Essential information for the private security industry
January 2019
Happy New Year from everyone at the SIA. We start the first newsletter of the year with an update on some important changes to document checks. We have also shared some government advice on Brexit.
This month we launched our consultation on the licence-linked qualifications. This is the second stage of the consultation; we have listened to your feedback from last year and shared the draft specifications with you – we now need your feedback on these.
In our SIA news section there is an update on our annual stakeholder conference. We are also inviting people to sign-up to help us improve our corporate website.
Our public protection section features guidance on safer physical intervention and an update on the counter-terrorism conference that took place last year. Following the success of our free counter-terrorism awareness sessions last year, we continue these events across Scotland with events in Kirkcaldy and Paisley taking place soon.
In the enforcement update, you can read about an unlicensed security director who was jailed for producing fake licences.
In this month’s ‘Licensing matters’ section our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article looks at training as the first step to getting a licence. As the tax deadline approaches, we have also included guidance from HMRC on completing a self assessment tax return.
Finally, we would like to thank all of you for reading our newsletter and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.



SIA News 

Important changes to document checks

We are making changes to the way that people need to prove their identity when applying for a licence.
Why are we making these changes?
The SIA is obliged to follow the identity document requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which are set by the Home Office.
These changes will bring us into line with evolving central government guidelines.
When will these changes come into effect?
These new rules will come into effect on 15 February 2019.
What are the changes?
  • Until now, people renewing their licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector have only been asked to submit identity documents in certain circumstances – for example, if they have changed their address since their previous application. From 15 February our full document requirements will apply to everyone, regardless of whether they are applying for a new licence, renewing their existing licence or applying for a licence in an additional sector.
  • This will mean that people who previously would not have been asked to complete their application at the post office will now be required to do so.
  • Businesses using our Licence Management service will not be able to accept two group A documents as they have in the past. They will need to follow the document requirements outlined below.
What identity documents will we ask for?
We will ask applicants to present one ‘Group A’ document and two ‘Group B’ documents in support of their application. At least one of the documents must show their date of birth and any address shown on these documents must match the address they gave us in their application.
The documents must be originals, not copies, so applicants should plan ahead as they may need to contact banks, utility companies, or local authorities in order to get these.
A full list of ‘Group A’ and ‘Group B’ documents is available on our website here.
These documents are checked by the applicant’s employer (if they use our Licence Management service), the post office or (in some circumstances) directly by SIA staff.
What if I can’t get to a post office to present my documents? 
Applicants who can’t get to a post office can still apply to us for a Post Office Exemption.  This is granted in some cases if there is a genuine need; for example, for applicants who live a significant distance from a participating post office.
You can ask for a Post Office Exemption whilst applying for a licence using our online application system. Please be aware that this may lengthen the time taken to process your application.
How can I find out more?
You can contact us through your SIA online account.  If you don’t yet have an online account, the video here will show you how to create one.

Advice to businesses on Brexit

We are working closely with the Home Office and together we will offer relevant advice to assist your business in managing any future impacts flowing from Brexit.  If you haven’t already started then you should be considering any contingencies that may be necessary as a consequence of Brexit.

The agreement reached and set out in the Withdrawal Agreement allows EU citizens already in the UK or arriving during the Implementation Period to continue to live and work in the UK as they do now.

The Department for Exiting the EU policy paper (published on 6 December 2018) on citizens' rights on the event of a no-deal Brexit *(available here) confirms that EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK by Brexit will continue to be able to live and work in the UK, broadly as now, and will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to confirm their status. 

The Government has said it will set out further details on the rights of EU citizens arriving after EU Exit day in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal shortly.

Right To Work information is available here (in a recently published Government paper) - Citizens’ Rights – EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU (Department for Exiting the European Union).

To find out more visit the Government's Prepare for EU Exit website.
*PDF 200Kb 11 pages            
Read this further general guidance on Brexit

Launch of new consultation on the licence-linked qualifications required by licensed security staff

On Monday 14 January, we launched a new consultation to help determine the content of the next generation of compulsory qualifications for licensed operatives in the private security industry. This new consultation will run for four weeks until Monday 11 February 2019.

The specifications set out what an individual needs to know and be able to do in their role as a security operative. They form the basis of the qualifications required by SIA licensing. To have a say on the draft specifications for the licence-linked qualifications, please visit the consultation website

Following an initial consultation last year, we have been working closely with expert working groups to inform the content of these draft specifications. These panels were made up of private security industry representatives and subject matter experts. The new draft specifications include their suggestions, as well as findings from extensive research that we conducted in October 2018 in order to understand the current and future skills needs of the private security industry in the UK.  Details of this consultation are available via our website.
The development of these specifications is a key element of our private security skills and qualifications review. This new consultation is an essential element. In addition to requests for comment on the specifications we are also seeking views on the following important areas:
  • Is the proposed content fit-for-purpose?
  • Does the new content represent an unreasonable burden on individuals and businesses seeking to enter the industry?
  • Should the additional content relating to the door supervisor role be included in the close protection specification to facilitate the current licence integration arrangement? Or should licence integration end, so that close protection licence holders can only work in close protection roles?
  • Should there be compulsory physical intervention training for the security guard and close protection roles?
  Tony Holyland, our Head of Quality and Standards, says:
“We have gone to great lengths to ensure that the next generation of qualifications are fit-for-purpose. This is the latest stage in a robust development and consultation process. The initial consultation attracted more than 840 responses, and this brand new consultation will be equally meaningful. This is the last chance for the industry to have its say and help us to get the specifications right. We all now have an opportunity to shape the future of the licence-linked qualifications and ensure they are relevant for the security industry in the years ahead.”
He added:
“As always it is essential that as many people as possible give their views on this new consultation. Employers and prospective operatives spend a considerable sum of money each year on these qualifications. We can only achieve a further meaningful consultation with the help of the private security industry.”
This new consultation is structured around our six licensable sectors that require a qualification. These are backed by nine sets of skills specifications, which are included in the consultation. 

Our licensable sectors that require qualifications are:

1. Cash and Valuables in Transit 
2. Close Protection
3. Door Supervision
4. Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
5. Security Guarding
6. Vehicle Immobiliser.

The current table of specifications is available on our website.

Once the consultation closes, the feedback will be reviewed to develop the final versions of the specifications. These final versions will appear on our website by the early autumn. The specifications will then be used by the awarding organisations to develop the licence-linked qualifications.
Share your views in our consultation

Postponement of our stakeholder conference

We previously invited you to ‘save the date’ for our stakeholder conference on 14 March 2019.  We are postponing the conference and propose to host it later in the year to ensure we can offer the best possible programme for those attending. We will update you as soon as we have a new date.

Help us to improve our corporate website

In the spring of 2018, we ran an online survey and a series of workshops in which we asked for feedback on our website. We have reviewed the findings of that research and we are now ready to start designing our new site.  We need your help to ensure that we get it right.

If you would like to help us, then please click on the link below and complete the form. We will then add you to our list of testers. The tests will be done online, and should take no longer than three minutes at a time.

Note: We will need to share the details you provide in the form with the company we have commissioned to design our new website. By entering your details and submitting the form you are agreeing that we can do this. If you change your mind, you can contact us at and ask for your details to be deleted from our list of testers.
Sign-up to help us improve our corporate website

Guidance on safer physical intervention

We are promoting guidance on safer physical intervention for door supervisors because it is vitally important that we minimise the risk of serious injury or worse.
To help you we have produced a poster that features positive messages and illustrations of risky practice in physical intervention.
The aim of the poster is to reduce the likelihood of serious harm to people at your venue should you have to use physical intervention techniques.
John Montague, our Director of Partnerships and Interventions, says that the initiative is a positive way to promote safer working practices at venues.  
“The majority of door supervisors do a very good job in challenging circumstances. This poster acts as a reminder of safer practice.”
You are encouraged to download the poster, print it off, and put it up on your noticeboard and/or share a digital version with colleagues.
PDF  1015kb  1 page
Download your copy of the poster here

Countering Terrorism conference – A security industry perspective 

Several months of planning coordinated by the Security Industry Safer Scotland Group with input from ourselves and Police Scotland resulted in a well-attended, very positive, industry-led counter-terrorism conference at Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus on 5 December.
The organisers had worked hard to attract speakers who would both inform and stimulate delegates to engage in proposing how the security industry could further support police in making Scotland safer from terrorism. The event featured speakers from National Counter Terrorism Policing, Police Scotland, Herriot Watt University, G4S, SecuriGroup and Showsec. The importance of the event was underlined by the attendance of Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP who gave a very supportive opening address. He said that the Scottish Government recognised the important role the security industry plays. He said:
“The industry keeps people safe not just on a day-to-day basis but also during crisis situations.”
Our Board used the opportunity to meet at the Campus in the morning and then joined delegates to talk over lunch and attend the afternoon session. Our Chair, Liz France, and our Deputy Director of Partnerships and Interventions, Ed Bateman, spoke at the conference.
Ed Bateman, said:
“The conference was different in that it was devised, planned and run by the security industry. It was the industry talking to the public sector as opposed to typical counter-terrorism conferences that are the reverse. We were very pleased to be associated with this successful event and look forward to continuing to work with the industry led Security Industry Safer Scotland Group, police and other agencies to make Scotland safer from terrorism.”
Strong police input
Police Scotland Superintendent Raymond Higgins, who provided a very informative and sobering presentation on the current threat overview, tweeted: “In recent attacks, private security industry staff have saved lives. We need to recognise that.”
Police Scotland presented a shortened version of a new counter-terrorism awareness-raising product currently being piloted in Scotland: ‘You can ACT’ that was well received by delegates. The pilot delivered by Police Scotland supported by us, builds on the previous ‘Project Griffin’ presentations by including a 90 minute real time counter-terrorism exercise that required the delegation to get engaged in making decisions to confront the unfolding scenario.
Deputy National Police Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Superintendent Adam Thompson spoke of his aspirations for upskilling individuals and businesses by using the new Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) suite of training packages in his presentation ‘Mobilising a Wider Response’.  Adam introduced the term ‘operational mobilisation’ explaining that it included a range of initiatives and approaches broadening the response to combatting terrorism beyond police to include the endeavours of private security and other volunteer provision. He specifically mentioned encouraging our approved contractors and their staff to do the ACT e-learning.
Effective partnerships
In June 2017, the Security Industry Safer Scotland (CT) Group was inaugurated by ourselves, Police Scotland and the Scottish Business Resilience centre (SBRC). The Group grew quickly to include representatives from the industry, hospitals, universities, public attractions and town centre managers. The aim of the Group is to: “Enhance the capacity and capability of the security industry to counter terrorism.”
The Group approached us and sponsored our funded pilot ‘You can ACT’ counter-terrorism awareness training that has been rolling out across Scotland since last summer. Members of the security industry assisted Police Scotland Counter-Terrorism Security Advisors in developing this package. The initiative is being evaluated by Glasgow Caledonian University and current feedback - both from an interim evaluation and from attending delegates - is very positive.
Showcasing the value of private security
The conference was keen to showcase the good work consistently delivered by private security.  Chris Burr of G4S and Jeanette Roberts Head of Health, Safety and Security at the Campus provided an excellent joint presentation outlining the comprehensive security arrangements at the Scottish Event Campus. This was followed by Les Allen Head of Security at Herriot Watt University who, in addition to describing the wider security arrangements at the university, told delegates of an innovative technical solution they employ that allows students and staff to connect to a platform that can monitor their safety and send security warnings on campus via their telephones.  Incredibly, he described how the system had managed to locate and communicate with a university group deep in a Chilean rain forest to get them to safety.  
Delegates were silent as Mark Harding, Managing Director at Showsec, delivered a very moving and honest presentation reflecting on his experience and learning following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 that involved 176 of his staff.
Securigroup Operational Director Allan Burnett QPM’s intentionally provocative presentation challenged the pace and depth of the commitment of police to view the security industry as a trusted partner and part of the solution to making people and places safer from terrorism. Allan Burnett stated that the private security industry has many motivated people with a thirst to do things better. He said:
“The industry is part of the solution.”
His input focused on the merits of private security organisations and the benefits to be gained by further developing the links with police services. To illustrate his point, and to celebrate the contribution the industry has made to counter-terrorism events, Allan discussed the exceptional actions by security teams who were faced with some of the largest attacks in Europe in recent years.
He gave several examples of excellent security: The door supervisors at London’s Borough Market who challenged attackers and ushered the public into premises with shutters; the security at the Bataclan in Paris who ushered audience members out of back doors while attackers were distracted; and, the steward at the Stade de France (stadium) who prevented an attacker from entering thereby saving many hundreds of lives. These examples show how lives are being saved by well-trained, professional security operatives.

Participate in the Police Scotland ACT counter-terrorism events

The counter-terrorism events continue this year, and we’re inviting you to participate in an event in Scotland near you. ‘You Can ACT’ sessions are specifically aimed at front-line security staff.  The feedback from the events we ran at the end of 2018 was highly positive. Please register your attendance at one of the forthcoming events. We recommend that you do so early, as they are very popular.
Wednesday 6 February 2019
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.

19 February 2019
Refreshments at 17:30 for a prompt 18:00 start.
This event is set to end at 21:00.

Edinburgh - 12 March 2019
Peterhead - 20 March 2019
Dumfries - 23 April 2019
Dunfermline - 7 May 2019
Aberdeen - 14 May 2019

Each awareness-raising session is based on the nationally agreed corporate counter-terrorism guidance to help individuals understand, and guard against, current terrorist methods. To find out more about the content of the events visit our website.
Register for the upcoming events in Kirkcaldy and Paisley

Door supervisor died fighting off attackers who were trying to gatecrash Mayfair party (taken from the Evening Standard)

Door supervisor  Tudor Simionov, who was knifed as he tried to stop gatecrashers forcing their way into a Mayfair party, was revealed as one of London’s first murder victims of 2019. Tudor Simionov was killed within the first six hours of the New Year. His death comes after the capital recorded the highest number of homicides in a decade last year.

Mr Simionov was hailed a hero for protecting colleagues who were attacked by a group of men who were trying to gain entry to the party at a house in Park Lane. Mr Simionov died at the scene after police were called to reports of trouble in the street  at 80 Park Lane at about 5.30am on New Year’s morning. Three other people, two of whom were also security staff, were taken to hospital after being stabbed. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

Club promoter Leroy Rose, 25, who gave Mr Simionov first aid, said the door supervisor was a hero who died protecting his colleagues. He told the Evening Standard:
"I saw him come back inside. He was in a suit and it was covered in blood. He didn’t have a protective vest or anything. I saw blood coming from his chest. I pulled him into the back and grabbed a towel and held the wound. He never said a word, he was in a shock. He only survived for a minute. He was stabbed in the middle of the chest. He is a hero, he died trying to save his colleagues."
Video footage seen by the Standard shows a group of at least 10 men brawling outside the building before the knife attack. A woman who was at the party told the Standard:
"Someone ran inside and said there’s a stabbing upstairs and to hold the door. Some people started to hide, others held the door while some people tried to get in. There were broken glasses everywhere … it was chaos,"
Detectives said some of the party revellers might have filmed the murder on their mobile phones, and appealed for them to come forward. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge added:
"The area was particularly busy with people out celebrating and making their way home from various parties and organised events,"
(Excerpt from the Evening Standard 2 January 2019)

Our response to questions from the media was as follows: 
"We are in contact with the Metropolitan Police Service concerning the death of Tudor Simionov and other injured people at an event in Mayfair in the early hours of New Year's Day. Our thoughts go out to Mr Simionov's family at this difficult time. We can confirm that Mr Simionov was an SIA licensed door supervisor, and we are working with the police to support their investigation."
This incident attracted national media attention, as well as significant traffic on our social media channels. We were approached by national and local media and online channels for our statement. The Guardian/Observer published a related feature article on Sunday 6 January.
Read the full story online
Enforcement Update

Jailed director of security firm stole identities to supply fake guards to festivals

Lee Szuchnik, the director of a South Wales company that supplied events with bogus security staff using false identities, was jailed for two years and three months at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday 18 January. His fellow director at LS Armour of Barry, Erica Lloyd, was handed a suspended sentence. Four of LS Armour’s staff, who had worked illegally at events in June and July of 2017, including the Download Festival and two Adele concerts at Wembley Stadium, were also sentenced for their role in the deception.
The security guards, none of whom were properly qualified, were using the identities of genuine Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence holders, which had been illegally harvested by Lee Szuchnik and Erica Lloyd.
The judge, HHJ Petts, praised our vigilance in identifying the offences, and branded the offenders as “reckless”. He condemned the use of security operatives lacking the proper training and qualifications, and noted the risk of “serious harm to the public”.
The scheme was uncovered by one of our regional investigators who was checking licences at the 2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham, in July 2017.  The investigator spotted two LS Armour security guards working with fake licences.  She then stopped two further operatives who were trying to flee the site. Both of them were also using assumed identities.
Nathan Salmon, one of our Criminal Investigations Manager, said:

"This fraud put untrained and un-vetted security staff in a position of responsibility at numerous festivals.  This put event organisers, suppliers, and members of the public at an increased security risk.  People going to events and festivals must be able to have confidence in the fact that the security personnel put there to protect them are legitimately licensed.  An effective security industry that ensures public safety is a priority for the SIA. We will act robustly in driving dishonest operators out of the industry."
LS Armour’s fraudulent operation quickly unravelled under our investigation.  In July 2017, in conjunction with South Wales Police, we searched the LS Armour offices. Our investigators found material showing that Szuchnik and Lloyd were planning to send unlicensed staff with fake licences to further events. Both directors were arrested.
We moved quickly to contact security suppliers to major events throughout the UK, warning them about the ongoing investigation into LS Armour and their use of fake licences. This unprecedented action brought LS Armour’s events business to an immediate halt.
Lee Szuchnik and Erica Lloyd had invited genuine SIA licence holders for interview at the LS Armour offices in Barry, and kept copies of their licences and identity details. They had then supplied different unlicensed staff to events with false SIA licences using the information that they had dishonestly gathered. The investigation found that unlicensed staff were supplied to the Download Festival, the Glastonbury Festival, two Adele concerts at Wembley Stadium, the 2000 Trees Festival, and Cornbury Festival. LS Armour also supplied unlicensed door supervisors to two pubs: the Belle Vue and the Judge and Jury near Aberdare.
Szuchnik and Lloyd were consequently summonsed with several counts of providing unlicensed operatives to festivals and licensed venues during 2017.  Szuchnik was additionally charged with supplying articles for use in frauds, contrary to section 7(1) of the Fraud Act 2006.  Four of LS Armour’s staff – Daniel Foukes, Dylan Yorath, Ross Harris, and Lewis Potter - who were caught using counterfeit SIA badges were summonsed with fraudulent misrepresentation contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.
Szuchnik himself had been refused an SIA licence in June 2017 due to prior offences.
Nathan Salmon added:
"The operatives in these cases were supplied under a subcontracting arrangement. We are grateful to businesses within the security industry who, having been failed by the criminal activity of LS Armour, came forward and offered evidence which contributed towards this prosecution.  The SIA recognises that security at events is of utmost importance, and that the organisation of short term workers is often challenging to arrange.  We will continue to work with our industry, event organisers, and other partners to aid security planning and ensure security services remain at a high standard, and seek to drive out rogue operators who fail to meet regulatory requirements."
Find out about our completed prosecutions

Communities defeat terrorism

On Wednesday 23 January, a new phase of the ACT: Action Counters Terrorism’ campaign launched. As part of the campaign, Counter Terrorism Policing has produced a video which shows communities how they can make a difference.
We are encouraging you to watch the video and take part in the campaign, as this is not just a matter for big cities or the police. Attack planning can happen anywhere, and any attack carried out in the UK has an impact on all communities and on public sector resources.

The counter-terrorism effort, along with strengthening partnerships between Counter Terrorism Policing, the private security industry and other sectors, is proven to be effective. It has resulted in a steady increase in the number and quality of intelligence reports that have been of help to police. This new campaign aims to drive that conversion rate even higher by continuing to highlight suspicious behaviour and encouraging people to ACT.
For more information read the press release issued by national Counter Terrorism Policing.
Watch the latest Communities Defeat Terrorism film
Licensing Matters

Explaining the licensing process

Completing the training is only one part of getting a licence
Passing the training required for a licence and actually applying for the licence are two different things. You don’t get the licence just because you’ve passed the training. You need to apply for the licence separately.
You will need to pay a licence application fee when you apply. This is separate to any money you paid for your training. The trainers do not work for us, and we do not receive any part of the money you pay to them for your training.
When you apply, we won’t just check that you’ve done the training. We will also check your:
  • age (you must be 18 or older to hold an SIA licence)
  • identity
  • criminal record
  • mental health
  • right to work in the UK
 Also, although we don’t specifically check for it, we may also take into account certain other information; for example, County Court Judgments, SIA warnings, or any information about you that has been provided to us.
You may not get a licence. You are not guaranteed a licence simply because you apply for one. As the regulator of the private security industry, it is our role to determine whether you meet the required criteria. We will tell you if we intend to refuse your application, and when we do we will explain why.
After your training download this guide to applying for a licence

Guidance from HMRC on your Self Assessment Tax Return

The deadline to pay your Self Assessment bill for any money you owe for the previous tax year is coming up. The Self Assessment system is one that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax. Tax is usually deducted automatically from wages, pensions and savings. People and businesses with other income must report it in a tax return.
This is relevant for anyone in the security industry who operates as a sole trader or is self-employed. If you pay your own licence fee you will be able to claim tax relief against your taxable income - please visit the HMRC website for more information.
Online Support
If you need help with your tax return, HMRC has a variety of useful online support.
  1. Its Business expenses for the self-employed e-learning guide is available at a time that suits you. It has also highlighted a handy Ready Reckoner tool on to help you budget for your Self Assessment tax bill.
  2. You also have the option to pose your questions in HMRC’s Small Business Forum, where HMRC experts can give you advice. Ask questions anytime, or check the Bulletin Board to find the date of the next Q&A session by joining the Small Business Forum community. Access the Small Business Forum online. HMRC’s YouTube channel has a range of short videos on Self Assessment covering topics such as:
 Complete your online Self Assessment return by 31 January 2018
Visit the HRMC website for more guidance and resources
Watch this video about your self-employed tax return
Upcoming events

National Pubwatch conference 2019

We are sponsoring the National Pubwatch conference for the second year running, and will share guidance and information with stakeholders around reducing violence in the night-time economy.

Liz France, our Chair, will be speaking. Our interim chief executive, Dave Humphries, will be hosting a workshop on violence and public protection.

Date: 26 February 2019
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester
Register to attend the National Pubwatch conference 2019

The OSPAs thought leadership summit

The UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) will once again be running a thought leadership summit in London on the afternoon of the awards ceremony.  This is an opportunity for the security sector to listen to security experts, while hearing perspectives from outside the security sector.

Date: Thursday, 28 February 2019
Location: Royal Lancaster London Hotel, London
Find out more about the OSPA Summit

Security Twenty 19

We will have a stand at the Security Twenty 19 conference taking place in February 2019.

The conference is aimed at end users, purchasers and those who specify security products and will update attendees on the latest developments in the security sector.

Date: 21 February 2019
Location: Birmingham
Find out more and book your place here

Security events website

Find out key information about events that may be of interest to the security industry by visiting the All Security Events website.
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