Our purpose is protecting the public through effective regulation of the private security industry and working with partners to raise standards across the sector. Public protection is at the heart of everything we do.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a public body reporting to the Home Secretary. We were established under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to contribute to public protection by setting and improving standards in the regulated private security industry. The Act covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the following activities: 

• Cash and valuables in transit  

• Close protection  

• Door supervision  

• Public space surveillance (CCTV)  

• Security guarding  

• Key holding  

• Vehicle immobilisation (in Northern Ireland only) 

We have a statutory responsibility to licence individual security operatives. We do this by applying criteria relating to identity, conduct and criminality. We establish the minimum competency requirements that individuals must meet before applying for a licence.  

We have a statutory responsibility to recognise those businesses wanting to meet standards. We do this by managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (referred to as ACS). We apply eligibility and other ‘fit and proper’ criteria, and we establish terms and conditions of approval.

Our compliance and inspection teams based and working across the UK work with licence holders, businesses and venues to ensure licensing requirements are met. Where cases are not resolved by advice, guidance, or formal warnings, we refer them to our criminal investigation team which, in appropriate cases, leads to prosecution. We use confiscation orders where individuals or businesses have profited from crimes and use that money to support good causes.  

As an arms’ length body of the Home Office, our work directly contributes to its priorities to  

• protect vulnerable people and communities,  

• cut crime and the harm it causes,  

• reduce terrorism

Fulfilling our responsibilities brings us into contact with many bodies including the police, local authorities, other government agencies, training providers, trade associations, security providers, buyers of security and industry representatives.  

SIA has around 400 staff, based across the UK, with a head office in London. The annual budget is around £35m, most of which comes from the fee paid by individuals when applying for a licence. The remainder is from fees for the ACS and from a capital grant from the Home Office. There are around 470,000 active licences and around 800 ACS companies. Our staff survey for 2022 had a 76.3% overall satisfaction score on a 70.7% return. We achieved 13 of our 14 key performance indicators in the 2022-23 financial year.

Heather Baily Chair

Michelle Russell Chief Executive

Why the SIA is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

We are passionate about equality of opportunity and diversity of thought. We believe that having a greater range of voices and opinions in our strategic discussions will enable us to deliver our strategy and fulfil our purpose – public protection. We are proud to play a part in this complex issue and strive to make the very best contribution that we can, within our remit. 

Having a Boardroom Apprentice will benefit SIA as that individual will bring another perspective, along with their skills and experience to our organisation and its leadership. But this is also an opportunity to make a societal contribution by supporting an individual to develop their capability, confidence and experience to take up a Board position and to discharge the responsibilities that come with such a role. We recognise the need to fundamentally shift the pool from which Board appointments are made to be more reflective of our society.

Our Board is unanimously supportive of providing this opportunity for a Boardroom Apprentice and our Chair has personally undertaken to provide the coaching and support to that individual.

This is an exciting time to be a part of SIA. We are a maturing organisation with a good track record on performance and delivery of our statutory responsibilities. We are well regarded by our sponsoring department, the Home Office, and by the industry which we regulate. 

Our Board has developed its approach to leading the organisation, moving from many formal meetings to a greater balance between reporting and strategy. The Board engages in strategic issues and the provision of direction on key issues facing the organisation. Some of the significant challenges moving forward include fiscal discipline as we seek to implement efficiency savings to minimise the fee charged to applicants in an industry where many people are paid the minimum wage. We must support the industry during the implementation of the Protect Duty (Martyn’s Law) which will raise the profile of and responsibilities for public safety. We are seeking additional powers to improve the efficacy and impact of our compliance and enforcement work.

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

Security Industry Authority, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Five Board meetings 

Six Board strategy events or visits 

Four Audit & Risk Assurance Committee

Four People Committee

Date of Board Meetings (January 2024 – December 2024)

Board meetings: Thursday 8 February, Friday 15 March, Thursday 2 May, Thursday 25 July, Thursday 7 November   Board Strategy/Visits: Thursday 22 February, Thursday 25 April, Thursday 20 June, Friday 20 September, Thursday 3 October, Thursday 14 November

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2024 – December 2024)

ARAC: Monday 22 January, Thursday 18 April, Thursday 4 July, Monday 21 October

People Committee: Friday 19 January, Friday 26 April, Friday 28 June, Friday 27 July, Thursday 28 November