The private security industry in the United Kingdom is governed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). This authority is responsible for ensuring that everyone working in this industry know what they are doing and have received the relevant training and knowledge to provide the best service and help keep the public safe.
The industry is broken into various sectors which include everything from CCTV operators to security guards and door supervisors to close protection services. In order to work in one of these sectors, you have to complete the relevant SIA courses for that sector. You can complete a number of courses and obtain licenses for different sectors if you wish to expand your knowledge and increase your chances of security a good security position in the private sector.
There are a number of questions that many ask before deciding if this is the right career path for them. Joining the private security industry isn’t as easy as many think. There are SIA courses to complete, licenses to obtain and fees to pay. You can only work within the industry once you have the relevant license.
One of the first questions most ask is regarding the licensing requirements. Anyone working in the private security industry in the United Kingdom must carry the relevant license. If you have chosen to train for CCTV operation, then you will receive a CCTV operation license, this will not enable you to work as a door supervisor, security guard or a close protection member. Each license is issued based on the SIA courses completed.
In order to obtain the license you must complete and pass the relevant SIA courses. Each course is made up of various units or modules, which must be completed. Once completed you write an examination and if you pass, then you can apply for your license.
Another question asked is whether your license application can be rejected. In order to obtain your license you will have completed and passed your SIA courses and you will have a criminal check carried out. You will need to complete the application form and submit with your fee, which is payable in order to process your application. Should your form not be filled out correctly or should you not have passed the relevant SIA courses, your application can be rejected.
You may be wondering how long the license is valid for. All security licenses are valid for a period of three years. The good news is that after the three years you do not have to complete your SIA course again, in fact you can apply to renew your license up to four months in advance. Remember you cannot work in the private security industry without a valid license, therefore applying in advance for your renewal reduces the risk of you not having a license for a few days.
Further it is important to know that it can take up to twenty five days to receive your license after application. Once your SIA courses are completed and you know you have passed, you need to submit your application soonest, ensuring that you can get your license back and get to work. Your license must be worn when working as proof that you have completed the relevant SIA courses and are capable of doing the job to the best of your ability.
When it comes to SIA courses, you will be able to find training throughout the country offered by a number of professional security companies. Ensure you choose a company with years of knowledge and experience that can provide you with an insider view during your training.