The SIA stands for Security Industry Authority. This means that the SIA is wholly responsible for regulating and amending the private security industry in the UK and draws its powders from the Private Security Industry Act 2001. This Act initiated the mandatory licensing of many people working in all security occupations such as contracted security officers, CCTV operators, door supervisors and close protection workers.
In order to apply or to hold an SIA license, you must be over 18 and be able to pass a criminality check. Some training courses will also require the applicant to have completed a required level of training, but this will vary from course to course.
The main responsibility for the SIA is the obligatory licensing of individual workers within specific sectors of the security industry. To find out whether or not an individual requires a SIA licence you will need to determine the role in which is performed as well as the activity that is undertaken.
Failing to apply for a SIA licence yet still engaging in licensable conduct is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment and/or a fine. Activities that are defined as licensable in relation to the Private Security Industry Act 2001 include cash and valuables in transit, close protection, door supervision, public space surveillance, security guarding, vehicle immobilisation and key holding.
There are currently two different types of SIA licenses. The first is a front line license. This is required by anyone undertaking a licensable activity and comes in the form of a plastic card shaped like a credit card. The second is a non-front line license. This type of SIA license is required by those who are managing, supervising or employing individuals who will be engaging in any licensable activity. A non-front line license comes in the form of a letter.