For the first time in Victoria, bodyguards will be required to be licensed and security equipment installers and security advisors will be required to be registered with the industry regulator, Licensing Services Division (LSD) of the Victoria Police.  

The new provisions outlined in the Private Security Act 2004 (the Act) reflect the changing nature of the industry, specifically the growing responsibility the security industry has in ensuring the safety of the Victorian community.

The Act was developed after extensive consultation with the security industry and the community. Victoria Police, through the establishment of POLSEC (an initiative of Victoria Police and the Victorian security industry) aims to strengthen the relationship between the two bodies as they work together to build a safe and secure community.

The Private Security Act 2004 is designed to raise the overall standards of the security industry. It is a result of the combined efforts of the regulator, industry sectors and government, all of which are to be congratulated for their ongoing dedication to the Victorian community.

Combined with the legislation, the revised training standards have set in place a future direction for the industry. The ongoing development of partnerships with the community has led to identification and understanding of community expectations and the requirements of the security industry in delivering a safer Victoria.

The new licensing and registration system has an increased focus on training competencies and probity requirements:

·         A new training package (only required for licence applicants), produced from the national Asset Security Training Package PRS03, has been developed aiming to increase the skills and capabilities of security industry participants. Registered Training organisations (RTO) are currently submitting materials for accreditation by LSD.

·         The new probity requirements for both licensing and registration will entail all applicants (and associated parties in the case of businesses) undergoing a police history check and ongoing monitoring throughout the lifetime of their licence or registration. Persons with disqualifying or particular indictable offences will be ineligible to obtain a licence or registration. As these probity requirements are more stringent than what was previously legislated, a small number of existing licence holders will be ineligible to hold a licence or registration in Victoria

The licensing and registration system will exist as follows:

* A Private Security Individual Licence must be obtained by bodyguards, security guards, investigators, or crowd controllers.

* A Private Security Business Licence must be obtained by persons wishing to provide the services of other persons in any of the above activities.

* A Private Security Individual Registration must be obtained by security equipment installers and security advisors.

* A Private Security Business Registration must be obtained by persons wishing to provide the services of other persons in either of the above activity.

* Interstate licence and registration holders and overseas bodyguards operating in Victoria for a specific event will require a temporary permit. The permit will only be issued for the period the event is occurring.

It will be an offence to operate in any of the above capacities without first obtaining the correct licence or registration.

Upon proclamation, the transitional provisions of the Act will accommodate people who currently hold a Victorian Private Agents Licence. These licences will continue in force until the date on which they would normally expire, however, they cannot be renewed.

Licence holders will be sent a new application instead of a renewal and will be required to apply according to the requirements of the Private Security Act 2004 (including supplying all required documentation). Bodyguards, security equipment installers and security advisors must apply for their relevant licence or registration within 6 weeks of the proclamation date in 2005.

After lodging their application with LSD, they will be eligible to continue employment while the application is being considered. All licence holders will be required to upgrade their training qualifications to the new PRS03 standard. Specific advice will be sent to licence holders outlining the requirements.

It is anticipated the new Act will have a substantial impact on the private security industry. LSD hopes all involved will adhere to and embrace the changes as it will result in an improved workplace and safer community for all.

For more information please visit www.police.vic.gov.au. Please forward all enquiries to licensingservices@police.vic.gov.au.