BBC Inside Out on Training: Security Industry Authority issues formal response

Bill Butler: CEO at the Security Industry Authority

Bill Butler: CEO at the Security Industry Authority

Following the BBC’s Inside Out programme broadcast on Monday 23 March, the Security Industry Authority has now issued a formal statement in response to allegations of training fraud and malpractice in the security sector.

The Regulator has this to say on the matter:

“We take all allegations of training fraud and malpractice very seriously because of the potential risk to the public.

“We work closely with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) – which has regulatory oversight of the recognised awarding organisations – and other enforcement agencies to identify and address such fraud and malpractice. Where this is identified, we will take swift action to remove Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences from the individuals concerned.

“We are now working with Ofqual to investigate the allegations in the BBC Inside Out programme. We have already suspended the SIA licences from those who we can identify and who appear to be involved in training fraud. While this investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment at this stage.

“We urge anyone with evidence of wrongdoing in respect of security training, or any element of the SIA regime, to inform us. This can be done directly with us at: or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

Training and qualifications in the security sector: who does what?

Several different types of organisation are involved in the creation and delivery of SIA-endorsed qualifications. They are as follows:

Security Industry Authority
*Sets competency standards and specifies qualifications for licensing. Part of the SIA’s responsibility for front line applicants is to define the skills and knowledge appropriate for an individual to start work. The SIA owns these core competency specifications and retains responsibility for their future development.

*Endorses awarding organisations who wish to offer its qualifications in conjunction with the qualification regulation authorities

*Issues licences based on competency, probity and identification

*Is responsible for the overall quality assurance of the licensing process

*Consults regularly with stakeholders to ensure that standards and qualifications meet the needs of the industry and continue to raise standards of competence and professionalism

**In October 2010, the Government announced that the Security Industry Authority would no longer be an NDPB (Non-Departmental Public Body) and that there would be a phased transition to a new regulatory regime for the private security industry. While the SIA works towards this the organisation will not be accepting requests for endorsement to offer licence-linked qualifications.

Qualification Regulation Authorities
The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) is responsible for regulating qualifications in England, and also acts on behalf of the Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS) in Wales and the Department for Education in Northern Ireland (DENI).

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) regulates qualifications in Scotland.


*Approve qualifications

*Approve awarding organisations

*Manage the arrangements for the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

Awarding Organisations
*Develop qualifications and operate the examination system against the SIA specifications

*Achieve OFQUAL/SQA/DELLS accreditation and SIA endorsement

*Approve training and assessment centres

*Register candidates and provide evidence of their identity

*Award the qualification and input data into the SIA qualifications database

*Accredit prior learning and previous qualifications

*Provide quality assurance of the assessment and qualification process

Training Providers
Training providers are responsible for delivering training courses that result in the qualifications required for an SIA licence.

Skills for Security
Skills for Security works with employers in the private security industry to improve standards of professionalism and access to security training and security qualifications for people employed in private security roles across the UK. Further information can be found on the Skills for Security website.

The sub-sectors include those covered by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and others from entry level right up to senior management.


About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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