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Is the security industry ready for statutory licencing?

Fraud & Verification

shutterstock_76002502_securityThe security industry has been waiting with baited breath for an official announcement on when the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) changes to the licensing system will come into force.  To date there still hasn’t been an announcement but with Parliament now in session this could mean that in the next year or so statutory licensing will be a thing of the future for the industry.

The SIA is continuing to work with the Home Office on the development of regulation for the private security industry and in December 2014 said that the Government expected the introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which recently began last month.

In short this means that any business that provides licensable individuals to supply security industry services by law will need a business licence from the SIA.  If you don’t you will be breaking the law.

When the SIA does agree a date with the home office, it will also become your responsibility to carry out security checks on new AND existing employees. In the words of the SIA:

‘It will be a criminal offence for a regulated business to fail to take reasonable steps to confirm that any licensable individuals they provide’:

  • Have had their identity and right to work verified;
  • Hold a valid SIA individual licence; and
  • Are complying with the terms of that individual licence.

Below is a summary of how these changes could affect your business

How does this affect me?
These particular changes will affect almost everyone within the security sector, whether you class yourself as an established business or if you’re just starting up, it will be mandatory for you to obtain a Business Licence.

My company often need door security, but it isn’t a main part of the business, do I need a Business Licence for door security?
The simple answer to this is – Yes. The SIA states even if security is not the primary part of your business, you must hold a business licence, for example, an event management company that provides door security would have to obtain a Business Licence.

How can I meet the SIA requirements regarding checking prospective employees against the sanctions list?
Ensure you have robust checks in place. One solution would be electronic verification, which can provide you an instant check against an employee’s name, address and date of birth.

How much history do I need to look into when checking on existing employees?
The check on existing client’s employees must have five years’ worth of history. Callcredit’s solution has the ability to look at up to 6 year’s public adverse history, whilst automatically looking up 6 years of address history.

How can I look into an employee’s address history?
Are you aware that some information on an individual may be held at address level? Our solution allows you to look into an employee’s address history, therefore meaning you will be able to see if that particular employee has any negative public adverse data at any of their previous addresses.

How can I check my existing employees? & how often do I need to do this? Although there is nothing to say how often you should check your existing employees, should one of them possess a CCJ/Bankruptcy during their employment with your business, the onus is with you to find that out. Our identification verification system will show any negative financial data, as well as check for PEP’s and sanctions.

My advice for any security business would be to start preparing for these changes now and look at what solutions you can implement before it becomes mandatory.

If you would like to know more about carrying out security checks on new and existing employees, please feel free to email me on

Author: Shyam Chohan

SIA: Changing how we license the security industry

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