If We Refuse Your Licence Application

If we think that our decision will be to refuse your application we will write to you before we make that decision. This is so that you have the opportunity to appeal in a way that won’t incur court costs.

When we write to you we will tell you:

  • What our decision is likely to be
  • The reason we are likely to refuse your application, and
  • What you can do that might lead us to decide that we can grant you a licence

You have 21 days from the date on our letter to provide a response. You should respond through your SIA online account, by selecting 'Appeal' from the 'Actions' button next to your application details.

The type of information you can provide in your response will depend on which category you fall into in our published licensing criteria.

  • Automatic refusal. Where you are an automatic refusal, you may only tell us of any factual errors in our assessment - for example, an error in respect of your identity, or an error in assessing your qualifications or criminal history.
  • Consider additional factors. Where you are not an automatic refusal and you fall into the 'consider additional factors' category, you will also be invited to provide mitigation.

If we do not receive a response from you within the 21 days the decision to refuse you a licence will automatically take effect.

If you do send in a response within the 21 days we will give it due consideration, and we will write to you to inform you of our decision. If we decide it is still necessary to refuse your licence, you will then have 21 days from the date of this final decision letter in which to exercise a right of appeal to a magistrates' or sheriff court.

Once our decision to refuse is made, we have no power to revisit that decision without the direction of a court, unless the decision was based on a fundamental mistake of fact. If you are having genuine difficulty submitting your evidence within the 21 days you should write to us (within the 21 days) to let us know.

Court Appeals

Please note that costs may be involved with a court appeal, both in lodging the appeal and if you lose the appeal at court. When deciding if you wish to bring an appeal to court you may like to bear in mind the High Court case of Security Industry Authority v Stewart & Others (2007), which ruled that magistrate's courts must follow the criteria set out in our 'Get Licensed' booklet when considering appeals. As an example, magistrate's courts considering decisions we have made as a result of our criminality criteria cannot consider factors outside of those criteria, such as the circumstances or gravity of the offence(s) committed.

Licence Dispensation Notices

If you work for an approved contractor under the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme and have been working under a Licence Dispensation Notice you can no longer work legally in any licensable sector following receipt of a final refusal letter from us.