Bodyguard Licensing in the UK

Written by James G. Shortt

We are often asked about the United Kingdom's Security Industry Authority Course, the simple fact is that there is none. There are, however, a multitude of privately certified CP3 courses recognised for licensing by the SIA. The SIA is, in fact, a quango limited to UK jurisdiction and not an international body, nor is the licence or the private certification it issues, an international standard, despite what many organisations would have you believe. 

For the CP3 licence in UK certain private examination boards (BTEC, C&G, Highfield, etc.) provide occupational certifications which are accepted as part of the process for the SIA UK CP licence. The SIA do not certify anyone, they merely provide you with a license if you have the right to employment within UK jurisdiction and are prepared to pay their required fees. 

Through partners, we provide two SIA approved courses, one in the UK and another in Slovenia. Any IBA course undertaken can be used as part of the experienced practitioner (EP) training for the reduced hours (EP) 24 hrs course for SIA CP3. The IBA IBSC (foundation) course in terms of learning outcomes, trade craft and best practice for bodyguards is of a much higher standard than CP3.  

The vast amount of misinformation on this subject generated by various UK-based companies and their affiliates is a regrettable fact, add to that the vast number of UK "SIA CP Licence Holders" who cannot find employment as a CP with hundreds chasing just one job. You must also take into account the social barriers, that despite paying for the CP3 course and paying again for an SIA licence without a UK military or police background, you are very often excluded and are lucky to find work as a door supervisor.

Bodyguard (that is the WIPO registered term, not the red herrings of CP, EP, CPP or any other misnomer) Education should focus on :

- Best Practice

- Trade Craft

- Learning Outcomes

- Audit & Update

Licensing should be the fifth objective, not the first. Sadly, it seems the aim of Government in licensing is neither public or professional protection, but record, fee paying and taxation.