Public space surveillance (CCTV) licence

Home Office Building - London - by .Martin. via Flickr

Public space surveillance (CCTV) licence



You must get a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) if you work as an operative (or supply operatives under a contract for services) who uses closed circuit television (CCTV) equipment to:

  • monitor the activities of a member of the public in a public or private place
  • identify a particular person

This includes the use of CCTV to record images that are viewed on non-CCTV equipment, but excludes the use of CCTV solely to identify a trespasser or protect property.

There are 2 types of SIA licence:

  • a front line licence for operatives carrying out surveillance
  • a non-front line licence for managers, supervisors and other staff who do not carry out front line duties

To get your licence you:

  • must be at least 18 years of age
  • must pass an identity check
  • must pass a criminal record check

For front line roles you must also hold the appropriate SIA-approved qualification.

How to apply

You can complete you SIA licence application online or through the post. You must supply the supporting relevant documentation and pay a fee.

The licence application costs £210 and is non-refundable.

Granted licences last for 3 years. If you pay your own licence fee, you can claim tax relief – worth £49 for basic rate tax payers. If you are an employer paying an employee’s licence fee, there will be no tax or National Insurance liability. If you need more than one licence for your activities, you may be eligible for a 50% discount for the second application fee.


The SIA can attach to the licence any conditions they believe to be reasonable.

You must renew your licence before it expires to continue working. You can apply to renew your licence up to 4 months before your current licence expires.

The SIA may authorise a person to enter your place of business or place of work (where your licensed action is undertaken) to assess your compliance with any ongoing obligations. You may also have to provide any relevant documents or information to show your compliance with any licence obligations.


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