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How to become a security guard in the UK?

In this article we cover everything you need to know about choosing and obtaining the SIA license that is right for you. We cover the following content:

  • Why do you need an SIA license?

  • How long does it take to become a security guard UK?

  • Different types of Licenses

  • Each different license and the training required

  • Picking a training provider

Why do you need an SIA License?

Security industry authority

Since the Private Security Industry Act of 2001 the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has been responsible for ensuring the licensing of individuals working in the UK private security industry. The SIA are the authority that will approve you to work in the industry and issue the SIA license once you have achieved the qualification you will need to pass identity checks and be vetted and verified.

Without an SIA licence in the relevant field you are not legally allowed to work in the UK security industry. So if you looking for a career path as a Door Supervision, CCTV Operator, Security guard, Cash and Valuables in Transit driver, keep on reading. It is important to note you must be at least 18 years old to work in the private security industry.

Security guard training and career path

We have covered the legislative need to obtain an SIA licence to work in the industry, now you need to know what to qualify in, in order to do the job you want to do. Next we will cover the options you have in a simple and clear manner. You have two types of licenses.

Front line SIA license

A front line licence is required if you are going to be doing any first hand work in the security industry, from Security Guarding to Public Space Surveillance (CCTV Operative) to Close Protection and Chief Security Officer. Once your license has been granted you will be issued an ID card that you must always have and display on your person whilst you are working.

Non front line license

If you manage or are a Director of a company (security management) that carries out licensable security activities then you will be issued a non front line license in form of a letter. If you have a non-front line licence you are not permitted to conduct the security activities yourself. Key holding activities are covered by a non front line license.

What license you choose depends on the training you will need.

Door Supervision License

The SIA Door Supervisor Licence is a very popular SIA licence as it enable you to work at bars, pubs, clubs (licensed premises serving alcohol) as well as retail, corporate, hospitality, hotels, construction sites, commercial environments and event security giving you flexibility to work in multiple sectors if you ever want to change. The training for this license will include physical intervention, communication skills, foot patrol and conflict management which will help trainees do the job safely.

CCTV License

CCTV cameras and security systems are booming business in the United Kingdom with the amount of new cameras being installed every day. As such a public space surveillance cctv operator is important to public safety. If you want to work in the public space surveillance sector as a job you will need to hold a SIA CCTV Operative licence.

Security guard license / security guards / security officer

Holders of the security guard license aren't able to work in premises that are licensed to serve alcohol. They can however work in many different locations from a construction site to a retail store to a corporate office building.

Close Protection License

In order to be a bodyguard you will need a CP licence. It will also cover you to work in many sectors. The security training for close protection costs the most but it is the most versatile of the licenses. Being a bodyguard is physically demanding

Other licenses

You can also train to be a vehicle immobiliser or a cash and valuables in transit operative.

How much does a security guard get in the UK?

We recently covered the average salary a for security guards in one of our blog posts. Knowing how much money and pay you can make as an average salary working as a security guard is important so be sure to check it out.

Criminal Record

An important note that if you have a criminal record, it may hinder your chances of getting your security license approved. You can use the criminal record indicator tool to estimate whether or not you will pass the checks.

Now we will look at how to find a training provider

We recommend to use the search tool on the SIA website to find training providers that offer security courses in your area. We have provided the link here: Training Provider Search Tool. Unfortunately you won't be able to do distance learning when training for your licence so pick an approved training provider close to where you live.

Once you complete and pass your SIA training course and receive your qualifications you will be able to complete the Security Industry Authority application and apply for the license you have trained for. Should your application get approved and you receive your license you will be able to work in the security industry.

When looking for security work, remain calm and rest assured in the knowledge that once you are licensed you can now apply for security officer jobs at Fahrenheit Security.

Fahrenheit Security

34 S Molton St, London, W1K 5RG

Telephone: 02074095291




Plus Code: GV72+MG London

Book an appointment:

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