Created by Parliament with the Private Security Industry Act 2001 and launched in London on April 2 2003, the SIA’s main duties include the compulsory licensing of individuals and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).
The SIA has issued almost one million licences across seven sectors in the last decade across four channels, telephone, online, e-fill and paper. Its qualifications sit only behind the Food Safety Award as the most popular vocational qualifications in the UK.
Through ACS, the SIA raises performance standards throughout the private security industry and ensures unsuitable people and those who disobey the law do not work in licensed roles. It is seen as a hallmark of quality for security providers and reassurance for buyers and the public.
There are now 755 approved contractors across the UK, which accounts for around 70 per cent of the manned guarding sector, and ACS accreditation is insisted upon by a growing proportion of buyers – the Scottish Government has pledged all publicly-funded security contracts will go to ACS companies.
Over the last ten years, the SIA has also revoked over 30,000 licenses and prosecuted more than 50 cases in court as it seeks to reduce criminality throughout the private security industry. Through close working relationships with the public, the industry, charities and other government agencies, the SIA has gathered vast levels of intelligence as it continues to ensure private security firms fully comply with the law.