If you want to work legally as a security operative in the UK you will first need to undertake SIA training with an approved training provider. Security roles such as security officer (sometimes known as security guarding) door supervisors, CCTV operators, CVIT (cash and valuables in transit) Close protection aka Body-guarding all require you to have an SIA license before working in any of these work environments. These are what we call licensable activities, it’s illegal to employ somebody who does not have an SIA license to carry out a licensable activity, you’ll also be breaking the law if you work in one of these job sectors without first being SIA licensed.
Although it’s not technically your employers responsibility to apply for your SIA license it is their responsibility to make sure that you have one and that it is in date before working.
As of the 1st of April 2020 security licenses will no longer cost £210 the SIA has decided to reduce the cost by £20. You will be entitled to the new reduction regardless of whether this is your first license or an additional one. If you already have an SIA license but you’re interested in acquiring an additional license you only have to pay 50% of the cost.
Four example: You already have a security officer license but you’d like to get a CCTV license as well, you would only have to pay 50% for your second license. So let’s say for argument sake the licensing fee is £190 you would pay £95 for the CCTV license instead of £190.
The SIA have stated the following on their website which alludes to the fact that they may be considering further reductions in future.
“The SIA is committed to ensuring value for money. This further reduction will be applied over a number of years, during which time the SIA will continue to work hard to improve its efficiency. This will enable it to hold the licence application fee at the lowest level possible.”
The SIA license fee is currently £190, this needs to be renewed every three years. However there is one exception, vehicle immobilisers. Vehicle immobilisers must pay £210 per year for this licensable activity only.
If you’re self-employed or run your own Business you may be entitled to tax relief for further information you should visit the HMRC website.
You usually have to go to your local post office, the cashier will instruct you to take a picture in one of their photo booths and submit your ID for verification. You do not need to send off your ID but you will be asked to pay the licensing fee. You can do this by credit or debit card or if you prefer you can also pay by cash.
Sometimes the SIA will ask you specifically to pay online instead of going to the post office in which case you’ll only be able to pay using a credit or debit card.
There is no fixed time for the SIA to process your license application; every individual is different and this has a knock-on effect on the length of time it takes for the SIA to issue your license. There are several reasons why licensing takes longer for some individuals:
These are just a few factors that may have an impact on the length of time it takes to issue your license so each individual will have to wait varying timescales. But In our experience it usually takes between 2 to 4 weeks.