Message from the Chief Commissioner

Our Services

Frequently Asked Private Security Questions

Release date: Wed 6 August 2008

Last updated: Tue 11 October 2016


Do I need a licence or registration to undertake Private Security activities?

There are two different authorities in the Private Security Act 2004 that permit private security activities.

One is a Licence, and the other is a Registration.

Under the Act, a Registration is required for Class B security activities which are:

  • Security equipment installer (CCTV, Security Cameras, Security alarms, safes, vaults etc.
  • Security adviser (person employed to provide advice in relation to security equipment, security methods or principles)

An individual who is employed or retained to perform these roles needs a Private Security Individual Operator Registration.

A person or company who is providing other persons to perform these roles needs a Private Security Business Registration.

Under the Act, a Licence is required for Class A security activities which are:

  • Investigator
  • Bodyguard
  • Crowd controller
  • Security guard
  • Private security trainer

There are also specific security guard activities as listed in the Act. These are:

  • Armed guard
  • Unarmed guard
  • Guard with a dog
  • Cash-in-transit guard
  • Control room operator
  • Monitoring centre operator

Note that Monitoring, and Control Room Operator are security guard activities which require a licence.

Companies that hold a private security business registration will also need a private security business licence if: 

  • They engage the services of other companies to perform monitoring for them (sub-contracting other licensed private security businesses);
  • They are receiving an on-going commission or on-going payments for the monitoring/control room activity (even if the activity is provided by another company). 

Note, it is an offence to advertise or indicate the performing of monitoring activities if the person/business does not hold a private security business/individual operator licence

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Am I eligible to work in the security industry without a current security plastic licence?

It is an offence to work or operate within the security industry without holding a current plastic licence that authorises those activities, with the exception of those individuals issued a short term (28 day) interim licence issued under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 or the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

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Do I have to complete any training when applying for a security licence?

To hold a Private Security Individual Operator Licence for one or more of the following activities - unarmed guard, armed guard, cash in transit, control room operator, monitoring centre operator, crowd controller, guard with a dog, bodyguard or investigator - you are required to undertake specific training competencies relevant to the activity being applied for.

To hold a Private Security Individual Operator Registration for either Security Equipment Installer and/or Security Advisor, you do NOT need to complete any training.

Please see the lists of Security Industry Training Requirements and the list of Registered Training Organisations who are eligible to provide this training.

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Does Certificate III training allow me to undertake all private security activities?

No.  There are specific units of competency that apply to the different activities and sub activities listed on a security licence.

For a list of required units of competencies please contact a Registered Training Organisation or visit Security Industry Training Requirements.

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Do I have to declare my offences and medical history on my licence application?

Yes, you will need to complete the offence and medical history section of your application form and meet criteria outlined in Section 25 of the Private Security Act 2004.

Failure to declare any offences or medical history in your application may result in your application being refused and/or you may be charged with an offence.

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What is a security guard sub-activity?

A security guard comprises of six sub activities:

  • unarmed guard
  • armed guard
  • cash in transit
  • control room operator
  • monitoring room operator
  • guard with a dog

You are eligible to hold one or more of the sub activities as long as you complete and advise Licensing & Regulation Division of all relevant training courses.

For a full description of the training competencies for security guard and other activities in the security industry please visit Security Industry Training Requirements.

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What additional documents do I have to get signed, and by whom for my licence application?

Identification documents must be certified by an acceptable referee as a 'true copy of the original'. The acceptable referee certifying the copies must view the original documents along with the copies. The same acceptable referee that certifies your identification documents must also complete Part 7 - (Identification Reference) of your application.

Please see attached for a full list of  Acceptable Identification Referees.

Note: The definition of certified - A copy of a document or record, signed and certified as a true copy of an original by an authorised person.

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Who can give a suitability reference and what form can be used?

A suitability reference can be sourced from a number of different authority types including, but not limited to: registered medical practitioners; registered nurses; registered primary/secondary school teachers; state or local government employees; pharmacists and bank managers.

Note: The following conditions apply to an acceptable referee.

  • Must have known the applicant for a minimum of 12 months in Australia.
  • Must not be related to the applicant by birth or marriage.
  • Must know the applicant well enough to vouch for his/her character.

For a full list of acceptable authorities and more information regarding suitability references, please visit Suitability Reference.

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How long does it take to approve my licence?

A determination on a new private security licence application will be made within 21 days of receipt.

A determination on a renewal licence application will be made within 14 days of receipt.

Applications that are not completed in full or missing supporting documentation will be returned for corrective action, or you will be sent a letter asking you to address the issues which will delay your application being approved.

With all applications please read the instruction pages attached at the front of the application carefully, to avoid any delays.

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What should I do if I have not received my renewal application or payment notice?

A licence renewal application and payment notice reminder should be forwarded to you eight weeks before the expiry date of your current licence.

If you do not receive the renewal application and payment notice four weeks before expiry, you should contact Licensing & Regulation Division to confirm your current address and, if necessary arrange a reprint of your renewal application and payment notice.

When you receive your renewal application, you should make payment and have your photograph taken and return the completed application and supporting documentation to Licensing & Regulation Division at least 21 days before the expiry date of your licence.

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How do I inform Licensing & Regulation Division of a change of address?

Notification of any change of address must be forwarded to Licensing & Regulation Division in writing within 7 days of the change. This may be done via a 'Change of Details' form submitted to Licensing & Regulation Division, or via letter, email or fax as per below:

Please remember to include your licence number on all correspondence you forward to Licensing & Regulation Division.

* Please note, LRD is not affiliated to VicRoads. To inform VicRoads of a change of address, please contact them directly.

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How do I inform Licensing & Regulation Division of a name change?

You must notify Licensing & Regulation Division in writing of any change of name and provide evidence of the name change. You must provide a certified copy:

  • change of name certificate issued by the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or
  • full birth certificate that includes the schedule of all names changes, or
  • a marriage certificate.

Note: The definition of certified - a copy of a document or record, signed and certified as a true copy of an original by an authorised person.

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How do I contact Licensing & Regulation Division?

Postal address: GPO Box 2807, MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Public access: Victoria Police Centre, 637 Flinders St, DOCKLANDS VIC 3008
Phone: 1300 651 645
Fax: (03) 9247 6485

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Which alarm companies have Alpha Codes?

Please click here for a full list of alarm companies that have Alpha Codes.

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Interstate Private Security Registries Contact Details?

Please click here for contact details of Interstate Private Security Registries

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I have an interstate licence, can I work in Victoria?

To work in Victoria, you must have a current Victorian private security licence and/or registration. To obtain a licence/registration, you must complete an application form and supply supporting documents, including a certified copy of your current interstate licence. Please note, Victorian licences will not be issued on provisional licences from interstate.

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How do I apply for an individual security licence and/or registration?

To apply for a security licence you need to provide:

For further information, please refer to the instructions and checklist attached to the application form. Once complete, post your application and supporting documents to:

Licensing & Regulation Division
GPO Box 2807
Melbourne VIC 3001


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What is positional/restraint asphyxia?

There are techniques of restraint that have been associated with sudden, unexpected deaths. Security personnel must be aware of the potential dangers and take every precaution to ensure they adopt safe practice. Positional Asphyxia (restraint asphyxia) can be defined as obstruction of breathing as a result of restraint technique. It occurs when the position of a person's body interferes with their ability to breath. If this is not recognised, death can occur from asphyxia or suffocation. Any body position that interferes with breathing can cause death.

For further information about the risk factors, how a security officer can identify the signs and preventative measures, please click here.

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Can I undertake cash in transit or cash collection duties without a handgun and without this sub-activity on my licence?

Yes. If you have a security guard licence with the sub-activity of "unarmed guard" you may undertake duties involving the collection of cash without a handgun/handgun licence.

The Private Security Act 2004 provides that a "cash-in-transit" guard means a security guard that is protecting property being the collecting, transferring or delivering cash or other valuables while armed with a firearm.

In other words, if a security guard is performing guard duties which involve the collection and transporting of cash without a firearm, he/she is an "unarmed" guard.

Please note the following:

  • It is a matter for the employer, taking into account risk management principles, as to whether a firearm is needed to be carried for duties involving the collection of cash.
  • Anyone with the sub-activity of "armed guard" and/or "cash in transit" as an activity on their private security licence must have an accompanying handgun licence as per the definitions contained within the Private Security Act 2004.

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How do I become a Security Industry Firearms Instructor?

Information on the requirements for becoming a Security Industry Firearms Instructor can be accessed via Security Industry Firearms Instructor

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What should I do if I have lost my licence/registration or had it stolen?

You will need to complete an Application for a Duplicate Licence, Registration, Approval form which must be submitted to LRD via post, email or over the counter.

A Payment Notice will be mailed to you after your request has been processed with instructions on how to make your payment and arrange for a photograph to be taken.

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I am a security guard and have a work issued handgun. Can I use this handgun for sport target shooting?

No. Work issued firearms can only be used for work related purposes fitting the genuine reason for which the licence was issued.

For example, a licenced armed guard cannot use their work issued handgun to participate in sport target shooting.

Handguns issued to security guards for work purposes can only be possessed, used or carried when transporting the firearm from its storage location, while carrying out work related duties or for work authorised training.

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I am a licenced security guard who holds a handgun licence for my occupation. How do I gain a handgun licence to participate in sport target shooting at an approved handgun club?

A licence holder can only participate in sport target shooting at a handgun club if their licence has been issued for the genuine reason of sport target shooting.

If your licence does not carry this genuine reason already, you will need to apply to have it added to your licence by submitting a general category handgun licence application.

You will not be required to resubmit 100 points of identification and fingerprints; however, you will need to provide evidence of membership of an approved handgun club.

Individuals, who have not been a member of an approved handgun club for a minimum of 6 months, will need to submit a provisional handgun licence application form.

All applications must be submitted to LRD via post.

Individuals applying to have dual genuine reasons on their general category handgun licence will not be able to use their work issue firearms for sports target shooting.

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