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CCTV Systems: Who Needs Training and Who needs a Licence?
The Security Industry regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and certain security sectors and security personnel now need to be licensed as a mandatory requirement. This includes contracted Security Officers and CCTV Operators who are required to be licenced, part of that licensing is proof of competency.  This can only be achieved by undertaking nationally recognised and accredited training from an approved Training provider, to the National standards set by the SIA for each section of the Industry.

The SIA recognises that it is essential for all CCTV Public Space Surveillance (PSS) operators to have undergone a structured programme of training and education resulting in recognised qualifications if they are to be effective and professional in their role.  Increasingly, industry stakeholders also recognise that the individuals who work to provide a safe and secure environment must have a broad range of skills and a clear understanding of their role.  As the scope and importance of CCTV PSS operations continue to grow, so the degree of professionalism expected from CCTV PSS operational staff will increase.

In the same vein, Security Officers, Retail, Static and Patrol Officers are included in the licensing requirement.

The SIA approach to licensing the CCTV Operator
The SIA consulted with CCTV operators, employers and those who purchase their services. It quickly became evident that a clear distinction should be made between a security guard who is required to monitor fixed CCTV cameras on private property and a public space CCTV PSS operator who is required to operate the cameras to provide real time security surveillance, to support and assist the police and emergency services as required and to record and present evidence. As a result of the consultation the following definitions have been derived to apply to the SIA licensing process and for those who operate CCTV for:
                    1. Public Space Surveillance operators

                    2. Private Property operators

1) Public Space Surveillance:

Any person 'contracted' to operate CCTV PSS equipment which is either deployed into fixed positions or has a pan, tilt and zoom capability which enables the operator to:

  • Pro-actively monitor  the activities of members of the public whether they are in public areas or on private property
  • Use cameras to focus on the activities of particular people either by controlling or directing cameras at an individual's activities
  • Use cameras to look out for particular individuals
  • Use recorded CCTV PSS images to find things out about people such as identifying a criminal or a witness or activities of employees

these people will be classed as a CCTV PSS Operator and require an SIA Licence.

1.1) 'Contracted' PSS Operators

There are two types of contracted operator

a) Any person using CCTV equipment that forms part of a PSS CCTV system who is not employed by the owner of the CCTV equipment will be classed as a 'contracted' employee.  Those operators employed by the owner of the system will be classed as 'In house' operatives.


b) Any 'In house' employee who monitors the whole or any part of a CCTV system that is owned by another or where a monitoring charge is made to the owner of that system or part of that system, will then become a 'contracted' employee for the purposes of SIA licensing. 

These persons will all be required to obtain a CCTV PSS Operator licence and will be defined as CCTV PSS Operators

1.2) 'In house' CCTV PSS Operators

Those persons not included in the above definitions of 'Contracted' employees who operate a CCTV PSS system will not require an SIA licence under the Private Security Act 2001 at this time.

However the 'In house' section of the CCTV Monitoring Industry is of the opinion that they should all work towards licensing for all CCTV PSS system staff to establish and support National Standards for the whole Industry.

2) Private property CCTV operators

Any person who monitors cameras as part of their wider security duties solely to identify intruders onto a site, or for the protection of vehicles or buildings but does not specifically monitor the public who may enter that property other than to guard against damage to or theft from property and premises.

This person will require a Security Operations licence and will be defined as a Security Officer.

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