The SIA badge – known as the SIA license – proves your registration with the Security Industry Association. It’s the badge that all staff in frontline security must wear while they are working, and if you plan to work in the security industry, it’s something that you must look into. The SIA badge is £220, and it’s a cost that many have an issue with, but it’s part of the package of getting the badge for your new security role.
As you would be working as a security professional, it’s a legal requirement to have your SIA security badge on display at all times on your clothing. This tells others that you are qualified in security, and it can be crucial to anyone in the public arena looking for help. Those who are working in Close Protection do not have to have their SIA badge on display, and this is because of the confidentiality required in their line of work. They need to be able to stay anonymous and blend in with the crowd. This is the exact same as store detectives, as their role is to be close to members of the public without drawing attention to themselves.
How To Get An SIA License
The whole process to get your badge used to be a lot longer than it is today, with documents moving through the post. Now, there is a program with Royal Mail that has enabled a more streamlined process for application. The identity checks necessary can now be done at the post office, which makes the whole process far more straightforward. If you have to be subjected to criminal checks, your application may take a little longer than someone who is not subject to the same checks.
Who Needs An SIA License?
The only way to get an SIA badge is by going through the proper channels and training. The type of SIA training that you take will also depend on the job that you want to do. The following roles require an SIA license:
- Close Protection
- Cash and Valuables in Transit
- Manned Guarding
- Door Supervision
- Public Surveillance (CCTV)
- Restriction, Immobilisation & Removal of Vehicles
- Security Guard Services
Once you have enrolled on a course, you will be expected to attend the classes for a designated number of hours. You will also need to pass at least two exams, and these are often multiple choice questions with answers to be marked by a governing body. Each governing body in the UK ensures that the standards for the tests are the same no matter who you use as your training provider. It’s upon passing your exams that you would go through your application for your SIA license.
Once you have finished your course and passed the tests set out for you, you are then a qualified security professional. You will receive a certificate that states that you are eligible to do the work that you have studied to do. You will also become a badge holder and be able to prove that you are qualified, SIA-accredited security professional. You must have this badge at all times when you are working in a security setting, as if there were to be a spot check by your employer, you would be in contravention of the SIA guidelines if you are not wearing it.
SIA Spot Checks
As part of the conditions of being ith the SIA, you can’t be sure when a spot check of your badge will occur. So, you need to ensure that if you are on the job, you wear your license. No matter what you do for your security role, your SIA badge needs to be on display.
SIA Badge Best Practice
When you are in receipt of your SIA badge, you need to follow best practice – wearing it visibly at all times – as it relates to SIA badge holders. All security professionals on duty must wear it where it can be seen, and the only times you don’t have to are when it has been lost or stolen. In these cases, you should be able to get a replacement without incurring any additional costs. If your SIA badge has been stolen, you must tell the police and the SIA as soon as you can. This way, anyone who is posing as an SIA license holder can be apprehended as quickly as possible. If you don’t let the correct people know the moment that you have lost your badge or had it stolen, you could end up in trouble.
What If You Get Arrested?
During the time you are a security professional, there are specific standards that you must uphold. You should be a good citizen in general, but if you should be convicted of a crime or cautioned by the police, you need to tell the SIA. It shouldn’t ruin your career in security to have a small police matter on your record, but if you try to conceal it, the trouble can start. Failing to report it could cost you your SIA badge for disciplinary reasons. You shouldn’t ignore this requirement, as many convictions and cautions come about from non-violent activity. If you ensure that you are open with the SIA from the beginning, you can have it processed and move on quickly.
What If My SIA License Is Damaged?
Would you allow your passport to be defaced? Well, given the cost and the time you spend getting your license, you should ensure that you do not allow your SIA license to be defaced or changed in any way. Even if the children have obtained your license and it was done innocently, it opens you to the complications of fraud. It invalidates your license, ensuring that any activity that you take part in is illegal. If you damage your license or it is defaced, you should let the SIA know as soon as you can and order a replacement license. Keep the defaced badge, though, as you may be asked to return it.
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