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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The Security Guard Licence application fee is £220. This is non-refundable and your licence is valid for 3 years.
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.
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.
The SIA Security Guard Licence costs a non-refundable £220. This is paid directly to SIA, who are the licensing authority for the security industry.
Your SIA Security Guard Licence is valid for 3 years. Once it expires, you will need to reapply and take another course.
To be eligible for the SIA Security Guard Licence, you need to pass the Security Guard Training Course, be at least 18 years old and have the right to live and work in the UK.
The Security Guard Training Course introduces you to the fundamentals of working in the security industry and prepares you for various roles. It runs over 3 days and is a requirement for obtaining the SIA Security Guard Licence.
The SIA checks the criminal background of applicants through a DBS check, as well as verifying their identity.
You can still obtain an SIA Security Guard Licence if you have a criminal record, but this would depend on the type of offence and how SIA treat such offences. We would advise contacting the SIA directly if you are considering applying for a licence. Remember, the £220 licence application fee is non-refundable, so it’s best to check first.
With the SIA Security Guard Licence you can work in shops or offices as a security guard. Part of your job may be to protect private property or to keep members of the public safe.
It is illegal to work in the security industry without an SIA Licence.
The SIA Security Guard Licence is very similar to the Door Supervisor Licence, but the main difference is where you are allowed to work and what licensable activities you can carry out. With the Security Guard Licence, you cannot work on licensed premises where alcohol is served. Due to an additional module on the Door Supervisor Course i.e. Physical Intervention. The SIA Door Supervisor Licence, on the other hand, does not have this type of restriction and gives you greater access to employment opportunities. To give you the best chance with your career, Get Licensed recommends the Door Supervisor Licence.
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