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Obtaining your SIA license

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to do the SIA course/get an SIA licence?

There is no upper or lower age limit on taking the course. To be able to apply for your SIA licence you must be at least 18 years old.

How do I apply for the Licence?

Simply go to the SIA website (www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk) where you can register for their e-Fill system. This allows you to complete the application on-line and then finalise your application at your nearest participating Post Office. You can apply for your SIA licence as soon as we have given you confirmation of passing the exams. You do not need your certificates to apply for your SIA licence, only the Awarding Body name and the month that you completed the course (e.g. 08/2021)

How long does it take to get the licence?

Providing the application form has been submitted without mistakes and is fully complete (including the correct identification documents) the SIA undertake to process it within 25 working days.

What if I've got a criminal conviction?

Depending on the severity of the offence and time spent since the offence was committed will determine whether you are eligible to be granted an SIA licence. Visit the Criminal Record Indicator on the SIA website if you are unsure.

I haven’t lived in the UK for long. Is this going to affect my SIA application?

When completing the SIA application form you need to provide your address history for the past 5 years (including overseas addresses). If you have spent six months or more overseas in the last five years, you must provide a criminality certificate from each country you lived in (with an approved translation if the certificate is not in English). Your licence application cannot be processed until a criminality certificate has been provided.

What is the cost of the licence?

The cost of the SIA licence is currently £190.00 – however the SIA review this figure annually. There is a reduction of 50% in this fee for additional licences.

Create an online account via the SIA website sia.homeoffice.gov.uk and fill in their form before submitting your application online. You will be asked for basic information like where you’ve been living for the last 5 years. After completing the form you will need to visit your local post office and provide some ID. They will take a digital photograph of you and collect the application fee on behalf of the SIA. Your employer or training provider may offer to submit your application fee on your behalf, please ask in centre if you require assistance. Locations: London, Birmingham, Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Luton

SIA license info graphic

The Security Industry Authority

The Security Industry Authority other wise known as the SIA is a statutory organisation. This means that it has power awarded to it by statute law or an act of parliament. Statute law is usually passed by the house of commons in Westminster, in this case the Private Security Industry Act 2001. 

So I guess it’s fair to call the SIA a quango: a semi-public administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government.

 The SIA are responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK. They were initially established as a non-departmental public body back in 2003, and their required to report to the Home Secretary by law this is written into the Private Security Industry Act.

The Security Industry Authority has two main, licensing of individuals who undertake designated activities within the private security industry; the other is to manage the Approved Contractor Scheme.

Do I need a CCTV license?

The CCTV Licensing Flowchart

If you work directly for an employer you may not need a CCTV license. Although we highly recommend you do the training regardless; as it helps you to adhere to best practice.

Find out if you need a CCTV license, the SIA have produced a flowchart that will help you answer this question.

Private Security Industry Act

Due to recent changes in the Private Security Industry Act; private investigators, security consultants and precognition agents in Scotland are now considered designated activities. However, the SIA does not currently license these roles.

In October of 2012 it became an offence to clamp or immobilise vehicles in England and Wales, an exception has been granted for vehicle immobilisers in Northern Ireland.

The designated activities defined as licensable by the Act are:

Cash and Valuables in Transit


Security Guarding


Vehicle Immobilisation


Close Protection


Door Supervision


Public Space Surveillance