Since the new Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensing application website was launched on Wednesday 6 July, 20,000 individuals and 660 businesses have registered and set up their accounts. The SIA has also received nearly 6,000 licence applications and issued over 1,900 licences.
The new self-service website has been designed to provide an easier, more convenient and efficient service that improves the information available to applicants and businesses in the security business sector.
The system provides a 24-hour service that allows applicants to create an account, apply for a licence and check the status of their licence at any time of the day.
To use the service, individuals need to create a personal online account. Once they do this they can receive real-time information on pending applications, alerts on licences granted and reminders of when their licence is due to expire. Licence holders and new applicants are also able to update all of their own contact and personal information.
Licence Assist and Licence Management
For businesses, the SIA has introduced the ‘Licence Pay-Only’ service which allows organisations to pay the licence fee on behalf of an operative. Licence Assist and Licence Management services have also been launched and are available to the businesses that are part of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).
Licence Assist allows a business to link to security operatives and complete and pay for an application on behalf of their staff. It also notifies a business when a licence has been granted.
Licence Management offers all the benefits of Licence Assist and the ability to carry out and endorse identity checks for new applicants without the need to attend a Post Office. It also allows businesses to make changes to employees’ online details, such as changes of circumstances, on their behalf.*
Resolving some initial issues
The ‘Licence Status Checker’ tool is available to all businesses and allows them to create personalised ‘Watchlists’ that enables them to check whether the operatives they deploy hold valid and active licences.
While the system is working to capacity, the SIA acknowledges that there have been some teething problems with it and some applicants and businesses have experienced difficulties, particularly with the speed of processing. The SIA regrets the inconvenience this has caused, and is working hard to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.
The SIA’s CEO Alan Clamp commented: “This is an important milestone and reflects the dedication of many people in our organisation to develop and deliver a new licensing system that serves the needs of individuals and businesses. We thank the private security industry for its continued support as we introduce a new system that will provide security companies with a more effective and efficient service.”
Clamp continued: “The new licensing services we’re providing demonstrate our commitment to improving standards. The system will allow businesses to support their employees to apply for licences, pay for applications on behalf of employees and check the status of a licence throughout its lifetime. This will reduce the burdens on both individuals and businesses.”
*Licence Management is being used by nine pilot companies and, later this year, will be available to ACS companies who meet specific eligibility terms