Approximately 182,000 people are employed as security professionals in the United Kingdom.
With many more people interested and actively in the process of training to become a security guard, they first must become fully trained and receive a fully certified SIA Security Industry Authority license.
But what exactly is the SIA and their aims?
The Security Industry Authority describes itself as an “executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the home office” and the organisation is responsible for licensing and regulation of the private security sector and industry.
In this article, we will describe the three main aims of the SIA and what makes them so important to the private security industry.
According to UK legislation, the three main aims of the SIA are –
1 – To conduct inspections within the private security industry
2 – To set and approve standards of conduct, training, and supervision within the industry
3 – To make recommendations in order to improve standards within the private security industry
Inspections Within The Private Security Industry Now that we know more about what the SIA is, we’ll begin to explore it’s three main aims starting with the organisation’s aim to conduct inspections in the private security industry. The SIA is authorised to enforce and prosecute during inspections of a premises, individual or company if they are caught breaching the laws outlined in the Private Security Industries Act 2001. This includes activities such as engaging in licensable conduct without a license, falsely claiming to hold approved contractor status and making false statements to the SIA. The SIA also need to make sure that all of its licence holders have the correct type of licence for the job at hand, for example an SIA frontline and non frontline licence. SIA investigators are also legally able to enter (at reasonable times however) any premises an individual or business may own. In addition to this, the individual or business must supply the investigator with any documents which may help with their investigation when prompted. Although that the SIA can open up official criminal investigations before prosecution, it is not the Organisation’s preferred method of conduct and would instead rather work with those investigated to see how they can instead meet their legal obligations without need for further prosecution.
Setting And Approving Standards Within The Private Security Industry The Security Industry Authority also hold the responsibility of making sure SIA license holders and SIA License trainers are acting reasonably, responsibility, and professional. Although the Security Industry Authority does not provide direct training for security professionals, they are responsible for regulation of private security training bodies as a rigid criteria and curriculum is set up for these training bodies before they are able to award individuals official SIA licence accreditation. The SIA are also responsible for the regulation of the private security industry as a whole.
Improving Standards Within The Private Security Industry Another key aim of the Security Industry Authority in their own words is to “raise standards and recognise quality service.” The key way the SIA do this is via the previously mentioned “Approved Contractor Scheme” (ACS). The scheme is completely voluntary and was initially developed between collaboration between the Security Industry Authority and representatives of the UK Private Security industry. The main objective of this scheme is to raise performance across the entirety of the UK Private Security industry as well as building new opportunities for personal and business growth. The way the SIA approves a company for the ACS is to make sure that they’re following certain guidelines such as –
The business being “fit and proper” by checking the identity, background, criminal record, and general integrity of those that run the business (the SIA refers to them as “controlling minds.”)
Making sure that all business directors, including executive, non-executive directors shadow directors, parent company directors and corporate entities all hold a fully valid SIA licence.
All Security staff in the organisation are holding fully valid SIA licence.
A private security company may find the Approved Contractor Scheme accreditation useful to themselves as “Buyers of security can look to ACS to provide a recognised hallmark of quality within the private security industry and security staff who are amongst the best.” Private security companies are often proud to display their ACS accreditation whenever possible & appropriate as a badge of pride.