Security Industry Authority

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry. They are an independent body reporting to the Home Secretary in accordance with the Private Security Act of 2001, and their public mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively, to reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality service.

Their duties include the compulsory licensing of individuals who undertake designated activities within the private security industry (door staff and personal manning) as well as to manage the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

SIA licensing includes security guarding, door supervision, close detection, cash and valuables in transit and public space surveillance using CCTV. They seek to ensure that operatives are fit and proper persons who receive the necessary training and are qualified to do their job.

The Approved Contractor Scheme contains a set of operation and performance standards for suppliers of those services and if organisations meet those standards they are awarded an approved contractor status.

Our regulatory team are able to advise both individuals and organisations who seek to be licensed or to join the Approved Contractor Scheme by advising them on the criteria required and how to obtain that recognition at the first attempt.


For the SIA to be effective, they have the power to revoke an individual's licence where the licensing criteria are no longer met. They can also suspend and revoke those licences if there is a threat to public safety.

Whilst prosecution is not their preferred option, they have been involved in a number of cases throughout the country bringing cases against those who have engaged in misconduct, ie. working without a licence. Some of these cases carry a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment in a Magistrates Court with fines up to £5000, and some offences can be tried on indictment (before a Crown Court) where there are allegations of falsification of documents. Both individuals and corporations can be prosecuted.

We would advise that if you provide security industry work, you should check to ensure you need to become licensed or are exempt.

It is proposed that from 6 April 2015 all regulated security businesses will need to hold an SIA Business Licence. Subject to Government approval, the reforms to security business regulations will be recognised UK wide.

The Future

From April 2015, all businesses that provide individuals to supply the Security Industry Service in the UK will be required to obtain a business licence. This requirement will apply regardless of legal status, location, size or function. You will need a business licence if you are a body corporate, partnership, unincorporated association or sole trader supplying the Security Industry Service under a contract. This will include businesses providing Security Industry Services in the following sectors:

* Man guarding sectors
* Cash and valuables in transit
* Close protection
* Door supervision
* Public space supervision
* Security guarding
* Key holding

You will not need a business licence if you are a sole trader or self-employed, and only provide yourself under contracted services.

The SIA will begin to accept business licence applications from April 2014 and recommend that those applications are submitted by the 1st October 2014, in readiness for implementation from April 2015.

The Licensing and Regulatory Team are available to advise you of your individual or business requirements for the security industry.

For further information, please contact Mike Hayward on 01908 202150 or email at

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