For security professionals in the UK, renewing your SIA licence is a necessary step to continue working legally in the private security industry. But the renewal process can be confusing if you don’t know what to expect. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on renewing your SIA licence. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from timelines and fees to required training and how to submit your application. With clear instructions and handy tips, renewing your licence doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. Our goal is to provide you with all the key information to smoothly renew your SIA licence and help you avoid common mistakes. So if you’re a door supervisor, security guard, CCTV operator or private investigator in the UK, read on for our guide to painlessly renew your SIA licence and continue your security career.
Who Are The SIA?
Operating in the private security industry in the UK requires an SIA licence. But what exactly is the SIA and why is this licensing scheme in place? The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the private security sector throughout the United Kingdom. They have two core duties – the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking particular roles within private security such as door supervisors, security guards, CCTV operators and private investigators; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme, which measures private security suppliers against independently assessed standards.
The SIA was introduced under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to help protect and reassure the public. By requiring security workers to hold a licence, which includes identity checks, criminal record screening and training requirements, the SIA prevents unsuitable individuals from obtaining positions within the industry. Understanding the SIA’s key responsibilities and reasons for regulation is important context when navigating the licensing scheme. This background sets the stage for our comprehensive guide on renewing your SIA licence smoothly.
What Are The Different Checks The SIA Will Perform?
To uphold high industry standards, the SIA conducts several checks when individuals apply for or renew an SIA licence. These checks aim to confirm applicants are suitable for working in the private security sector.
- First, the SIA will perform a basic background check on the applicant. This looks for any concerns in your history that could make you unsuitable for a security role.
- Second, the SIA requires a mental health check. This aims to ensure applicants are mentally fit to handle the demands of security work.
- Finally, a criminal record check is conducted. This screening identifies any relevant prior convictions that could preclude someone from holding an SIA licence. Having any criminal record does not necessarily bar someone from being licensed, but it is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
By performing these thorough checks, the SIA can effectively filter out concerning applicants and ensure those receiving licences meet suitability standards. This process gives credibility to SIA licensing. Knowing what to expect with these background checks makes navigating the application process much smoother.
Obtaining an SIA Licence to Work in Security in the UK
In order to work as a security guard or complete work within the security sector in the UK, you must hold an SIA Licence. This is compulsory since it is a criminal offence to take on security work without this licence and you could face the consequences of six months in prison or a £5,000 fine. So it is crucial that you obtain an SIA licence, or renew it if it has expired.
Requirements to Qualify for an SIA Licence
- Be at least 18 years old
- Pass an ID check
- Undergo a criminal records check
- Be eligible to work in the UK
This does not mean that you will be prohibited from getting an SIA Licence if you have a criminal record or do not have the right to work in the UK. Each application is treated separately based on the individual’s situation.
Whilst applying for your SIA License, you will be expected to complete different training courses, including first-aid. The cost of applying for an SIA Licence is £190, and this is non-refundable, so make sure that you have all the necessary documentation and correct information.
Types of SIA Licences Available
- Security Guarding
- Door Supervision
- Protection of Cash and Valuables in Transit
- Public Surveillance Using CCTV
- Key Holding
- Vehicle Immobilising
Training Required Depends on Desired Security Role
- Door Supervisor Training
- Security Guard Training
- CCTV Training
- Close Protection Training
Renewing Your SIA Licence
Unlike some other licenses, SIA security licences do not automatically renew. The onus is on you to monitor your license’s expiry date and manually renew your licence if you want to keep working in your licensed role after it expires.
You can submit your SIA licence renewal application up to 4 months prior to expiration. It’s advisable to apply as early as possible, since this reduces the risk of processing delays that could impact your ability to work. Once granted, your new SIA licence will be valid from the day of issuance. Any remaining time left on your current licence will be added to the validity period of the new licence.
Being proactive about renewing your SIA licence ensures you can seamlessly continue your security career without disruptive gaps in your licensing status. Don’t leave it until the last minute – monitor that expiry date and get your renewal application in early.
Can I Renew After My SIA Licence Expires?
You cannot renew an SIA licence unless you currently hold an active licence for that sector. If your SIA licence has already expired, you will need to apply for a new licence. The cost is the same for a renewal as a new application, although no additional training or qualifications are required when renewing an expired licence.
How Long Does An SIA Licence Last?
SIA licences are valid for 3 years, except for Front Line Vehicle Immobiliser licences which must be renewed annually. Once your current SIA licence nears expiration or expires, you’ll need to reapply to legally continue working. Without a valid SIA licence, you cannot legally work as a security guard or in other licensed roles. Having an up-to-date SIA licence is crucial for maintaining your ability to work in the industry.
Renewing Through an SIA Approved Contractor
The SIA offers services called Licence Assist and Licence Management that enable employers to renew SIA licences on their employees’ behalf. However, these are only available to SIA Approved Contractors – private security companies accredited by meeting the SIA’s standards. As an employee, renewing through an Approved Contractor can be convenient, but make sure to check your licence status regularly.
Renewing Your SIA Licence Independently
Below are the key steps to renew your SIA security licence on your own:
1. Create an Online Account
- Visit the SIA website and register for a personal online account.
- Enter your details, choose a username/password, and activate via a confirmation email.
2. Log In and Start Renewal
- Log into your account and submit your current licence details when prompted.
3. Complete the Renewal Application
- Under the Licences tab, click “Renew” and complete sections 1-9.
- Review your answers before submitting the renewal application.
4. Next Steps After Submission
- You’ll receive an email outlining requirements for ID checks and payment.
- Pay online or at the post office. Get a new photo if yours expired.
5. Renewal Checks in Progress
- SIA will check your criminal record, right to work, and photo.
- Respond promptly to any SIA requests to speed up processing.
- If approved, you’ll receive your new licence card within 14 days.
- Once confirmed, you can legally work using the new licence.
7. If Your Application is Refused
- SIA will write to you explaining why it was rejected.
- You have 21 days to provide a written response.
Following these steps helps ensure your SIA licence renewal goes smoothly!
SIA Licence Revocation
Your SIA licence may be revoked for reasons including:
- Using the licence fraudulently for fake documents or identity
- Someone else using your licence for licensed work
- Lacking required qualifications claimed on your application
- Receiving a relevant conviction, caution, warning or discharge
- Refusing or neglecting required SIA training
- SIA assessment you are unfit to hold a licence
If revocation is being considered, the SIA will write to you explaining the decision and invite you to provide more information within 21 days.
Your response can outline any errors you believe exist in their assessment. If you don’t respond in 21 days, the revocation will take immediate effect. Once revoked, you have 21 more days to appeal to a Magistrates’ or Sheriff’s Court.
If you do reply, the SIA will inform you of their final decision.
SIA Licence Suspension
SIA licence suspensions take immediate effect, meaning you cannot legally work in any licensed role, even for an approved contractor.
Suspensions are normally only done where the SIA believes a clear public safety threat could exist if action is not taken.
If suspended, you will receive a letter from the SIA detailing the basis for their decision. You then have 21 days to appeal to a Magistrates’ Court or outline any factual errors.
A suspended licence remains suspended until the matter is resolved.