IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK WHILE WAITING FOR YOUR SIA LICENSE?

ACS

If you’ve recently finished bodyguard or close protection training with an accredited provider like ACS, you’ll need to apply for a SIA licence to work in security.

It may take several weeks for you to get your official SIA close protection or bodyguard licence once you submit your application. The wait period for a SIA licence application can be longer than expected due to additional security qualifications and criminal background checks. Some applications can take up to 6 weeks to process.

If you are unemployed, you may be wondering what to do while you wait for your SIA licence to arrive, and what you can do in the meanwhile.

. We’ve put together a quick guide to make things easier for you.

WHAT DOES THE SECURITY INDUSTRY AUTHORITY (SIA) DO?

The SIA (Security Industry Authority) is the body in charge of overseeing the private security industry’s regulation. They are directly responsible to the Home Office. Their primary function is to oversee the qualifications and activities of security personnel such as bodyguards, door supervisors, Close Protection Officers, and surveillance operatives.

The SIA is also in charge of ensuring that all businesses that are authorised to provide SIA licence training, such as ACS, are approved and follow the relevant security training criteria.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR AN SIA LICENCE TO ARRIVE?

An SIA licence is likely to arrive in roughly two weeks. However, most applicants can expect a response within 6 weeks of submitting their application. Within this time span, the SIA hopes to process 80% of applications.

Visit the SIA website to learn more about the application procedure.

WHILE WAITING FOR AN SIA LICENCE, WORKING IN CLOSED PROTECTION OR SECURITY

There are some unusual circumstances in which you can continue to work while waiting for a SIA licence.

Some companies will accept an acknowledgement letter from the SIA stating that your licence is in the process as legitimate reasons for you to start working. However, not every employer will accept this, and certain security organisations will not accept these recognition letters.

While you are unemployed, some SIA-approved companies may consider you for work. Your application is being reviewed, and if you fulfil all of their other requirements, you will be approved. However, you will almost always have to wait for the full SIA licence.

WORKING WITHOUT AN SIA LICENCE?

Working without a proper licence has major ramifications. These can include the following:

  • Up to six months in prison
  • Up to £5000 in fines
  • Prohibition from working in security roles in the future
  • Workplace termination

We understand that waiting for your licence can feel like an eternity, but we suggest you to be patient and double-check your information. Any mistakes or omissions might sabotage the process and make it take much longer.

If everything goes smoothly with your application, you can get your complete licence in  just a couple of weeks.

LICENSE TRAINING FOR SIA

You must complete a SIA-accredited training course in a relevant security field in order to apply for a SIA licence. You cannot lawfully work as a security officer unless you have a valid SIA licence.

You have the opportunity to choose which security training courses you want to take, as long as they are recognised. These are some of them:

  • Close protection
  • Cash and valuables in transit
  • Public space surveillance
  • Security guards and bodyguards
  • Vehicle immobilisation
  • Keyholding
  • Door supervisor

However, you must apply for a SIA licence once you have finished the training in one or more of the above courses. This demonstrates that you have been validated and are qualified to work in the field.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for wrong arising out of this information.
We encourage you to consult one of our experts on +44 7898 205035 to get help in getting legal advice and regarding your specific needs.