An SIA license (Security Industry Authority license) is a UK requirement for those individuals who work in various fields of security. Getting the license is not all that difficult. You need to bear in mind that there are different levels of SIA licenses and you may have to go through two or three courses to become licensed for front line positions. Since the training and qualifications can be readily completed in a week at the most, getting more than one SIA license is probable for anyone who is interested.
The UK offers classes and training sessions in a variety of locations. Finding one that is convenient for you to travel to is merely a function of thumbing through the phone directory or plugging keywords into a search engine for a local office. However, the licensing itself comes from the SIA itself, not from the training facility. Thus, you have to follow protocol and allow enough time for the processing of your application.
Before you can effectively apply for the SIA license of your choice, you have to complete and pass the training course. While you can be exempt from attending certain sections of the class if you have completed training of equal quality at another destination, it serves most people to simply go through the training. There will be a good deal of material covered for most licenses and all of it can help you be more professional and aware while on the job.
Your application to the training will have to be for a specified security discipline. You can go for security guarding, manned guarding, key holding, CCTV (public space surveillance) operation, cash and valuables in transit, close protection, and door supervision. Key holding often does not have training requirements, although you should double check with your employer or the SIA as there are some job qualifications of key holding that require another SIA license.
Once your class is set up and you go through the training process, fill out the application for your license. Once your application is processed and your requirements are confirmed you will receive your license, usually within 30 days. Sometimes you get your license within 7 days, but for improperly filled out applications you can expect to wait as long as 90 days. This should encourage you to read carefully and double check your application before submitting it.
Some employers will either hold a job or allow you to start your new job in a hands off training position until your SIA license is confirmed. Failure to obtain the appropriate SIA license results in legal consequences for your and your employer as well as the termination of your employment. Since the licensing is not a difficult process, it makes sense to ensure your job with the completion of the course.
Those who have taken the time and the initiative to go through the training courses for their front line SIA license are obviously a bit more employable in positions that pay better. It is definitely worth the time to take the training courses and earn your front line SIA license.