The purpose of this guidance is to ensure that everyone connected with the events industry is aware of their legal responsibilities under The Private Security Industry Act 2001. The guidance contained within this document is produced by the Security Industry Authority. It is intended to assist event organisers, venue managers and those responsible for the management or deployment of security operatives at venues and sports stadia to determine licence requirements under the Act, and to ensure that all security personnel covered by the legislation are correctly licensed.

It is however, only intended as general guidance. It is not a substitute for the definition of licensable activity within the Private Security Industry Act 2001, and for the avoidance of doubt should be read in conjunction with the Act. It does not remove the need for those concerned to consider the implications of the Act for particular events or premises, and to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

It is not possible to give definitive guidance as to who is licensable in all circumstances because it will always depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Nowhere in the legislation does it say that standing at a nightclub door or by a factory gate is licensable. It doesn’t describe watching a CCTV monitor, sitting at a reception desk, walking in a shopping mall or searching people or bags as licensable. These individuals become licensable if they engage in ‘designated activity’ as described in the legislation. Understanding what makes someone licensable is important and that is why we have published this guidance. Those responsible for events or the deployment of personnel must consider the specific circumstances and ensure that those carrying out licensable activity are appropriately licensed.

We recognise that it is not always easy for event organisers and suppliers of personnel to establish which individuals carry out licensable activity. This guidance has been updated in the light of experience and some common misunderstandings. In considering our response to any given set of circumstances, we always aim to take a proportionate approach. We will expect to see that organisers have acted in good faith and sought to ensure that the right people are licensed by taking a reasoned and open approach including reference to this guidance and, where necessary, seeking authoritative legal advice. Contrivances or misrepresentations to disguise the fact that someone is licensable would not demonstrate good faith. Although we cannot speak for other authorities, it seems likely that a similar approach would be adopted.

The SIA licensing requirement does not include those individuals who do not engage in licensable activity. We do not have the remit or expertise to regulate events – this is the responsibility of other authorities.

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