What is the Security Guard Licence?
The Security Guard Licence enables you to work in the private security industry as a security guard. The licence is issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and is valid for 3 years. With the SIA Security Guard Licence you can work in shops, malls and office buildings. Your core responsibilities include keeping members of the public safe, as well as guarding personal property to prevent theft, damage or destruction.
Do I need an SIA Security Guard Licence?
You require an SIA Security Guard License if you are carrying out licensable activities associated to a security guard such as protecting property, patrolling areas or preventing theft. It is illegal to undertake these kinds of licensable activities without the required SIA licence unless your employer has been given the necessary exemption under Section 4(4) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
To be eligible for an SIA Security Guard Licence, you must be 18 years of age, have the right to work in the UK and have passed the Security Guard Training Course.
How to apply for the SIA Security Guard Licence
Getting your SIA Security Guard Licence may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward! All you need to do is follow simple steps:
Pass the Security Guard Course
The Security Guard Course takes 3 days to complete. The training course is assessed by 3 multiple choice exams.
Complete the licence application on the SIA website
The cost of starting a licence application is £220. 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 and wait for the SIA to complete identity and criminal background checks
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 Security Guard Licence is valid for 3 years.
For further information about how the application process works, follow our detailed guide on the SIA Licence Application Process.
SIA Security Guard Training Course
To apply for the Security Guard Licence, the SIA requires you to complete formal training and pass the assessments. The Security Guard training course runs over 3 days and contains the following 3 units:
- Working in the Private Security Industry
- Security Guarding or Working as a Security Guard
- Conflict Management
On the final day of the course, there will be 3 multiple choice exams (one for each unit) which will test your knowledge of the content taught during the course.
For further information, see our detailed guide on SIA Licence Application Process.
Cost of the SIA Security Guard Licence
The Security Guard Licence application fee is £220. This is non-refundable and your licence is valid for 3 years.
SIA Licence Renewal
If you are looking to renew your SIA Security Guard Licence, there are no requirements to take refresher training. You can start renewing your SIA licence 4 months before it is due to expire. The new licence will commence only after your current licence has expired. The application cost is an non-refundable £220. To begin the process, simply visit the SIA website.
SIA Licence Integration
In some cases, the SIA allows individuals to use their licences to satisfy the criteria for related licensable activities. For example, holders of the SIA Close Protection Licence can work as door supervisors. In the same manner, holders of the SIA Door Supervisor Licence can work as security guards, CCTV operators, and key holders.
Learn more about SIA licensing integration.