SIA publishes business approval scheme consultation findings

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has today (11 July) published the findings from its public consultation on the future of its business approval scheme

The consultation ran from 22 February to 8 April 2024. The consultation sought views on the principles that the SIA proposes should underpin its business approval scheme in future. These were:

  • the case for change in principle
  • the SIA’s emerging thinking on changes it proposes to develop further
  • whether there are other changes it should consider as it develops the scheme

The SIA received over 400 responses to the consultation from across the UK. Respondents were mainly from the private security industry (86%). The majority were ACS approved contractors, with the next largest number being non-ACS private security businesses followed by individual licence holders.

Overall, respondents broadly supported the proposed approach. The themes emerging from the consultation included the importance of skills, professional development, training and industry experience.

Jane Debois, SIA Head of Business Standards said:

"The growing recognition of the critical role private security plays in public safety means there is a clear need for a new scheme which is grounded in public protection.

"I am grateful to everyone who responded to this consultation; the majority of whom agreed there should be more robust requirements in the scheme to support public safety. We are now planning to develop detailed designs for the new scheme and will take the feedback we have received into account."

Currently the business approvals scheme is the main way the SIA can influence improvements to business standards. It is a voluntary, quality-based scheme through which it promotes good practice and improvements in industry standards.

The changes under consideration will signal a significant shift in the way the SIA approves businesses under this scheme. It will also change how standards are defined for security businesses, ensuring public protection is at the heart of the new scheme.

The consultation closed in April 2024. In accordance with government pre-election rules, publication of the findings was put on hold until after the General Election on 4 July.

The SIA will hold another public consultation on the final proposed design of the new scheme. It intends to launch the new scheme during the business year 2026 to 2027.

See the executive summary of the response to the consultation. You can also read a more detailed breakdown of the responses to this consultation.

From: Security Industry Authority