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Do I need a Licence or Certificate of Approval?

Do I need a Licence or Certificate of Approval?

People working in the private security and investigations industry in New Zealand might need to hold a current licence or certificate of approval to do the work legally. Security services include all the following classes of work:

  • crowd control, which includes door security, keeping order and removing people from premises (bouncers, door security, or event security)
  • personal or property security (bodyguards or property guards)
  • destruction of confidential documents
  • private investigation
  • installation, repair, or removal of security devices such as alarms or safes (security technician)
  • provision of advice on the purchase of security devices or services (security consultant).

This section covers the following:

Flow chart for certificates and licences

Please be aware: You cannot trade as an Incorporated Company holding an Individual Licence

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Who must hold a licence? 

Any individual or company providing private security or private investigation services for money must be licensed. 

Any security personnel employed by or contracted to a licence holder must hold an appropriate certificate of approval as must any crowd controller.

Find more information about who needs to be licensed.

What will happen if you need a licence but don’t get one?

Working without a licence is an offence. An individual could be fined up to $40,000. A company could be fined up to $60,000.

As a licence holder, it is also an offence to employ or contract a person who doesn’t hold a current certificate of approval. You could be fined up to $20,000.

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Who must hold a certificate of approval?

You must hold a certificate of approval if: 

  • you are employed by or contracted to a licence holder to do security work or private investigation work as defined here
  • you are paid to be a crowd controller.

Find more information about who must hold a certificate
For more information on certificate of approval and applying.

What will happen if you need a certificate but don’t get one?

Working without a certificate of approval is an offence. You could be fined up to $20,000 for doing so.

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Who doesn’t need to hold a certificate of approval or licence?

Some people who do security work do not need to hold a certificate of approval or licence.

    • Volunteers who receive no payment for their services.
    •  Employers of in-house security, except those that hire out that security to another person or organisation are not required to hold a Crowd Controllers Licence.
    • Employees of government agencies, for example, the police, armed forces.
    • Government agencies.
    • Electrical Installers who hold a current licence issued by the Electrical Workers Registration Board do not need a Certificate of Approval or Licence to carry out the work of a Security Technician. You can check whether you hold a current Electrical Installers licence here.
    • People who carry out their work or business covered by the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010 under a practising certificate, licence or permit or any other authority under any other Act.

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