The SIA has the powers to check out whether you are a suitable person to hold a licence.
This means that the SIA will be able to find out relevant information about some aspects of your background including any previous criminal convictions you may have.
A criminal record will not automatically bar you from holding a licence. Many different facts will be taken into account, such as how long ago the offence was; whether there have been further offences and how serious the offence was.
We are working with the Home Office, the police, security industry representatives and those responsible for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to set out the criteria that explain what is and what is not acceptable. The criteria will be published in mid-2003.
A licence will last for three years – you will then need to renew it. There will be other categories of licence if you don’t have the necessary skills or competencies and need a period of training, or if we need to carry out further background checks.
You will need to pay a fee when you apply for a licence. The exact amount you will have to pay has yet to be decided. If you require a licence to work in a number of categories then additional administrative costs may apply. Your employing company may – but does not have to – pay for the cost of your licence.
The fee covers the costs of the administration and the statutory checks we make about every applicant. The fee is not refundable – even in the event of a licence being refused.
If you are not given a licence, or if your current licence is not renewed, you have the right to appeal within 21 days of receiving the SIA’s decision.
The SIA can attach conditions to a licence eg, that it must be worn while you are on duty.
The SIA can modify, cancel or suspend a licence.
The SIA will:
- set up and keep a register of all the licences it gives
- it will be open to public inspection
- the SIA can charge a fee for access to, or copies of, the register.
Some people already hold a licence granted to them by their local authority. The SIA is discussing and agreeing a licence transition strategy with local authorities.
The penalty on conviction in the magistrates’ court is up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000, or both.