The 'general' system of recognition of professional qualifications is mandated under European Directives 2005/36/EC and 2013/56/EU. It is implemented into UK law through the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015. This directive enables workers from the European Economic Area (EEA) to have their professional qualification recognised in another EEA country. It's designed to make it easier for certain professions (including security operatives) to get permission to work in a regulated profession.
Applicants from EEA countries seeking recognition for non-UK qualifications under the 'General' route should follow the steps below. Alternatively you may prefer to use the 'temporary and occasional' route. Both routes will remain in place regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or without a deal.
Read about the 'temporary and occasional' route
- Create a personal online account on our self-service website
- Send us a message by clicking on the 'Contact the SIA' tab (screenshot here). Select "I want to ask about a new application or make a general enquiry as your reason for contact and use the phrase "EEA Qualification" in the body of your message. Please make sure you use this phrase: if you don't, your message may not be seen by the correct team. You must also tell us your address.
- We will send you a form, which will ask for details of your qualification (including syllabus and awarding authority) and the type of SIA licence you wish to apply for (Close Protection, Door Supervisor, etc). You will need to fill in the form and then send it back to us, along with any other document we ask for. There is no fee for applying for recognition of your professional qualification.
- We may check the information you give us with the relevant authorities in your qualification's country of origin.
- We will write to you to tell you if you need to do any additional training before you can apply for a licence and/or if your qualification is more suitable for a different licence. Our letter will also explain what you can do if you disagree with our evaluation of your qualification.
- If your qualification meets our requirements, or when you can prove that you have completed any additional training that we asked you to take, you can apply for a licence. You should do this through your online account. You will have to pay the licence application fee.