Identification badges are a familiar sight these days, the utility meter reader, doctors, nurses, bar staff, even the guy selling chamois leathers door-to-door for charity has one; everywhere you look someone has an ID card dangling around their neck like a badge of honour, but some are more important than others and the SIA badge (or licence) is high on that list.
The common denominator for all these proofs of identity is security; we want to know that the person brandishing a flashlight and rummaging around under our stairs is in fact from British Gas and not someone plotting a raid on our home. The right to wear an SIA Licence is slightly more complicated. With the exception of medical teams or emergency service personnel there are few ID badges which are actually proof that the wearer is displaying their right to do their job and certification of their required training.
The Security Industry Authority Licence is only awarded after proof of intensive instruction by approved training providers and is confirmation that high standards have been achieved. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) reports to The Home Office under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act of 2001. As well as the licensing of individuals working in the industry, including the training providers, the SIA also manage the Approved Contractor Scheme.
In brief, the Approved Contractor Scheme is a further badge or seal of approval from the SIA that contracted security staff supplied to businesses via agencies are fully certified to work in the industry and meet the rigorous standards set by the SIA. Job searches that include the Approved Contractor Scheme logo are well worth considering as your first port of call if you choose the agency route to work.
Without exception all security personnel must have an SIA Licence to work in the industry. No matter what training provider you choose, or what glowing pass rates you might achieve after completing the course, without your SIA Badge you and your employer will be breaking the law if you are working and don’t have one.
The basic rule is simple, you train then you apply for your licence. You can begin to apply for jobs pending the approval of your application, and with a good pass rate and the right assistance with the form-filling it’s unlikely your application will be rejected. Don’t assume that your course pass-rate automatically qualifies you for an SIA Licence, get help with the forms; one error in the information you provide could mean disaster.
You’d be right in thinking that filling in a form is no big deal, but there are a staggering number of applications rejected based on misinformation or sloppy presentation. Any security training provider worth their salt is unlikely to want you to fail at this stage, the best advice is to take all the help you can get – it doesn’t cost you anything and can mean the difference between achieving your final goal or not.
Which area of the security industry you decide to specialise in is entirely up to you and the list of options can be confusing – choose a training provider that gives you every opportunity to ask all the questions you need answers to and best practice here is to actually speak to a ‘real’ person. Most training providers will have a professional team of advisors on hand to guide you through the course selection process – that’s why they are there, use them to your advantage.
Don’t let your decision be swayed on price alone, check out the training options carefully and look out for proven pass rates. The Security Industry is one of the biggest employment sectors in the UK right now with thousands of vacancies to fill – you only need study the figures put forward for the proposed security infrastructure at the 2012 Olympics to appreciate how financially important the industry is to the UK economy.
Security jobs are often regarded by less informed sceptics as a stop-gap employment tactic, but look at the level of training involved to get to grips with how important these roles are. Your decision to train might not be based on a long-term plan but the SIA Licence included on your CV is regarded by employers as a badge of meaning now and for your future.