Licence Dispensation (LDNs)

Authorisation to deploy security staff while their licence applications are being processed is given to an Approved Contractor in the form of an SIA Licence Dispensation Notice (LDN).

The Approved Contractor then issues a personal LDN to each individual member of staff who is entitled to work under the terms of this dispensation. The personal LDN is issued on an Approved Contractor's own stationery but conforming to a template issued by us. The template requires:

  • the name of the Approved Contractor, contact details and the signature of a representative;
  • the name of the individual operative, contact details and their signature;
  • the individual operative's SIA licence application reference number;
  • an expiry date for the Personal LDN;
  • the sectors for which the LDN applies.

Even if an LDN has been issued, an offence is still committed under Section 3 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 unless all of the following circumstances apply:

  • the person has applied for a licence and the application is pending;
  • the licence applied for is for the activity in which the individual is engaged;
  • the person hasn't previously been refused a licence for that activity;
  • the employer is an Approved Contractor for the relevant activity (sector) under the ACS;
  • the SIA has authorised the employer to deploy employees whose licence applications are pending.

It is also a breach of the ACS terms and conditions to deploy more members of staff under licensing dispensation than authorised, to deploy members of staff without issuing personal LDNs, or to fail to keep adequate records of the use of licensing dispensation. Misuse of the licence dispensation facility, whether as an Approved Contractor or otherwise, may result in the refusal of future applications for Approved status, the withdrawal of the licence dispensation facility and / or the withdrawal of Approved status, as deemed appropriate by us.

Download the ACS terms and conditions (download size: 155kb)

Where the authority to deploy under a Licence Dispensation Notice has been withdrawn or restricted we record this on our Register of Approved Contractors - please refer to the ACS terms and conditions for further details. Where an approved contractor has chosen not to make use of licence dispensation notices, it is recorded on the register as 'LDN status: not applicable'.

Exceptional Circumstances

A Direction issued under section 2(1) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 permits the SIA to exercise its discretion to increase the level of licensing dispensation given to an Approved Contractor in exceptional circumstances. Decisions as to whether exceptional circumstances apply will be made in accordance with our 'Exceptional Circumstances Policy for Licensing Dispensation'.

Download the Direction Regarding the Approved Contractor Scheme (download size: 40kb)

Download the Exceptional Circumstances Policy for Licensing Dispensation (download size: 361kb)