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Answers to the questions most commonly asked by licence applicants and licence holders about the changes that we are making.

We have made some changes to the training you need to take before you can get a front line SIA licence.

The changes are:

we have introduced new, updated qualifications for all sectors except close protection and vehicle immobilisation

you must have a first aid qualification before you can take the training required for a door supervisor or security guard licence

We will be making more changes in October 2021 and April 2022:

from 1 October 2021, you must have one of the new qualifications or take top-up training before you can apply for a door supervisor and security guard licence – this includes renewals

on 1 April 2022 we will introduce an updated close protection qualification (read our press release about this)

We explain these changes in more detail below.

We have also created a flowchart to explain what the changes mean for people applying for a door supervisor or security guard licence.

Why are we making these changes?

We need to make sure that people working in the private security industry can:

keep the public safe

follow new working practices

understand recent changes to the law

make the best use of new technology

New requirement: first aid training

We already expected applicants for a close protection licence to complete a first aid qualification before taking their licence-linked training. We now expect applicants for a door supervisor or security guard licence to do the same.

You will need to do this if either of the following apply:

you are applying for a licence for the first time

it has been longer than 3 years since you last held a licence for that activity

From 1 October 2021, you will also need to do this if you are renewing your licence.

The qualification must be an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification or equivalent.

The requirement for first aid training will improve your skills as an SIA licence holder. It will not change the obligations you have when responding to an emergency.

What do we mean by “equivalent”?

We will accept other qualifications that comply with the relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. Some examples are:

First Aid at Work (FAW)

First Person on Scene (FPOS)

First Response Emergency Care (FREC)

Your training provider can tell you more about this.

New requirement: top-up training for some licence holders

From 1 October 2021, you must have one of the following before you can apply for, or renew, a door supervisor or security guard licence:

one of the new qualifications set in place in April 2021

one of the older licence-linked qualifications and a ‘top-up’ qualification

This applies to any applications submitted on or after 1 October, including renewals. If you submit your application before this date, you will not need to take additional training.

If you hold a door supervisor licence

From 1 October 2021, if you hold a door supervisor licence you can choose one of the following options:

take the door supervisor top-up training and renew your door supervisor licence

take the security guard top-up training and switch to a security guard licence

In either case, you must have an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification, or equivalent, before you can take the top-up training.

The security guard top-up training is shorter than the door supervisor top-up training, so is likely to be cheaper. However, you should consider the day-to-day duties of the job that you do. If your job involves guarding licensed premises (such as a pub or a club) you will need to renew your door supervisor licence.

Other changes

More relevant course material

We have moved training that is critical for all sectors to the ‘common unit’ (taken by all security operatives). This includes new training on:

terror threat awareness

dealing with emergencies

We have introduced new sector-specific content – for example:

the door supervision course includes new material on the use of equipment such as body worn video recorders and breathalysers

the public space surveillance (CCTV) course includes new material on CCTV operational procedures and the law

the security guarding course includes new material covering personal safety

the close protection course will include a bespoke physical intervention unit for close protection operatives

More practical assessments

We have increased the number of practical elements in the training to help learners reinforce their knowledge. The practical assessments include:


dealing with conflict

report/statement writing

using communications devices

Find out more

Read Changes to SIA licence-linked training: your questions answered to find out more.