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It has two main duties. One is the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities within the private security industry, the other is to manage the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme, which measures private security suppliers against independently assessed criteria.
SIA licensing covers manned guarding (including security guarding, door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, and public space surveillance using CCTV), key holding and vehicle immobilising. Licensing ensures that private security operatives are ‘fit and proper’ persons who are properly trained and qualified to do their job.
Its Approved Contractor Scheme introduced a set of operational and performance standards for suppliers of private security services. Organisations that meet these standards are awarded Approved Contractor status. This accreditation provides purchasers of private security services with independent proof of a contractor's commitment to quality.