Lawfully in the UK, the minimum age required for an SIA Licence applicant is 18 years. Having undergone various training sessions from reputable institutions that the SIA approves, an individual will be qualified for two types of “badges” or credentials.
The first is obtained after a brief training session, background check and verification of drug free status at an SIA training centre. The second is a full security guard licence, which comes with a badge that must be worn at all times when on the job, in public, and is only achieved after completing more extensive security guard training with an SIA accredited facility and successfully passing a security guard licensing exam.
For instance, ASIS International offers certification to prospective applicants even thought the credential is not mandatory. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skills in security management, operation of security equipments, surveillance and field experience.
For armed guard training, other than the SIA licence, a gun licence will be required, as the work involves working in highly restricted, unsafe environments. It involves safely handling of fire arms and highly confidential secret documents, such as those in secret government institutions. Usually these security guards work in a highly technical environment, restricted areas, and government offices.
Types of Security Badges
SIA Security Badges varies depending on the nature of the work, but are generally grouped into two categories:
- Front line badge in which a general security guard on office premises where work involves day to day security guard duties. The badge is in the form of a plastic card-sized licence which must be worn while on duty in order to mark them out as qualified security personnel.
Examples of badges include door supervisors, vehicle immobilizers and the general security guards. In some instances, it is possible for a front line badge holder to also cover the security guard job description and functions of security personnel in other roles. These may include non-front line activities for all other types of SIA badges.
Individuals who apply for a front line badge must go through more extensive training and must pass different licensing exams in order to obtain multiple SIA licenses.
- Non front line badges are those issued in form of a letter which must be available for inspection by authorized persons. These letters cover some basic key holding activities and other more minor job duties of security guards. Individuals who hold these “lesser” SIA licence forms are usually in the process of completing more extensive SIA courses and security guard training to become a security guard.Holding a non front line badge limits the activities a security guard may legally be involved with while on the job. In order to perform certain kinds of security activities, an individual must complete SIA approved training with an accredited security guard training centre and must pass the appropriate SIA licence exam.