Ensuring you’re qualified to work in the Security Industry

No matter whether you are looking to start a career in the security industry, or already run a company with staff, keeping on top of legislation and ensuring that you and your staff have the relevant qualifications in place can be somewhat time consuming. We’ve put together this quick FAQ and contacts guide to help get you started and on the right path.

Different types of Security License

The SIA (Security Industry Authority) outlines that there are two different types of security licence that you can have. The first is a Front Line Security Licence and the second is a Non-Front Line Security Licence.

Front Line Security Licence

A credit card sized plastic card should be worn by those operating on the front line of the business. (The wearing of the card can be subject to the conditions of the licence.) This licence will also cover those who are not undertaking front line activity i.e. those who will require a non-front line security licence.

Non-Front Line Security Licence

This licence needs to be held by those who are managing, supervising or employing those who are engaging in licensable activity. If you hold a non-front line licence then you are not licensed to engage in front line activity. A non-front line licence comes in the form of a letter, which will also cover the holder of the licence for key holding activities Unsure of which licence you need? Follow this link for the SIA’s licence identifier to see which licence you require: https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/pages/licensing-identifier.aspx If you work for yourself, are an employee or business owner, contact BJP Insurance today for all of your security insurance needs. 

British Standards are vitally important, especially if a claim occurs.

There are a few British Standards that would apply to the Security Sector, and all specific insurance contracts in the UK require these to be adhered to.

These standards go above and beyond the SIA licensing to ensure you are putting the right people, on the right jobs. Essentially its an extra layer of protection for you, the insurers and your clients.

They includes the following standards and I note links to the website where you can purchase these:-

Also there are additional standards we would recommend ordering, these give best practice in running a security firm – BS7499 / BS10800.

As discussed it is imperative these are adhered to as can invalidate most insurance contracts if you do not.

When applying for a door supervisor position, you must make sure that you have the required qualifications. If not, then you will not be able to apply for your Door Supervisor License. The list of eligible qualifications are the following:

Eligible Qualifications

  • The British Institute of Innkeeping (BIIAB)

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (BIIAB) Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • City & Guilds

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • Edexcel

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (Edexcel) Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • EDI

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • HABC

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (HABC) Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • IQ

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (IQ) Award in Door Supervision (Scotland)

  • NOCN

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision

  • SQA

(SQA) Award in Door Supervision (Scotland) (SCQF Level TBC)

  • Trident Awards (LASER)

Level 2 Award in Door Supervision

Further Training

The SIA maintains that further training is required only required for those who want continue being Door Supervisors, who obtained their qualifications before 2010. Additionally, further training is required if the training that you have received did not include the physical intervention skills module. The training includes passing the SIA’s “Up Skilling for Door Supervisors” award. This award can be taken with all training providers who offer license linked door supervision qualifications. If you have received your training after September 2010, or your qualification certificate has “Level 2 Award in Door Supervision (QCF)” written on it. To find more information concerning Door Supervisor licenses and renewals, click the following link to see the SIA’s guidelines: https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/training-qualifications-ds.aspx BJP Insurance offer Door Supervisor Insurance to companies and individuals working within the Security Industry

To practice as a Security Guard and to apply for your Security License, you need to make sure that you have at least one of the following qualifications:

  • British Institute of Innkeeping (BIIAB)

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding (BIIAB) Award for Security Guarding (Scotland)

  • City & Guilds

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding Award in Security Guarding (Scotland)

  • Edexcel

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding Award in Security Guarding (Scotland)

  • EDI

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding Award in Security Guarding (Scotland)

  • HABC

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding Award in Security Guarding (Scotland)

  • IQ

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding Award in Security Guarding

  • NOCN

Level 2 Award in Security Guarding

  • SQA

Award in Security Operations (Scotland)

  • Trident Awards (LASER)
  • Level 2 Award in Security Guarding

If you are in possession of any of the following qualifications, you will be entitled to apply for a Security Guard license. For more information about Security Guard qualifications, click the following link to view the SIA guidelines: https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/training-qualifications-sg.aspx If you are working as a Security Guard and are looking for Security Insurance, BJP Insurance can help you. 

The SIA guidelines when applying for a new license underline that there are certain documents that you need to have / supply them with, when you are applying for a new license or renewing your current license.

Documents that you will need to provide

  • 2 proof of identity documents from the SIA’s Group A. This should include one document which shows your current address, and another which shows your date of birth.


  • One identity document from the SIA’s Group A, and a further two documents from the SIA’s Group B. One of these documents should present your current address and one of the documents should detail your date of birth.

You must provide original versions of your proof of identity documents, not photocopies. If the proof of identity documents that you supply are not in English, you will need to provide a version of that document that has been translated into English from an approved translator. There is an exception to this rule which the SIA specifies:- There is one exception to this rule: we will accept a notarised copy of a passport from a suitably accredited notary in the country in which you reside. This is because in some cases it is impractical or illegal for passports to be posted outside of their country of issue. The notarised copy must be accompanied by a signed and dated letter from the notary.

  • A photograph of yourself. The photograph that you provide needs to meet the following criteria:
    • Good quality
    • In full colour
    • Passport size (45mm x 35mm)
    • A photo can be obtained from your local post office, and the staff there will assist you.

For further information on your photographs criteria, follow this link: https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing-photograph-checklist.aspx

Overseas Criminal Record Checks and Military Backgrounds

This will apply to you if you live overseas, or if you have spent six continuous months or more outside of the UK. You must provide documentation of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries that you have been living in previously. This also applies if you have been enlisted into military service, you must submit an extract from your military record. For further information on Overseas Criminal Record Checks, click here, or for Military Background information click here.

Applying for a Security License

If you need to apply for a security license, you must adhere to the SIA’s ‘Get Licensed’ booklet. If you adhere to this, it will mean that you will match the criteria for a Security License. Before starting your application to the SIA, you must make sure that you read the following document: DBS Consent Statement. This is your consent for the Disclosure and Barring Service to share any data they have for you, with the Security Industry Authority.

Filling out your application online

To fill in an application with SIA, click here. Make sure that you have all your relevant documentation (as seen above) and that you have read and agree to the DBS Consent Statement. Additionally, you can ask your employer to take care of the application process on your behalf. However, you need to speak to your employer about this first. If you are looking to apply for Security License, but also require Security Insurance, click here to see how BJP Insurance can help you. *Source – https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing-applying.aspxhttps://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing-id-checklist.aspx    

Renewing your Security License

The SIA (Security Industry Authority) will take license renewals up to 4 months before the license you currently have expires. If your application for a new license is accepted and is processed before your current license expires, do not worry, as your new license will be set to expire 3 years after the expiry date of your current license. You need to make sure that your renewal application is in the 4 month time period, as if it is submitted before time it will be treated by the SIA as a completely new application. That means that the expiry date will be relevant to the start date, which will not take into account your current licenses expiry date. Q: How much will it cost me? A: £220 To renew your current Security License, the SIA outlines that it will cost the same amount of money as a new application. There is no requirement for additional qualifications or training when applying for a renewal of Security License, however, if you are renewing a door supervisor license you must make sure that you have all of your current license-linked qualifications. This was introduced in the Summer of 2010. For more information about renewing your door supervisor license – click here for the SIA’s breakdown. When applying for your renewal you must also make sure that you have read the DBS consent statement before you apply for a Security License renewal. Read the consent statement on the SIA statement here.

You can ask your Employer to renew your license on your behalf

The SIA will allow your employer to renew your Security License on your behalf, this is completed through their e-Renewals service. For use of this service, an authorisation code needs to be provided by them. This will have been featured on reminder letters sent through to you by the SIA. These reminder letters should arrive to you 4 months and 2 months before the expiry date of your current license. Q: Is it possible to renew Security Licenses over the phone? A: Yes The SIA have a call line – 0844 892 1025 which is open from 08:00 – 20:00 Monday to Friday. To apply over the phone you must make sure that you tick the following points:

  • Over the phone, payment is by credit or debit card. Other payments will not be accepted by the SIA over the phone.
  • If you are applying over the phone, you need have already provided the SIA with a photograph from their Group A
  • The details that the SIA have of you on the file need to be the same as they are when you make the call. For example, if you have changed your address, then you cannot renew the Security License over the phone.

The process only takes around 15 minutes and they will ask you for specific details, so make sure you have all your relevant documentation handy. Additionally, you can renew your license online, the link to which is found below: httpss://portal.the-sia.org.uk/contact/start.swe?SWECmd=Login&_sn=FLMc1nLoyVoEgvIvepTkPrWI.gKZ.54VPG4iU-GSlFQ_&SWEHo=portal.the-sia.org.uk&SWETS=1409912216 If you are looking to Renew your Security License and require Security Insurance, BJP Insurance is here to help. Click here now to review the Security Insurance that we can offer you.

Who is who in the Security Industry?

There are many different organisations that you may have to deal with / are involved in the process of obtaining Security Licenses and that you will have to deal with whilst operating within the Security Industry in general. The following is a list which breaks down what each individual organisation is, so that you will know when you see them referenced:

SIA – (Security Industry Authority) 

The Security Industry Authority is in charge of setting the standards and specifications for licenses in the UK. The SIA are there to make sure that you are aware of the different skills and knowledge that is required for each qualification, and to ensure that anyone who is applying or working under a security license is meeting the appropriate specifications. They are also in charge of issuing the licenses. Those looking to apply for and obtain Security Licenses need to use the SIA as their first port of call.

OFQUAL – (Office of the Qualifications and Examination Regulator)  

OFQUAL acts on behalf of the SQA, DELLS & DENI, approving qualifications, approving awarding organisations and managing the Credit and Qualifications structure. (England)

SQA – (Scottish Qualifications Authority) 

Is the Scottish version of OFQUAL, regulating qualifications. (Scotland)

DELLS – (Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills) 

This is the Welsh department for Education and Learning. (Wales)

DENI – (Department for Education in Northern Ireland) 

This is the Northern Irish department for Education (Northern Ireland) For more information on Training and Qualifications, visit the SIA website by following this link: https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/training-roles.aspx If you are looking for Security Insurance, or want to find out more about what steps to take to make sure that you are covered why not speak to BJP Insurance today?