The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has announced that from 6 April 2015 all regulated security businesses will need to hold an SIA business licence.

The Home Office has been working with the SIA on the introduction of business licensing. Home Office ministers have publicly stated their commitment to the regulatory reforms and the introduction of business regulation which, the SIA says, will help create a fair business environment for security companies, remove rogue operators and deliver better value regulation.

The Authority also noted that the Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent UK-wide regulatory regime.

It revealed that the proposed implementation dates are:

  • 7 April 2014 – SIA accepts business licence applications.
  • 1 October 2014 – the last recommended business licence application date.
  • 6 April 2015 – legal requirement to have a business licence.

Business licensing is subject to Ministerial approval and the approval of the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland.

It states that to qualify for an SIA business licence, a security business must demonstrate that it is ‘fit and proper’ to supply security industry services. When processing a business licence application, the SIA says that it will consider: identity, criminality, financial probity, integrity and business competency (including British Standards).

It adds that a business will need to obtain approval for each sector in which it supplies a security industry service. The relevant sectors are:

  • Manned guarding – Cash and Valuables in Transit, Close Protection, Door Supervision, Public Space Surveillance (CCTV), and Security Guarding.
  • Key holding.
  • Immobilisation of vehicles (including the restriction and removal of vehicles) in Northern Ireland only.

A business licence will last for five years and to maintain a business licence, SIA states that businesses will be required to comply with the conditions of the licence, provide a yearly return evidencing its continued compliance, and pay an annual subscription fee.

The SIA also revealed that it is writing to private security businesses to inform them of their responsibilities in applying for a business licence.