SIA Licensing at Shopping Centres and Retail Outlets

This page provides information about licence requirements for chief executives, directors and security operatives of shopping centres in relation to the provision of security services to third parties.

This page provides only a summary of information. You will need to read other relevant areas of our website to access full information about licensable activity and who needs a licence.

Licensing Requirement

An SIA licence is required if the individual carries out manned guarding activity in connection with any contract for the supply of services. 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.

Managers / Directors

A non-front line SIA licence is required for those who manage, supervise and/or employ individuals who engage in licensable activity, as long as front line activity is not carried out - this includes directors or partners. For the purposes of the Private Security Industry Act 2001, "director" means executive and non-executive directors, shadow directors, parent company directors and corporate entities holding a directorship.

There is no training requirement for a non-front licence.

Additional Considerations

An SIA licence is not usually necessary where an employed individual undertakes manned guarding activities solely on behalf of his/ her employer and not in connection with any contract for the supply of services. Such individuals are often referred to as 'in-house'. There are however some scenarios where an employer's own staff will require an SIA licence.

Licensed Premises

A Door Supervisor licence is required if manned guarding activities are undertaken in relation to licensed premises 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. This is applicable regardless of whether the individual is working in connection with a contract for the supply of services, so includes 'in-house' staff as well as those supplied by a security contractor.

Definition of licensed premises

Definition of 'open to the public'

Care should be taken to check which areas of a retail store / shopping centre are covered by a Premises Licence, as it is often the whole store/ shopping centre and not just, for example, a café.

Concessions

An SIA licence is required if security staff protect concessions as well as their employer's premises/ property and this is done in connection with a contract for the supply of services. This applies even if the security staff are directly employed by the shopping centre / retail outlet.

Retail Units

An SIA licence is required if shopping centre security staff protect retail units within the centre in connection with any contract for the supply of services. This includes where security staff enter units for the above and also where they protect a unit's interests in public areas, such as a shopping centre's 'walk-ways'. This applies even if the security staff are directly employed by the shopping centre.