SIA launches consultation on Code of Conduct for private security operatives

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is launching a six-week consultation on a draft Code of Conduct for SIA licence holders and applicants for SIA licences. The SIA is inviting the industry, licence holders and anyone with an interest in private security to have a say on the draft Code of Conduct by taking part in a survey. The consultation period will end on 23 February 2020.   

The idea of the draft Code of Conduct is to improve standards and public safety by setting out the standards of conduct and behaviour that the SIA expects people to uphold if they’re entrusted with protecting the public, premises and property. It would give a clear, consistent and positive message to service users, businesses and employers about what they should expect from licence holders. The SIA also wants it to help licence holders understand what to do when they face challenging situations at work.

The majority of licence holders uphold the standards of behaviour that the SIA, their employers and the public expect of them. Their professionalism and dedication keeps the public safe and tackles crime. However, there are incidents in which some licence holders don’t behave in this way. This minority lowers the standard of service the public receives, harms public safety and brings itself and the rest of the private security industry into disrepute.

Broad behaviours 

The SIA is suggesting that there are six broad behaviours that licence holders and applicants should follow. These form the framework for the draft Code of Conduct and are called ‘The Six Commitments’. The intention is that the Code of Conduct would apply to all licensed security operatives and applicants. A small number of additional requirements would apply to the ‘controlling minds’ of private security providers (eg directors).

The draft Code of Conduct builds on the Standards of Behaviour for Security Professionals published last year.

The SIA’s plan is to make the Code of Conduct mandatory by putting it into the licensing criteria published in ‘Get Licensed’. This would mean that a licence holder who doesn’t behave in the ways set out in the Code of Conduct might have their licence suspended and/or revoked.

Putting a Code of Conduct into criteria would ultimately need the approval of Home Office ministers.

Experience and engagement 

Ian Todd

Ian Todd

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, explained: “The draft Code of Conduct sets out the standards of behaviour which we believe are required of a licence holder, taking into account the challenges faced by security professionals. This draft is based on our years of licensing experience, refined by engagement with key individuals working in the industry. However, we need input to develop a Code of Conduct that really works for licence holders, private security businesses and ourselves. It’s therefore imperative that as many licensed security professionals as possible take part in this consultation. We want to hear from them.”

Participating industry professionals should read the background information and download the draft Code of Conduct. They will then need to answer the questions in the survey.

Once the consultation ends in February, the SIA will analyse the results and publish a report on its website. The SIA will then use the comments it has received to write a final version of the Code of Conduct.

As stated, the introduction of a Code of Conduct will be subject to final approval by Home Office ministers.

*Versions of the consultation in alternative formats and/or Welsh are available on request. Interested parties requiring a copy are advised to send a request to

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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