SIA responds to coverage on Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing

24 August 2017

The SIA welcomes the spotlight being shone on the continuing need for recruitment and retention of good quality staff in the events sector. The report raises some health challenges about how adequately the current market is supplying qualified and vetted security operatives and the problems that losing skilled staff represents to the industry.
A figure of 40% reduction in renewals of SIA licences has been cited in the reporting of the study. It is worth setting this in context:

  • This figure has been derived from some possible projections that the SIA had commissioned in early 2016.
  • The data quoted from the projections are only about SIA Door Supervision licences (the most relevant licence to the events sector) and not the whole regulated security industry.
  • The projection represents the worst-case-future-scenario based on certain modelling techniques and is not intended as an accurate picture of the current position in the industry.

The Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing study correctly highlights that a significant proportion of people do not renew their three year SIA licence.

Each year these exiting licence holders are usually replaced by new applicants for SIA licences, so that the overall number of licence holders does vary to a degree, but not as significantly as suggested by some recent reporting.

Our records show that the actual number of people holding door supervision licences has fallen between 2013 and 2017 by about 10%.

The data should not be interpreted as a 40% reduction in the number of SIA licence holders who decide to renew their licences but this does not mean that the industry are not currently facing significant difficulties in the recruitment and retention of quality staff

  1. The SIA licences certain sectors within the private security industry.  Door Supervisors are required for security work in relation to licensed premises and events.
  2. SIA licences (except vehicle immobilisation in Northern Ireland) last for a period of three years.
  3. For your further information, we show below the number of SIA Door Supervision licence holders at the 31st March since 2011.  
  4. The London 2012 Games had some impact on licence application numbers.
  5. The table below shows the number of door supervision licence holders in each year from 2011 - 2017


SIA Door Supervision Licence Holders 2011-2017
Year (31st March) Licence Holders
2011 203,854
2012 208,680
2013 224,619
2014 221,288
2015 219,590
2016 200,523
2017 201,821



You can download the report Benchmarking Security and Stewarding Resourcing here.

Further information:

  • The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA's main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
  • For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit The SIA is also on Facebook- this link opens in a new window (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter- this link opens in a new window (SIAuk).