The private security industry in UK provides more for more security personnel than the police. There are 26,500 security guards in London alone according to a study published by Paul Osborne from Cranfield University.
Finding work in the UK security industry is quite simple and can be done either through direct application by sending in your CV to a prospective client or by applying in response to a vacancy that is advertised. However, almost all front line staff require Security Industry Association (SIA) licence.
Before applying for your SIA licence, you should consider checking whether you are eligible or not. How often have we seen people undergo licence training to apply for their licence and get it rejected on the basis of eligibility. They end up losing money spent on training as well as their licence fee. Some points to consider before applying for SIA licence:
- Are you over 18 years of age?
- Are you eligible to work in the UK?
- Are you comfortable working long hours?
- Are you comfortable working alone?
- Are you physically fit for the job?
If your answer is Yes to all the above questions, then you may proceed to the next step of checking your eligibility through SIA’s Criminal Record Indicator tool.
Once you are sure that you meet all the eligibility criteria for the licence, you would need to choose a training provider that is recognised by the SIA to get yourself trained and ready. It is wise not to choose a training provider just on the basis of cost as your job as a security guard will be quite testing and even life threatening at times and you need to be properly trained. So research well and ask others for help in deciding your training provider.
In your training, you will be trained for at least 27 hours where you will learn about the job and study about:
- Working in the Private Security Industry
- Working as a Security Guard
- Conflict Management for the Private Security Industry
Towards the end of your course, you will be asked to sit in an exam and after you qualify, you’ll be eligible to get your SIA licence. You can do this by downloading the application form from SIA website here or by contacting them directly. You will also be charged a £220 non-refundable licence fee. Normally you just have to wait for a few weeks before you get your licence and once you get it, you are ready to rock the world of private security!
For additional information about getting your SIA licence, download this PDF.
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