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SIA announces plans to modernise licensing processes

The body that regulates the UK's private security industry has announced plans to overhaul its licensing process, making it simpler than ever for security guards to manage their licences and for employers to ensure that their personnel are trained to the highest professional standards.

In an update posted to its website last week (February 17th), the Security Industry Authority (SIA) said it was in the midst of modernising its licensing systems and "developing new streamlined processes for SIA licence applicants, licence holders and security businesses".

Central to the new process will be the availability of online facilities, allowing individuals to apply for a licence and track the status of an application over the internet. They will also be able to use the revamped SIA website to manage their licences and to keep their personal information up to date.

SIA announces plans to modernise licensing

The system should also make life easier for the businesses that work with or alongside security professionals. Organisations that offer training will be granted greater involvement in prospective licensees' applications, while individuals will be provided with the ability to share their licence information with potential employers securely.

With these new measures in place, British businesses will have even less of an excuse not to hire security guards who meet the rigorous professional criteria set out by the national regulatory body.

"Modernising the SIA systems will create closer working relationships between the SIA, security businesses and licence holders. Individuals and businesses will benefit by saving time and money," the authority stated.

"The SIA is consulting the industry and partners as it develops the new facilities and considers how to introduce new systems and processes. This will minimise any inconvenience to security businesses and individuals, and ensure continuity of the SIA services."

Late last year, the SIA announced that its number of UK licensees had passed the 1.25 million milestone. On that occasion, its head of quality standards Andrew Shephard credited the introduction of the licensing infrastructure in 2003 as having been "pivotal in professionalising the private security industry" over the past decade.

"These qualifications help to establish the private security industry as a recognised career with opportunities for individual development," he continued. "We all benefit from having more professional security personnel protecting us, the public."

Should your security staff hold SIA licences?

By law, SIA licences should be held and displayed by all security professionals who work under contract, as well as all door supervisors. Those who are not employed on the front line but who manage, supervise or employ security guards - including directors and partners - are not obliged to carry a regular SIA licence, but should hold a non-front line equivalent. The SIA does not consider key-holding to be a front-line activity.

Non-compliance with the regulator's requirements can result in sanctions such as the withdrawal or suspension of a licence, as well as imposing an action plan to address the contractor's improvement needs. The SIA also has the power to prosecute offenders.

Here at Storm Operative Security, we take licensing seriously. Not only can you count on our personnel to meet the highest professional standards, but we also offer training courses in static and patrol guarding and conflict management that fulfil the requirements of the SIA.


Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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