Licensable Activities

Manned Guarding

Manned guarding activity includes any of the following:

  1. guarding premises against unauthorised access or occupation, against outbreaks of disorder or against damage;
  2. guarding property against destruction or damage, against being stolen or against being otherwise dishonestly taken or obtained;
  3. guarding one or more individuals against assault or against injuries that might be suffered in consequence of the unlawful conduct of others.

All of the above includes providing a physical presence, or carrying out any form of patrol or surveillance, as to deter or otherwise discourage it from happening or to provide information, if it happens, about what has happened.

Read the full definition of manned guarding

For the purposes of SIA licensing, manned guarding is broken down into the following activities. With the exception of Door Supervision, an SIA licence is required only if your services are supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer.

Cash and Valuables in Transit

A Cash and Valuables in Transit licence is required when guarding property against destruction or damage, against being stolen or against being otherwise dishonestly taken or obtained, involving the secure transportation of property in vehicles specially manufactured or adapted so as to have secure transportation as their primary function.

Close Protection

A Close Protection licence is required when guarding one or more individuals against assault or against injuries that might be suffered in consequence of the unlawful conduct of others.

Door Supervision

A Door Supervisor licence is required if manned guarding activities are undertaken in relation to licensed premises*, except where the activity only involves the use of CCTV equipment or falls within the definition of cash and valuables in transit or close protection. A Door Supervisor licence is required if you are performing this activity on behalf of yourself or your employer or your services are supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer.

*'in relation to licensed premises' means when those premises are open to the public, at times when alcohol is being supplied for consumption, or regulated entertainment is being provided, on the premises.

Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)

A Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licence is required when manned guarding activities are carried out through the use of closed circuit television equipment to:

  1. monitor the activities of a member of the public in a public or private place; or
  2. identify a particular person.

This includes the use of CCTV in these cases to record images that are viewed on non-CCTV equipment, but excludes the use of CCTV solely to identify a trespasser or protect property.

Security Guard

A Security licence is required when manned guarding activity that does not fall under the descriptions of door supervision, close protection, cash and valuables in transit, or public space surveillance (CCTV) is undertaken.


Key Holding

A Key Holding licence is required when keeping custody of, or controlling access to, any key or similar device for operating (whether mechanically, electronically or otherwise) any lock.

This does not apply to:

  • the activities of a person who holds a key or other device for obtaining access to any premises for the purposes incidental to the provision in relation to those premises, or in relation to an individual present on those premises, or any services that do not consist of or include the carrying out of any of the manned guarding activities.
  • activities carried out merely incidentally to the provision of any services in connection with a proposal for the sale of any premises or other property to which the key or similar device gives access.

An SIA licence is required only if your services are supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer.


Immobilisation, Restriction and Removal of Vehicles

SIA licensing of vehicle immobilisers applies to Northern Ireland only.

You need a Vehicle Immobiliser licence if you undertake any of the following activity:

  1. the moving of a vehicle by any means;
  2. the restriction of the movement of a vehicle by any means (including the immobilisation of a vehicle by attaching a device to it);
  3. the release of a vehicle which has been so moved or restricted, where release is effected by returning the vehicle to the control of the person who was otherwise entitled to remove it, by removing any restriction on the movement of the vehicle by removing the device or by any other means; or
  4. the demanding or collection of a charge as a condition of any such release of or for the removal of the device from a vehicle.

Vehicle immobiliser activity only applies to activities carried out for the purpose of preventing or inhibiting the removal of a vehicle by a person otherwise entitled to remove it.

Vehicle immobiliser activity only applies where it is proposed to impose a charge for the release of the vehicle.

Vehicle immobiliser activity applies to any activities carried out in relation to a vehicle while it is elsewhere than on a road within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The requirement to hold a licence when carrying out the immobilisation, restriction or removal activity as defined in the Act applies to anyone e.g. land occupiers, in-house employees, staff supplied for the purposes of or in connection with any contract to a consumer or volunteers.

There are certain exclusions mentioned within the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The Act (paragraphs 2 and 3A of Schedule 2) should be referred to for full details of when a licence is not required.