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Security Licensing in Ireland: who needs one, who's lost one and who's responsible.

28th February 2014

The private security industry in Ireland is regulated by the Private Security Authority (PSA).  The mission of the PSA is to ‘regulate the activities of those involved in the private security industry to ensure that the interests of consumers are fully protected through the establishment, promotion, monitoring and enforcement of appropriate standards.’
The areas that PSA regulates are determined by what is covered in the legislation that governs the private security industry, The Private Security Services Act 2004.  Not all sections of the act have been imp0lemented at this point and therefore, not all areas of private security are regulated.  So, what areas within private security are regulated?  Let’s start with the companies, or what the PSA would refer to as Contractors.  Companies or Contractors that conduct the following activities must hold a PSA license: 

  • Security Guarding
  • Door Security
  • Cash in Transit
  • Alarm Installation & Maintenance
  • CCTV Installation & Maintenance
  • Access Control & Maintenance
  • Alarm Monitoring/Alarm Receiving Centres

Employees working in the following areas must hold a license for the PSA: 

  • Security Guarding 
  • DSP 
  • Cash-in-Transit 

What does licensing guarantee for you, a customer of the security industry?  Firstly, you can be assured that all directors of contractors have been criminally record checked and deemed suitable to be licensed.  The same is true of any individual that holds a PSA license.  Licensing also ensures that all contractors are tax compliant.  Finally, a PSA license held by an individual also ensures a minimum level of training has been completed in the area that the license is for.  

There are currently over 29,000 Individuals licensed and 936 contractors licensed.  But does anything actually happen if you are found not to have a license for a regulated are of the private security industry or if you found to not be meeting the requirements of licensing?  The answer is undoubtedly, yes!  Since the introduction of licensing 84 contractor licences have been revoked and 147 applications refused.  50 individual licences revoked and 5001 applications refused.  There have been 48 successful prosecutions.

Everyone has a role to play within licensing.  The security companies, representative bodies like the ISIA, individuals working within security companies and of course the customer of the industry.  It is not just the responsibility of the security companies to ensure compliance, the company or individual procuring the security service is obligated to ensure compliance and may be prosecuted if they are found to be repeatedly sourcing security services from unlicensed contractors.  

If you are uncertain if a company is licensed by the PSA visit www.psa.gov.ie or contact us in the ISIA.