How Long Does It Take to Get a Licence?

There is no standard timescale for licence applications.

The time taken to process your application will be affected by many different factors: your nationality (insofar as it affects your right to work in the UK), your address history, your criminal record if you have one, whether you’ve spent time outside the UK, and so on. Every application carries with it its own specific set of circumstances that must be taken into account.

Because of this, each application will be processed according to its own individual timescale. Some will be processed in days, others weeks, and some may take months - for example, if we have to wait for the outcome of a court case before we can make our decision.

Our timescales are also affected by the number of applications being processed at the time and the current response times of the various other agencies involved (for example, the criminality disclosure bodies), which are critical to our daily activities.

Decision Timescale Indicator

We have developed an online tool that will provide a more useful answer to the question. This tool uses data drawn from the previous 6 months to estimate how long an application will take.

Go to our decision timescale indicator

Things You Need To Know

YOU make a big difference to the speed of your application

We use the information you give us and if this is incorrect or incomplete then your application will be delayed. As an example:

  • We receive Application A. Some of the details provided by the applicant are incorrect, so we must write to them to ask them for the correct information. We cannot make a decision on whether to grant their licence until we receive that information.
  • We receive Application B a day after Application A. This time we have everything we need to make our decision - so, even though we received Application B after Application A, we will make our decision on Application B first.

We are not responsible for any delays that may be caused by you giving us incorrect or incomplete information, so please take the time to review your application BEFORE you submit it because once you’ve submitted it you won’t be able to change it.

You should also respond quickly to any requests from us for further information as doing so will prevent unnecessary delays to your application.

You may not get a licence

You are not guaranteed a licence simply because you apply for one. As the regulator of the private security industry, it is our role to determine whether you meet the required criteria and if you do not we will refuse your application.

You are also not guaranteed a licence simply because you have held one previously. Our licensing criteria may change over time and by law we must make our decision according to the criteria in force at the time.