The SIA business licence – who needs it and what does it mean?

Please note that since publishing this article, there now seems to be no publicised plans to bring in the SIA business licence any time soon

The following extract was taken from the SIA's website on 08/03/2018:

The Home Office is continuing to work with the security industry and the Security Industry Authority on the development of regulation for the private security industry.

In December 2014, the Home Office said the Government expects the introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015.

Business licensing is subject to Ministerial and Parliamentary approval and the approval of Ministers in the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent, UK-wide regulatory regime.

We will provide information on likely timings once these are agreed with the Home Office.



Original article by Venture Security on 22/04/2014:

The law is changing in the way security companies are licenced. From 6th April 2015 (subject to Ministerial approval), all regulated UK security businesses that provide licensable individuals under a contract will need to hold an SIA business licence

Despite the industry awaiting a revised business licencing timetable and the Security Industry Authority (SIA) not yet facilitating the processing of applications, the date which all businesses supplying a security industry service must have the licence in order to trade legally remains unchanged.

As the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, the SIA reports to the Home Secretary under the term of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA website states:

We have been working with the Home Office on the introduction of business licensing. Home Office Ministers have publicly stated their commitment to the regulatory reforms and the introduction of business regulation. The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent UK-wide regulatory regime.”

So, which businesses will be required to gain the new licence? Nearly every company operating within the industry will need to hold the SIA business licence regardless of legal status, location or size. Those offering private security as only a part of their range of services will still be required to hold the licence, as will any company acting as a source of licensable individuals.

Which security services require business licencing? Manned guarding sectors such as Cash and Valuables in Transit, Close Protection, Door Supervision, Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) and Security Guarding; Keyholding and the immobilisation of vehicles (in Northern Ireland only).

So, who won’t need a licence? If you are a sole trader or self-employed and only provide yourself under a contract for services or under a contract held by another person who requires a business licence, you won’t need a licence. Neither will any business employing only 'in-house' security operatives.

As an SIA ACS company, we already more than meet the requirements under business licensing having our company assessed thoroughly each year. As one of Hampshire’s leading security providers, we’re not fazed by the new licence, and welcome any changes in the law which help better our industry, improve the overall quality of service and protect customers from those operating without the proper credentials.

The SIA business licence is a positive step forward, and we’re in full support of a more regulated industry which enables qualified, licenced and fully trained organisations like Venture to supply their services to private and commercial clients in complete confidence.

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