SIA Licensed – The Step-by-Step Guide

Image of a front line licence

An SIA licence is required if you undertake the licensable activities of a security guard and your services are supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer.

Unless your employer or company has been given an exemption under Section 4(4) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, it is a criminal offence to undertake the licensable activities of a security guard without an SIA licence. An exemption is applicable only where the company in question has been granted approved contractor status by the SIA and the other conditions of Section 4(4) have also been met. Every condition must be met for this section to be applied.

More information about Section 4(4)

Cost of a Licence

The licence application fee is £220 for a three year licence. The fee is to cover the cost of processing your application and is not refundable.

If you pay your own licence fee you will be able to claim tax relief against your taxable income – for example, if you pay the basic rate of tax the relief is currently worth £44. Please visit the HMRC website- this link opens in a new window for more information. If you are an employer paying the licence fee on behalf of an employee there will be no tax or National Insurance liability.

50% discount: Some security operatives may need more than one licence; in such cases the second licence will be discounted by 50%.

Licence Integration

In some cases, we are satisfied that the licensing criteria to be met for one licensable activity are sufficient to allow a licensed individual to carry out other licensable activities.

Will I Pass the Criminality Checks?

If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily mean that you will not get a licence. We will make our decision according to:

  • Whether we consider your offences relevant to our decision;
  • The actual sentence or disposal given to you for the offence; and
  • How recent the offences were.

Our criminal record indicator provides a ‘no cost’ way of determining whether or not you will pass our criminality criteria. The logic of the indicator mirrors that which is used by members of our licensing team when they make their decision.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Access to a person’s criminal record is usually restricted under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. However, as it is in the public interest for us to have full disclosure of a person’s criminal record in order to assess their suitability for a licence, we are exempt from this restriction and are allowed full access to your criminal record. We are able to consider all offences on record including spent convictions.

Charges Awaiting Trial

If, when we process your application, there are outstanding charges against you for relevant offences, we will wait until the courts have determined the outcome of the charges before making a decision.

If your charges have not been resolved after one year your application will be withdrawn. You are reminded that the licence fee is non-refundable.

Overseas Criminal Record Checks

If you live overseas or you have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK, you must provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries. The checks need to cover the five years prior to your application.

Criminal Record Indicator

This on-line facility will give an indication of whether or not you meet our criminality criteria.

The criminal record indicator includes a list of the offences we take into account when making a licensing decision. You will be asked to enter information about all cautions, warnings, absolute/conditional discharges, admonishments and convictions you may have – and in the case of convictions, the actual sentence received. You will remain anonymous throughout the process.

The resulting indicator is based entirely on the information that you enter today and is not a guaranteed outcome of the actual criminality check that we will conduct at the time of your application.

Please note that:

  • If your offence is a statutory offence named in the list but at the time of your conviction was an offence under common law, or was defined in an earlier or later Act, we will regard it in the way it is listed here. We will also take your offence into account if it is not explicitly listed here but falls under the same section of a relevant identified Act.
  • If your offence is not in the list and cannot be regarded or interpreted in the same or similar way as a listed offence, then we will not take it into account when making a decision on your licence application.

This system cannot give you an indication of your likely eligibility if you have received a sentence of life imprisonment, have juvenile convictions, have been detained because of mental health problems, or have received convictions overseas. If these circumstances apply you will not necessarily be ineligible for a licence, but we shall need to give special consideration to your case, which we cannot do until we have received your application.

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British Standards, The Industry

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