Licensing for key holders came into effect across England and Wales on 20 March 2006; it is now illegal to work as a Key Holder without an SIA licence. This applies if your services are supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer.

Unless your employer or company has been given an exemption under Section 4(4) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, it is a criminal offence to work as a contracted Key Holder in England and Wales without an SIA licence. An exemption is applicable only where the employer or company you work for has been granted Approved Contractor status by the SIA and the other conditions of Section 4(4) have also been met. Every condition must be met for this section to be applied. If you do work without a licence you will be committing a criminal offence, punishable on conviction by a fine of up to £5,000 or 6 months imprisonment or both.

Cost of a Licence

The licence application fee is £245 for a three year licence. The fee is to cover the cost of processing your application and is not refundable.

If you pay your own licence fee you will be able to claim tax relief against your taxable income. For example, if you pay the basic rate of tax the relief is worth £53.90. If you are an employer paying the licence fee on behalf of an employee there will be no tax or National Insurance liability.

Some security operatives may need more than one licence; in such cases the second licence will be discounted by 50%. How does this work?

Licence Integration

In some cases, we are satisfied that the licensing criteria to be met for one licensable activity are sufficient to allow a licensed individual to carry out other licensable activities.


Recent updates

View attachment 46

Following the publication of the new booklet 'Get Licensed' (SG/06-07/13 Ll L02) the changes from the previous booklets on 'Licensing Private Security' and 'Licensing Vehicle Immobilisers' are detailed below.

* Penalties for operating without a licence updated to include those applicable in Scotland
* Training and qualification details updated to include Scotland
* Introduction updated
* 'Which licence do you need?' / 'Who needs a licence?' information updated to more closely reflect the meaning of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (as amended).
* 'Getting your licence' / 'Getting licensed' information updated to be clearer and reflect changes in the application process
* More detailed information added about revoking and suspending licences
* List of criminal offences amended and extended to include Scottish offences
* Overall, the booklet has been re-written to be more concise and easier to read.