We are increasingly competing with IT companies in NSW that are selling security solutions, as well as consulting on systems required, yet which have no security licences. Should such companies be licensed by SLED and what can we do if we discover they are not?

We think IT integrators, as well as home automation integrators and others should hold Class 2 licences – at least Class 2C and possibly Class 2B, if they are selling and advising on security solutions. It’s a bit trickier to show installers and integrators of electronic security systems, whoever they may be, are acting as consultants if they are offering advice on which solutions to install.

At one level, security sellers and security equipment specialists also consult, but most are not required to hold a Class 2A Security Consultant licence. We’d tend to argue that a 2A Security Consultant licence should be held by those who promote their business as security consulting and who undertake comprehensive reporting of site vulnerabilities and suggest resolutions. We say this recognising the situation is not ideal for consultants who go through the long process of being professionally licensed.

Meanwhile Class 2B—authorises the licence holder to sell, and provide advice in relation to, security equipment, and to sell the services of persons to carry on any security activity, and to act as an agent for, or otherwise obtain contracts for, the supply of persons to carry on any security activity, the supply of any security equipment or the supply of any security activity, etc.

Class 2C Security Equipment Specialists license allows the holder to sell, install, maintain, repair, service and provide advice in relation to security equipment. This includes electronic security equipment like CCTV cameras and alarm systems, and barrier equipment, like fencing and security roller doors. They can also undertake locksmithing work.

Of course, all the capable techs out there will realise there’s an entire ecosystem of global IT infrastructure that is not mentioned under Class 2C, but which allows a single networked security device in Australia to be monitored from anywhere in the world. It’s virtually impossible for an organisation like SLED, or any other state licensing body, to be on top of this.

We can appreciate the frustration you are feeling – the Class 2B Security Seller licence is increasingly being short circuited by big retailers selling DIY security solutions. Should DIY homeowners be licensed? It’s not going to be possible. Yet if it’s not possible, how is rapidly changing technology to be managed? And plug and play is changing the nature of security installations, especially on the home and SME front.

Many responsible IT integrators do have security licences but the majority do not. The same applies to smart home integrators. But there is something you can do to create a level playing field. There are about 60,000 licensed security people in NSW so if you find IT sellers and integrators working in the security industry while unlicensed, you and your colleagues can report them here.