination papers

The SIA CCTV examination a level two course. Just to confuse matters for applicants, the SIA licencing qualifications are such that there is no level 1 or 3 that needs to be obtained.

The CCTV course examination has three modules of assessment:

1. Working in private security industry examination

This examination is conducted via a written multiple-choice examination paper. The number of questions can differ, depending on the awarding body being used. The examination is usually 45 minutes in duration with the pass mark being set at 75 % marks. This is a standard test for those looking to gain their SIA licence.

2. Working as a CCTV operator examination paper

The assessment is a paper-based exam, again via multiple-choice questions. It is obviously specific to the CCTV course. There are 30 to 40 questions within this exam, and the duration is generally 60 minutes. Again you will need to achieve a 75% score of above to successfully pass the exam.

3. CCTV operator practical assessment

As a major part of being a CCTV operator involves the practice use of equipment, you will be tested on your expertise with the relevant CCTV technology.

Assessment techniques include building a portfolio of evidence detailing your competency while completing the course.

CCTV control_room

CCTV Course Practical Assessment

The Practical CCTV Training exam can be very daunting. Not only do you have to remember what you have learned, you have to demonstrate it practically to an assessor who is examining your every move. Knowing what the examiner is marking you on is half the battle.

So what it is it you will be marked on when taking this exam?

To help you find out we have got our hands on a HABC CCTV Practical Assessment Form.

When you step up to take the Practical Operation of CCTV Equipment course, (via the HABC) your Assessor will be holding one of these. So what exactly are they testing you on?

The first part of the assessment tests your ability to operate the equipment.

Using 7 different assessment criteria the instructor will expect you to show the following:
  • Demonstrate how to conduct functional checks of the CCTV equipment.
  • Explain the equipment fault reporting procedures.
  • Demonstrate the correct use of keypads and joysticks to operate the cameras, monitors and associated equipment.
  • Demonstrate and/or explain how to overcome poor weather, lighting and positioning.
  • Demonstrate how to produce images of sufficient quality for evidential purposes.
  • Demonstrate how to record images onto storage media in an evidentially sound manner.
  • Complete relevant documentation associated with an incident.

Clearly you will have covered this throughout your training, and it is just a case of being systematic in your approach to all the tasks at hand. Much like you would as a working CCTV operator.

The second part of the assessment is focused on the candidate being able to demonstrate using the equipment in an operational environment.

This area of assessment is broken into 8 parts. You will be expected to:

Again, all such techniques will be learned through out your CCTV course. The assessment allows for candidates to explain their actions and thought processes while undertaking the tasks at hand.

The Tutor will be able to give you feedback on the decisions that you made in order for you to see where you have applied the training correctly, and where you might have missed something, or veered from what was important.

CCTV Course Practice Exams

Below are links to example CCTV course exam papers:


Have you taken this course recently? How would you rate your training provider? Did you enjoy the course, was it worthwhile? Or maybe you are thinking about taking the course and have some questions the community might be able to help with. Please feel free to leave comments and thoughts about the current CCTV Operator training programme.

sia licence cards

Applying For Your SIA CCTV Licence

Once you have successfully passed your CCTV operator course, it is time to apply for your SIA CCTV Licence.

The important issue here is to read the application form carefully, and make sure you fill everything in correctly, while at the same time providing all the necessary documentation.

What documents do I need?

The SIA requires that you send documents to identity yourself and for evidence of your current address. To do this you can send either:

  • 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.

Click here to see what are valid Group A and B SIA Licence documents.

Any documents you send to the SIA will be returned to you 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)

You will also need a passport photograph of yourself. The same rules apply as for when you have your passport 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.

Post office sia licence application process

The 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.

Thanks to new procedures put into place during autumn of 2013, you can now have your documents and photograph checked at your local post office.

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 Post Office application process step-by-step

The new application system will work in the following way:

  1. 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)
  1. Using the SIA online system you will be instructed what documents you need to supply.
  1. 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.
  1. The Post Office will then take a photograph of you and create a digital version of your signature.
  1. You will then pay the Post Office directly for your licence application. There is no extra fee for applying using this method.
  1. The Post Office will then send an electronic version of your licence details to the SIA.
  1. If the application is successful you will receive your licence through the post in a matter of weeks.

How to pay for your SIA CCTV Licence

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

Congratulations, you have now successfully passed the CCTV course and applied for your SIA licence.

Once your new licence has arrived in the post, it is time to start looking for that first CCTV operator job.

cctv jobs beginning your career

CCTV Operator Jobs – How to get employed

Looking to find open CCTV vacancies need not be a chore. There are a number of avenues open to you in pursuit of your next CCTV job, whether it be as an operator or installer.

These days the majority of CCTV vacancies will be advertised on the Internet. One of the best online resources for CCTV jobs would definitely have to be To search available CCTV vacancies right away, just hit the link below.

There are of course a huge amount of jobs sites you can visit. The beauty of the Indeed website is that it acts a search engine. Place your postcode as part of the search attribute and you will find all CCTV vacancies available in your area, (within a mile radius that you can also set depending on how far you are willing to travel).

If you do wish to use additional websites for your search, we would recommend the following job search sites as well: and

1. Security Recruitment Companies

Fully fledged job search sites are just one option open to you. There are also security industry websites, and specific security recruitment firms that too could be approached when looking for a CCTV position.

The largest security recruitment companies will definitely have a number of CCTV positions available at any one time. Sign yourself up online, send across the CV and get them working for you, in the pursuit of your next CCTV job role.

Websites to check out include:

This gives you a searchable list of security recruitment agencies in your area.

A dedicated security recruitment company.

An excellent resource for security jobs, including CCTV positions. The site also gives candidates the option to post their CV. Helpful guides and news items also form part of the website.

Another dedicated security job recruitment company with a great reputation within the industry.

Does exactly what it says on the tin – a dedicated recruitment security jobs board.

job-centre cctv jobs available

2. Local Job Centre & Government Agencies

It is no secret that the biggest investors in CCTV technology are local councils. Across the UK local authorities account for over 75% of expenditure in CCTV operations and technology.

So, if you’re looking for CCTV vacancies – your local job centre (or should be the first place you look. Your local council will certainly advertise any positions there, alongside the recruitment page of its own site (if it has one).

3. Installers & Suppliers

One of the best ways to search for a CCTV company if you work as part of the equipment supply chain is by heading to

There on their find search for a company page, you can actually refine your search by sector, (CCTV) and then by activity type, (installer or manufacturer).

You can then select your area and you will be treated to all the companies within traveling distance in a nice long list. It includes web addresses and phone numbers and a description of what they do.

If you’re looking for a CCTV vacancy, there is often no better way than contacting companies directly, handing in your CV, arranging a meeting if possible and ultimately getting yourself on their radar.

Interview-cctv jobs be prepared

What are recruiters looking for?

Here at SIA Licence hub, we often scour the internet in the attempt to find and collect useful information for our visitors. To this end we recently came across a document from the UK Home Office profiling the recruitment and selection of CCTV operators. It is somewhat old now, (published in 1998), however it does give valuable insight into the skills required and what recruiters look for when employing a CCTV Operator.

There is a whole chapter on ‘Assessment Methods for the Selection of CCTV Operators”, with sections such as: Initial sifting stage, competency assessments, interviews, eye screening tests etc.

As background reading for someone who is wanting to gain the SIA licence (and obviously complete the relevant SIA Training), this is a valuable resource. Furthermore, if you are applying for a CCTV Operating job, what better way of preparing your application by viewing the situation through the recruiter’s eyes. Tailor your performance to fit the proposed ideal candidate. This document will definitely give you a head start.

Alternatively, those looking to recruit CCTV Operators will have Home Office Guidance on what exactly you should be looking for.

LINK: Home Office: Recruitment and Selection of CCTV Operators document.

And there you have it – hopefully by the time you have gone through all the steps of this article, you will be working as a fully accredited, SIA licencsed CCTV operator and enjoying your new career.

If you would like to leave any comments regarding this guide, have any questions or suggestions on how it might be better, please leave them below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

« »