How to get an SIA Licence

It is a legal requirement to get an SIA licence to work in the private security industry. Learn how you can apply for your licence and work legally as a Door Supervisor, CCTV Operator, Security Guard or Close Protection Officer.


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Who can apply for an SIA licence?


You are over 18 years old

You hold the valid SIA training qualification

You have documents to prove your identity

You have the right to work in the uk


Pass the course

Depending upon the type of Course, it may take around 6 days to complete. The training course is assessed by multiple choice exams and a practical assessment.


Complete the licence application on the SIA website

The cost of starting a licence application is £190. The SIA will get back to you within 25 working days. In rare cases, this can take up to 6 weeks.


Complete identity checks

You will need to verify your identity to satisfy parts of your SIA application, namely your photo ID. The easiest way to do this is at the Post Office. You can also have someone with a British passport, who is not related to you, to sign the back of your photo ID.


Submit application to the SIA

The SIA will verify your identity and run a background check on your criminal record. If you have lived abroad for 6 months or more, you may be required to provide some supporting evidence.


Receive your 3 year licence in the post

You are finally licensed! Your SIA Licence is valid for 3 years.

Find the right licence

The training and licence you need depend on the career path you want to go on. Compare all licences or select a career to filter the right training.

  • Door Supervisor
  • Patrol Officer
  • Security Officer
  • CCTV Operator
  • Retail Security
  • Nightclub/Doorman
  • Revenue Protection
  • Static Security Guard
  • Control Room Officer
  • Security Concierge
  • Bodyguard
  • VIP Security

Earning potential

Career options

Training duration

Training fee

SIA licence fee

Time to recover costs

Door Supervisor

£10 - 14 per hour
£24 - 40k per annum

Retail, Events, Offices, Licensed premises, Static guarding, Manned guarding - covers all Security Guarding roles

6 days

from £199


6 days

Security Guarding

£10 - 14 per hour
£24 - 40k per annum

Static guarding, Manned guarding, Key-holding, Retail

4 days

from £180


5 days


£10 - 12 per hour
£24 - 32k per annum

CCTV operator, Control room, Public space surveillance

3 days

from £180


5 days

Close Protection

£50 - 100 per hour
£40k - 60k per annum

Bodyguard, VIP security, Maritime, Asset protection, International assignments

14 days

from £1,200


4 days

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SIA Licence Cost

The cost of applying for an SIA Licence is £190. If you already hold a valid SIA Badge you can apply for another at a discounted rate.

The costs of the SIA card is non-refundable, so ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and correct licences before applying.

Course finder

If you haven’t passed your SIA training course yet find your course with Get Licensed to search for the best training courses all over the UK.

How long does it take to get an SIA Licence?

There is no average length of time for getting your SIA licence but the SIA advise that this can take up to 25 working days. In rare cases where issues come up with identity checks or questions about criminal records, it could take up to 6 weeks or even more. During this time, a decision will be reached on whether a licence should be issued or not. The SIA will write explaining their decision and, if successfully granted, you will receive a licence that is valid for 3 years.

Factors that can affect how long the application process takes are:

Whether you have the right to work in the UK
An incomplete address history
Criminal record checks
If you have spent any time outside of the UK

WARNING: It is a legal requirement for anyone working in the United Kingdom Security Industry to have the necessary training and qualifications, accredited by the Security Industry Authority. To practice in the industry without a valid SIA Licence is a criminal offence, which means you could be fined and or sent to prison.


Renewing your licence couldn’t be easier and as long as your licence is valid this can be done online through the security industry authority website. You can’t renew a licence unless you currently hold an active licence in that sector. If your licence has expired, you will need to apply for a new licence.

SIA Door Supervisor Upskilling

Door Supervisors and other security professionals renewing their licence after 1st October 2021 need to take the Upskilling course. That's because Top-Up Training for an SIA Licence includes new content, based on new skills needed in modern security work. Candidates should be qualified in Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW). However, if you're yet to complete an EFAW course, you can take it as part of your booked course package.


Frequently asked questions

The licence application cost is £190. This is paid directly to the SIA, the licensing authority for the security industry.

A newly issued SIA licence is valid for 3 years.

The roles that you can undertake will depend on which SIA licence you have. A holder of an SIA CCTV Licence can watch public images but can’t work as a security guard. In the same way a holder of an SIA Door Supervisor licence can’t work as a CCTV Operative.

It can take 25 working days to process a licence application. In some cases, this can take up to 6 weeks due to additional security checks.

It is illegal to work in the security industry without an SIA Licence. However, some employers can qualify for exemptions under Section 4(4) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

The SIA will check the course qualification, identify and criminal background during the licence application process.

You may apply for a non-frontline SIA licence without passing the course. For all frontline roles such as Security Guarding, Door Supervisor, CCTV Operator, Close Protection etc you must pass the course before applying for the licence.

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