In February, the Security Industry Authority announced that it will be making changes to modernise the licensing system and to streamline processes. Towards the end of 2015, the SIA will be launching new online services that will improve the information available to applicants and businesses, speed up the application process, and improve the service that it provides to the industry.
The SIA has announced what is changing.
Individuals applying for or renewing a licence will do so through a new self-service website. Changes will include:
- Online personal accounts for licence applicants and licence holders.
- Real-time information about where applications are in the process.
- Alerts informing applicants when their licence is granted, and when it will expire.
- The ability for licence holders to amend their personal details and circumstances directly, without having to contact the SIA.
- An online appeal process.
- All licence renewals will be online.
- The new licensing site will be compatible with the latest browsers.
- Paper applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
Those applying for their first SIA licence will be required to have their identification documents verified at a participating Post Office.
The application and renewal process will also change if an employer applies or renews on behalf of an applicant. How it differs depends on whether the employer is a member of the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS).
For all organisations
Any organisation will be able to pay the licence fee on behalf of an individual through the new website, once the applicant has completed their online application.
The bulk paper application service will no longer be available. Following this update, the SIA will provide more information to those that use bulk applications.
Those that wish to check licence statuses will be able to do so using the improved company licence checker.
For ACS companies
In addition to the option above, ACS companies will be able to benefit from additional services: Licence Assist and Licence Management.
Licence Assist will:
- Allow companies to complete and pay for an application on behalf of their staff.
- Inform companies when a licence is granted.
- Require individuals to keep their personal SIA account up to date, and for new applicants to have identity documents checked at a participating Post Office.
Licence Management will:
- Enjoy all the benefits of Licence Assist.
- Further reduce the time taken to apply for a licence by allowing the company to carry out and endorse identity checks for new applicants, without the need to attend a Post Office.
- Provide the ability to make changes to employee’s online details, such as changes of circumstances, on their behalf.
- Require the company to meet set criteria and sign a legal agreement.
A small number of ACS companies will be trialling Licence Management in 2015, prior to it becoming more widely available in 2016.
Further information will soon be available on the SIA website.
For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter (SIAuk).