The private security sector involves a wide variety of operations including security guarding, prosecutors, crowd controllers, bodyguards, private security trainers, security consultants, and installers of equipment. The Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) is the national body for security professionals.
The security industry is not heavily affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic. 750 private security officers are deployed each day to conduct enforced isolation to main cities like Sydney, according to a report published by the ASIAL.
The regulatory body of the security personnel varies from each state/territory. In this article, we will be briefly highlighting the types of licences, who needs these licences, state-wise requirements and their regulatory bodies.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The regulatory body in the ACT is Access Canberra. Here, a Master License must be obtained by security employers, and employees of the security industry must hold licenses while carrying out the following security activities:
- Patrolling, guarding the public property
- Working as a crowd controller
- Selling and advising security equipment
- Install, maintain, monitor or repair security equipment/s
- While carrying out surveys and inspection of security equipment
Before August 2017, a security worker needed to obtain a training qualification before applying for the licences on selling, installing, maintaining, monitoring or repairing security equipment, and conducting surveys and inspections on security equipment. However, they no longer need the training from 1 September 2017. More details on this are provided here.
New South Wales (NSW)
In NSW, a Master License must be owned by security employers (be it sole traders or corporate bodies), and only Master License holders can employ licensed security personnel. There are different categories of Master licences available, such as
- MA (self-employed)
- MB (can provide up to 3 persons to carry out a security activity in one day)
- MC (can provide up to 4-14 persons to carry out a security activity in one day)
- MD (can provide up to 15-49 persons to carry out a security activity in one day)
- ME (can provide up to more than 50 persons to carry out a security activity in one day).
A security employee must obtain a Class 1 or 2 license depending on the activities they perform:
Class 1- Unarmed guard, crowd controller, bodyguard, armed guards, monitoring centre operator, guard dog holders
Class 2- Security consultants, trainers, sellers, technicians
More information is available in the Security Licencing and Enforcement Directorate (SLED) website.
Northern Territory (NT)
A Private Security Firm Licence is required for the employers, be it the sole traders, partnership or corporate bodies.
Employees may have to obtain licences including:
- A crowd controller licence
- Private security officer licence
- Combined crowd controller/private security officer licence
More information is available at the NT regulatory body Department of Business Website.
A person, partnership or corporation that hires crowd controllers, bodyguards, security officers, private investigators, security advisors and installers of security equipment and provides their services to others at a fee needs a Security Firm license.
Security Provider’s licence which is issued only to the individuals consists of two classes:
Manpower (Class 1):Private investigator, crowd controller, bodyguard, security officers (unarmed, monitoring, dog patrol, cash in transit).
Technician (Class 2):Security adviser and equipment installer
The Office of Fair Trading website can provide more detailed information on the same.
South Australia (SA)
Individuals, partnerships and companies providing investigating agents or security agent services in South Australia must all be licensed.
An Investing Agentmeans a person who is involved one or more in the following: private investigator, missing person search, debt collection, tax or money recovering etc.
A Security Agentdoes one or more of the following: guards or protects people or property, animals, crowd controllers, security equipment adviser or supplier, etc.
The regulatory body in South Australia is the Consumer and Business Services.
In TAS, an agent licence is required for any person/company to carry out business activities, and employees are required to have an employee licence.
Security Guardactivities involve guarding property and surveillance.
Crowd Controlactivities are screening, monitoring and removing persons from particular premises.
Inquiry Agentactivities involve private investigation, missing person search, obtaining evidence for legal proceedings, etc.
Commercial Sub-Agent activities are debt collections, repossessions, court order executions etc.
The Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading is the regulatory body in Tasmania.
Security firms and companies in Victoria and security firm employees must be licensed or registered.
Business operator’s Licence:Private Security Business Licences are for security guarding, crowd controlling, investigation services, bodyguard services, private security training.
Registration:To install security equipment or provide advice on the same, obtain a Private Security Business Registration.
Employee Licence:Private Security Individual Operator licence is needed to be obtained for security guarding, crowd controlling, investigation services, bodyguard services, private security training.
Registration:Private Security Individual Registration is required to perform security equipment related work or advice.
The Licencing and Regulation Division (VIC Police) website has detailed information on this.
Western Australia (WA)
Agent (Business) Licences are:Security Agent Licence, Crowd Control Agent Licence and Inquiry Agent Licence.
Non-Agent (Individual) Licences are:Security Officer Licence, Security Installer Licence, Security Consultant Licence, Crowd Controller Licence, Investigator Licence.
An Agent is not allowed to perform any of the services if they do not hold a Non-Agent Licence. They can only supply the holders of other licences.
The Licencing Enforcement Division (WA Police) regulates the licencing part in the state.
Requirements to obtain the License and Registration
The general criteria in each state for eligibility may include:
- 18 years of age or above
- Resident of Australia or current visa holder
- Fit and proper person (not having significant criminal or medical history)
- Demonstrate competence to work in the security sector by completing training specific to the private security operation or activities for which they wish to be licensed
Requirements of a National Police Check in the Security Industry
One must be fit and proper to obtain a licence for security related jobs. However, the requirement of the National Police Check may vary from one state to another.
In the ACT, at the time of applying for the licence, applicants must provide the original or certified copy of a fingerprint-verified Police Check certificate obtained through the Australian Federal Police, an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) agency or State Police Force name-only certificate with each application.
An applicant must provide a National Police Check in Victoria (Fingerprint Check) as well.
In NSW, you may be required to provide a Police Check certificate if you have lived outside Australia for 12 months or more and it must have been issued within the last 12 months.
KONCHECK, an accredited body of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) can help you obtain a Criminal History Check to obtain a Master Licence or Employee Licence for the Security industry. The results are delivered in 1-2 business days in most of the cases. One can lodge their application online at a very affordable price.