SIA responds to media coverage on Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing report

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has responded to media coverage of the report issued following a survey commissioned by the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) and the Football Safety Officers Association which sought the views of industry professionals* in order to benchmark any issues related to the predicted decline in the availability of appropriately trained personnel within the event security sector. The Regulator welcomes the fact that the spotlight is being shone on the continuing need for recruitment and retention of good quality staff in the events sector.

The UKCMA’s detailed report** raises some “health challenges” about how adequately the current market is supplying qualified and vetted security operatives and touches on the problems that losing skilled staff can represent for the industry.

A figure of a 40% reduction in renewals of SIA licences has been cited in the reporting of the study, and the Regulator is particularly keen to set this in context. That figure has been derived from some possible projections that the SIA had commissioned in early 2016. The data quoted from the projections are only concerned with SIA door supervision licences (the most relevant licence to the events sector) and not the whole regulated security industry.

In addition, the projection represents what the Regulator terms the ‘worst case future scenario’ based on certain modelling techniques and isn’t intended as an accurate picture of the current position in the industry.

The Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing study correctly highlights that a significant proportion of individuals don’t actually renew their three-year SIA licence. Each year, these exiting licence holders are usually replaced by new applicants for SIA licences, such that the overall number of licence holders does vary to a degree, but not as significantly as suggested by some recent reporting.

The SIA’s records show that, between 2013 and 2017, the actual number of people holding door supervision licences has fallen by around 10%. The Regulator states: “The data should not be interpreted as a 40% reduction in the number of SIA licence holders who decide to renew their licences, but this doesn’t mean that the industry isn’t currently facing significant difficulties in the recruitment and retention of quality staff.”

The table below shows the number of door supervision licence holders in each year from 2011-2017.

SIA Door Supervision Licence Holders 2011-2017
Year (31 March) Licence Holders
2011 203,854
2012 208,680
2013 224,619
2014 221,288
2015 219,590
2016 200,523
2017 201,821

*The survey realised close on 200 responses from suppliers and purchasers with a broad range of roles. The majority (70%-plus) of respondents had over ten years’ experience within the industry and, in the case of some purchasers, manage venues with a capacity exceeding 50,000

**Download the ten-page report entitled Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing here

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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