Brand Director at Barbour EHS

February 15, 2021


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SIA Licence

Changes to the training needed for an SIA licence

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is making some changes to the training applicants need to take before obtaining a frontline SIA licence. These changes will happen in April and October 2021.

The changes are:

  • On 1 April 2021, updated qualifications for all sectors except close protection will be introduced.
  • From 1 April 2021, you must have a first aid qualification before you can apply for a door supervisor or security guard licence.
  • On 1 October 2021, updated close protection qualifications will be introduced.
  • From 1 October 2021, you must have one of the new qualifications or take top-up training before you can apply for a door supervisor and security guard licence – this includes renewals.

The SIA says it needs to make sure that people working in the private security industry can:

  • Keep the public safe
  • Follow new working practices
  • Understand recent changes to the law
  • Make the best use of new technology

New requirement: first aid training

The SIA says it already expects applicants for a close protection licence to complete a first aid qualification before taking their licence-linked training.

From 1 April 2021, the SIA will also expect applicants for a door supervisor or security guard licence to do the same.

You will need to do this if either of the following apply:

  • You are applying for a licence for the first time.
  • It has been longer than three years since you last held a licence for that activity.

From 1 October 2021, you will also need to do this if you are renewing your licence.

The qualification must be an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification or equivalent.

What is meant by “equivalent”?

The SIA says it will accept other qualifications that comply with the relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. Some examples are:

  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • First Person on Scene (FPOS)
  • First Response Emergency Care (FREC).

READ: How to get an SIA licence

New requirement: top-up training

From 1 October 2021, you must have one of the following before you can apply for a door supervisor or security guard licence:

  • One of the new qualifications introduced on 1 April.
  • One of the older licence-linked qualifications and a ‘top-up’ qualification.

This applies to any applications submitted on or after 1 October, including renewals. If you submit your application before this date, you will not need take additional training.

Other changes

More relevant course material

The SIA has moved training that is critical for all sectors to the ‘common unit’ (taken by all security operatives). This includes new training on:

  • terror threat awareness
  • dealing with emergencies

The SIA has introduced new sector-specific content – for example:

  • The close protection course includes new material on physical intervention
  • The door supervision course includes new material on the use of equipment such as body worn video recorders and breathalysers
  • The public space surveillance (CCTV) course includes new material on CCTV operational procedures and the law
  • The security guarding course includes new material covering personal safety

More practical assessments

The SIA has increased the number of practical elements in the training to help learners reinforce their knowledge. The practical assessments include:

  • searching
  • dealing with conflict
  • report/statement writing
  • using communications devices

The SIA has produced a helpful guide of answers to common questions asked about the new changes, which can be accessed here: Changes to SIA licence-linked training – Your questions answered

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.

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Donald Pennock
Donald Pennock
February 16, 2021 12:22 pm

My son is a guard but has aspergers and is starting to panic about having to take a first aid course.
His licence runs out in August so will he need to have the qualification this time?
Is there a support plan to assist people like my son get through any exams?

James Moore
February 16, 2021 2:38 pm
Reply to  Donald Pennock

Hi Donald. I’d advise it’s best to contact the SIA directly on this one. On their home page ( there is a section with a ‘Contact form’ you can fill out, as well as a business support line.

February 16, 2021 3:10 pm

Am I reading this correctly in that DS and SG need a First Aid certificate when renewing their licences but no mention of the need for CP to do so? Seems a bit odd!

Colin Cummings
Colin Cummings
February 16, 2021 8:04 pm

Who has to pay for this 90% are on minimum wage

Paul Shaylor
Paul Shaylor
February 16, 2021 8:23 pm
Reply to  Bob

That because we have to complete and pass first aid during our cp course.

February 17, 2021 11:34 am
Reply to  Paul Shaylor

I am talking about when renewing licences not on gaining first licences Paul.

Clare hardy-foster
Clare hardy-foster
February 19, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  Paul Shaylor

How can we do first aid with us being in lockdown?