Security Industry Authority launches security business licensing

From 6 April 2015, all regulated security businesses will need to hold a business licence from the Security Industry Authority.

The Home Office has been working with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) on the introduction of business licensing. Home Office ministers have publicly stated their commitment to the regulatory reforms and the introduction of business regulation which will help create a fair business environment for security companies, remove rogue operators and deliver better value regulation.

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

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

Bill Butler: CEO of the Security Industry Authority

The proposed implementation dates are as follows:

• 7 April 2014: SIA accepts business licence applications
• 1 October 2014: Last recommended business licence application date*
• 6 April 2015: Legal requirement to have a business licence

Business licensing is subject to ministerial approval and the approval of the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland.

To qualify for an SIA business licence, a security business must demonstrate that it is ‘fit and proper’ to supply security industry services.

When processing a business licence application, the SIA will consider: identity, criminality, financial probity, integrity and business competency (including British Standards).

A business will need to obtain approval for each sector in which it supplies a security industry service. The relevant sectors are:

• Security Guarding: Cash and Valuables in Transit, Close Protection, Door Supervision, Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) and Security Guarding.
• Key Holding
• Immobilisation of vehicles (including the restriction and removal of vehicles) in Northern Ireland only

A business licence will last for five years. To maintain a business licence, businesses will be required to comply with the conditions of the licence, provide a yearly return evidencing its continued compliance and pay an annual subscription fee.

The SIA is writing to private security businesses to inform them of their responsibilities in applying for a business licence.

Business representatives can sign-up for further information about business licensing on the SIA’s website:

*To ensure a business licence application can be processed in good time, the SIA recommends that businesses submit their licence application before 1 October 2014

The SIA cannot guarantee that it will complete the processing of any business licence applications received after 1 October 2014 in time for 6 April 2015

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