Who needs a security licence?

Quick links

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, security employers must hold a Master Licence, and security industry employees must hold licences when conducting the following security activities:

• Patrolling, guarding, watching or protecting property
• Acting as a crowd controller
• Acting as a bodyguard
• Giving advice about security equipment
• Selling security equipment
• Installing, maintaining, monitoring, repairing or servicing security equipment
• Acting as a security consultant
• Carrying out surveys and inspections of security equipment

Regulator: Access Canberra

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator

New South Wales

In NSW, security employers (whether sole traders or corporate entities) must hold a Master Licence, and only Master Licence holders can employ licensed security personnel.

Who can apply for a Master licence?

• Individuals
• Corporations
• Government agencies (including public authorities)

Entity types, such as trusts, associations and partnerships, are not able to apply for Master licences. If a business operates as a partnership, the application for a Master licence must be made by one of the partners, with the others declared as close associates.

Master Licence Categories
MA - Self-employed
MB - Provide no more than 3 persons to carry out security activities on any one day
MC - Provide between 4 and 14 persons to carry out security activities on any one day
MD - Provide between 15 and 49 persons to carry out security activities on any one day
ME- Provide 50 or more persons to carry out security activities on any one day

NOTE: Changes to the regulation now refer to the number of persons a company 'provides' rather than 'employs'. This is significant for sub-contracting arrangements.

Security industry employees must hold either Class 1 or Class 2 licences, depending on the security activities they perform:

CLASS 1

A. Unarmed Guards*
B. Bodyguards
C. Crowd Controllers
D. Guard Dog Holders
E. Monitoring Centre Operators
F. Armed Guards

CLASS 2

A. Security Consultants
B. Security Sellers
C. Security Technician Plus#
D. Security Trainers


*Class 1G. Loss Prevention Officers are now included in Class 1A.

*Class 2C includes Locksmiths and former class 2E. Barrier Equipment Specialists and 2F. Electronic Equipment Specialists


NOTE: If a person is self-employed (e.g. a one person alarm installation business), he/she must have both a Master Licence AND the relevant individual licence.

Regulator: Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED)

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top


Northern Territory

Security Employers (whether sole traders, partnerships or corporate entities) must hold a Private Security Firm Licence.

Security Industry Employees must hold a:

• Private Security Officer Licence - which allows a person to work as a private security officer;
• Crowd Controller Licence - which allows a person to work as a crowd controller; or a
• Combined Crowd Controller / Private Security Officer Licence - which allows a person to work as both a crowd controller and a private security officer.

Private security officers and crowd controllers must meet a standard of probity. Security officers and crowd controllers must have also successfully completed the appropriate competency-based training requirements in order to obtain a licence.

It is a condition of all licences that they must comply with any Code of Practice approved by the Minister. A security officer or crowd controller may be subject to disciplinary action if he or she is found to have contravened the provisions listed in the codes of practice relevant to their category of licence.

Regulator: Department of Business (Gambling and Licensing Division)

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top

Queensland

A Security Firm licence is required for a person, partnership or corporation that engages crowd controllers, security officers, bodyguards, private investigators, security advisers and/or security equipment installers and supplies their services to others for a fee.

Security Firm Licences can be issued to individuals, partnerships or corporations; the licence will specify which functions can be supplied under the licence.

There are no specific qualification requirements for a Security Firm Licence, however all key staff (i.e. staff involved in the management of the business) must meet the same criteria that apply to an individual licence.

Security Provider Licences (which are issued only to individuals) are issued under two classes:

Class 1 (manpower)

• Bodyguard
• Private investigator
• Crowd controller
• Security officer (cash in transit)
• Security officer (unarmed)
• Security officer (monitoring)
• Security officer (dog patrol)

Class 2 (technical)

• Security adviser
• Security equipment installer

Regulator: Office of Fair Trading

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top

South Australia

In South Australia individuals, partnerships and companies supplying investigation agent or security agent services must all be licensed.

Individuals must meet the licensing requirements and hold a licence; in partnerships, each of the partners must meet the licensing requirements and hold a licence; for companies operating a business, the body corporate (company) must apply for a licence and nominate a manager for the business. The manager must meet the licensing requirements and hold a licence.

Investigation agent means a person who does one or more of the following:

• Repossessing goods
• Debt collection
• Executing court orders
• Recovery of rates, taxes or money
• Private investigation
• Searching for missing persons
• Obtaining evidence for legal proceedings

Security agent means a person who does one or more of the following:

• Protects, guards or watches people or property
• Provides dogs or other animals to protect or guard people or property
• Prevents, detects or investigates offences in relation to people or property
• controls crowds
• Provides advice on security alarm or surveillance systems
• Hires out or supplies security alarm or surveillance systems
• Installs or maintains security alarm or surveillance systems

Regulator: Consumer and Business Services

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top

Tasmania

In Tasmania any person or company who carries out any of the following business activities requires an Agent’s Licence; any employee undertaking any of the following activities requires an Employee Licence:

Security Guard activities:

• Guarding property (including retail loss prevention)
• Keeping property under surveillance (including retail loss prevention)

Crowd Control activities:

• Screening entry (this does not include simply checking admission payments, Invitations or passes)
• Monitoring or controlling behaviour
• Removing persons from premises

Inquiry Agent activities:

• Private investigations
• Obtaining evidence for the purpose of legal proceedings
• Searching for missing persons
• Any other prescribed activity

Commercial Sub-Agent activities:

• Repossessions
• Debt collection
• Executing court orders
• Levying distress (bailiff authorised to collect a debt or repossess property on behalf of a creditor)
• Any other prescribed activity

Regulator: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top


Victoria

In Victoria security firms and businesses, and employees of security firms and businesses, must be either licensed or registered.

Licenses
Manpower services (guarding, crowd control, investigations etc) require licences.

Business operators - manpower services business operators who provide any of the following services require a Private Security Business Licence:

• Security guarding services
• Crowd control services
• Investigation services
• Bodyguard services

Employees - manpower services employees (security guards, crowd controllers, investigators and bodyguards) require a Private Security Individual Operator Licence.

Registration
Electronic services and security advisers require registration.

Business operators – businesses providing security advice or security equipment installation services require Private Security Business Registration.

Employees - security advisers and security equipment installers require Private Security Individual Registration.

Regulator: Licensing and Regulation Division (VIC Police)

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top

Western Australia

In Western Australia a business or individual providing security services must hold the appropriate licence.

Agent (Business) Licences
Businesses supplying security products or services must hold the appropriate Agent licence.

The following licences are available:

• Security Agent Licence – authorises the supply of security officers, security consultants or security (equipment) installer’s services.
• Crowd Control Agent Licence - authorises the supply of crowd control services.
• Inquiry Agent Licence - authorises the supply of investigation services.

Non-Agent (Individual) Licences
Employees who perform security services need to hold the appropriate Non-agent licence.

The following licences are available:

• Security Officer Licence - to watch, guard and protect property.
• Security Consultant Licence – to investigate and advise on matters relating to the watching, guarding and protection of property; includes security service and equipment sales.
• Security Installer Licence – to install security equipment (does not apply to installers of security equipment in vehicles, vessels or aircraft).
• Crowd Controller Licence – to monitor or control the behaviour of persons, screen persons for entry or remove people from premises. Required for licensed premises, places of entertainment and public or private events or functions.
• Investigator Licence – to investigate the conduct of individuals or corporations or the character of individuals, perform surveillance work or investigate missing persons.

Holders of Agent licences are not permitted to perform the duties of the other (non-agent) licence classes unless they also hold the appropriate non-agent licence. They are only permitted to supply the holders of other licences. A self-employed alarm installer, for example, would need to hold both an Agent and Non-agent licence.

Regulator: Licensing Enforcement Division (WA Police)

DISCLAIMER: The information above is a summary only of the licensing requirements in each State and Territory. For full, detailed information you MUST visit the website of the relevant regulator.

Return to top

For the latest industry news, sign up for the ASIAL newsletter