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Security Industry Authority CEO Ian Todd issues update on COVID-19 response

16 April 2020

IAN TODD, CEO at the Security Industry Authority (SIA), has issued an update on how the Regulator for the private security industry is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic is exerting a significant impact on the industry. That being so, the SIA is continually exploring initiatives designed to enable security businesses to operate while managing the crisis.

A key area of concern has been around training. Under very carefully controlled conditions, the SIA is piloting remote training for some licence-linked qualifications. The Regulator will be evaluating the pilot with a view to rolling this out more widely. Todd commented: “This will be done only when we have assured ourselves that the systems of assessment are robust.”

In response to concerns raised by Approved Contractors, the SIA has extended all annual assessments by an initial three months. The extension will be reviewed at the end of this period. Approved Contractors due to pay fees in the next three months will be given up to three months to pay instead of the normal 21 days. Any Approved Contractors wishing to take advantage of this should contact the Regulator via their business account.

For individuals in Scotland applying for a licence, Disclosure Scotland has now created an electronic application process in order to allow for disclosure applications to proceed. This allows licence applications to progress and decisions to be made as normal.

Wednesday 1 April marked the start of the SIA's individual licence fee reduction for all sectors. The fee paid by applicants is now down from £210 to £190. This applies to both new applicants and those renewing existing licences. Licence holders applying for an additional licence will pay 50% of the new reduced fee.

“Our customer support team continues to operate,” stated Todd. “If you require help, please contact us through your online account or via the ‘contact us' form on the SIA's website. We are continuing to respond to business enquiries within 48 hours, and responding to individuals as quickly as possible, usually within five working days. Please only submit one message. We will reply as soon as possible.”

The Regulator is continuing to process new licence applications made through businesses using its Licence Management service. The Post Office remains open to do this, but with some temporary closures and necessary limits to service.

Todd has urged companies and individuals across the private security industry not to send any documents to the SIA as the Regulator's offices are closed. Any documents already in the SIA's possession are being stored safely and will be returned as soon as it's safe to do so, but this may be some time off given the current climate. “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but the situation is currently beyond our control.”

The SIA continues to work with its colleagues in the Disclosure and Barring Service and with its system suppliers to implement online methods for identity verification, to the appropriate standard, without relying on physical documents wherever possible.