Applying for a licence

Any individual (unless they are employed by or contracted by a licence holder) or a company offering security services for money must apply for a licence.

If granted the licence will last for five years from the date the licence is issued (not to 31 March). Every year licence holders will have to complete an annual return.

Find more information about offences related to not holding a licence.

This section covers the following:

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A company or an individual licence?

Flow chart for certificates and licences

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

Individual Licence 

An individual licence entitles the licence holder (a person):

  • To work directly for clients in the classes of work they have their licence in.
  • To personally employ (or otherwise engage people) who hold an appropriate COA to do the work for clients on their behalf. This work can only be done in a class of work specified in the Individual’s Licence. 

An Individual Licence does not entitle the Individual Licence holder to work directly for another Licence Holder (only a Certificate of Approval holder can do that).

Company Licence

A company licence entitles a company to:

  • provide services to clients in the classes of work specified in the Company Licence for money and
  • employ (or otherwise engage people) who hold an appropriate COA to do the work on its behalf. This work can only be done in a class of work specified in the Company’s Licence.

A Company Licence does not entitle any person (including its company officers) to do that work.  Only Certificate of Approval holders can do private security work for that company either as employees or contractors. 

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Classes you can apply for

In your application you can apply for one or more of the following classes of work if you or your company is going to do work in this area (these areas). Read the definitions carefully – just because the words are not in the job title does not mean they are not doing the work.

 

You must undertake the relevant training requirements for permit classes, Crowd Controller, Property Guard and Personal Guard.  For more information click here

The following permit classes Private Investigator, Security Technician or Security Consultant are of a specialised nature and you must provide suitable evidence that you are:

  • competent or trained in these areas
  • receiveing appropriate training in these areas 

The evidence of competency for Private Investigator, Security Technician or Security Consultant can be:

  • letter from current/previous employer as to work history
  • letter from current/previous employer that you are an apprentice
  • qualifications gained
  • member of the NZ Institute of Professional Investigators (NZIPI)

 

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How to apply for a licence

You can apply either online or on paper.

Online

The easiest, quickest, and cheapest way is to apply online. Before completing your online application you need:

  • if you are applying for an individual licence an electronic colour photograph of your face in JPEG (.jpg) format that does not exceed 180 kilobytes in size. For more information about photographs. You do not need a photo for a company application.
  • a credit/debit card (Visa or MasterCard, not Amex) to pay the application fee. For more information about fees.
  • You must undertake the relevant training requirements for permit classes, Crowd Controller, Property Guard and Personal Guard.  For more information click here
  • The following permit classes Private Investigator, Security Technician or Security Consultant are of a specialised nature and you must provide suitable evidence that you are:
    • competent or trained in these areas
    • receiving appropriate training in these areas
  • The evidence of competency for Private Investigator, Security Technician or Security Consultant can be:
    • letter from current/previous employer as to work history
    • letter from current/previous employer that you are an apprentice
    • qualifications gained
    • member of the NZ Institute of Professional Investigators (NZIPI)

Apply online for a licence

Apply to be licensed here.

Apply OnlineImportant note about applying online:  The first thing you’ll be asked is – “are you applying as a company or an individual?” If you answer “individual” then later, on another screen, you’ll be asked – “are going to work for, or be engaged on a contract by someone else in the industry?” If you reply: 

  • “Yes” then you will be applying for a certificate of approval.
  • “No” then you will be applying for an individual licence.

Paper application

You can also apply on paper. Before completing your paper application you need:

  • a colour photograph of your face. That photograph can be: 
    • in electronic format on a disk JPEG (.jpg) format and does not exceed 180 kilobytes in size.
    • A paper photo. For more information about photographs. You do not need a photo for a company application.
  • a cheque for the application fee. For more information about fees.
  • You must undertake the relevant training requirements for permit classes, Crowd Controller, Property Guard and Personal Guard.  For more information click here
  • The following permit classes Private Investigator, Security Technician or Security Consultant are of a specialised nature and you must provide suitable evidence that you are:
    • competent or trained in these areas
    • receiving appropriate training in these areas

There are three types of paper applications:

 

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Application fees

All application fees include GST.

Type of licence Online application fee Postal application fee
Company licence 

$616

 $725

Individual licence

$510

$600

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Individual Licence
Not available
$600

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Eligibility to hold a licence

Not every person or company is eligible to be licensed. At a high level eligibility will be affected if any of the following disqualification criteria apply:

  • you or your company have convictions in the last seven years for offences relating to dishonesty, violence, or drugs
  • you or your company officers have had your licence or certificate cancelled or suspended in the past
  • you have been ordered to be in a hospital owing to a mental condition.

These are disqualification criteria. If any of these apply, check that you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you’re an individual applicant, go to section 62 of the Act for more information about eligibility.

If you’re applying as a company, go to section 63 of the Act for more information about eligibility.

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Can an application still be made if one or more of those criteria apply?

An application can still be made. However, in the application, you’ll need to show why the licence should be granted. For example, you can provide:

  • information on the circumstances of the conviction
  • evidence of character 
  • other relevant information.

The Licensing Authority may still grant a licence, but only if satisfied that the applicant is suitable to do work in the class(es) being applied for. The Licensing Authority can put conditions on the licence.

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How long will it take to hear the outcome?

If there are no issues with the application (e.g. no disqualification criteria that apply and nobody objects) you’ll hear the outcome in about seven or eight weeks. If somebody objects or if disqualification criteria apply to you, the process will take longer.

Checking the progress of the application 

If you’ve submitted an application, you can check its progress at any time.

Search by name or by the case number sent to you in the application confirmation email or letter.

There are 4 stages of an application.

  1. Received: Your application has been successfully submitted or received via post. In this stage we are checking the application for completeness and may still be waiting for additional information (eg, company officer forms). 
  2. In progress: Information is being gathered on your suitability to be licensed or certified via the criminal history check. Objections can be made on your application during this time.
  3. Decision pending: A decision is being made on whether to issue your licence or certificate. You may be contacted for further information during this period or required to attend a hearing.
  4. Completed: You will shortly be notified of the decision. If a licence or certificate is granted your details will be added to the public register of licence and certificate holders. If your application is declined you will be advised in writing with the reason(s) why it was not granted.

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What happens to your licence application? 

flowchart-image

Step 1: You submit your application

A complete application includes:

  • a suitable colour photograph if you’re applying as an individual (no photo for company)
  • an online or paper form on which all the information has been provided in the format specified
  • the correct fee, submitted by credit/debit card if you’re applying online or by cheque if you’re applying on paper.

Your photograph

Many commercial providers take approved passport photos electronically or as prints. Such photos are suitable for your individual licence application.

The colour photograph, which may be electronic or printed, must be a good likeness and of good quality. It must:

  • show a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders, with your head filling most of the photograph
  • have a plain, light-coloured background (not white or dark), with no background shadow
  • show you without a head covering, hat, headband, bandanna, or scarf (except for religious or medical reasons)
  • clearly show your facial features from the bottom of your chin to the top of your forehead and both edges of your face.

If you submit a photo as an electronic file, it must:

  • be in JPEG (.jpg) format
  • not exceed 180 kilobytes

If you’re taking the photo yourself, you can get more details here.

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Step 2: Application checked for completeness

If your application is complete, it goes to the next step.
If your application isn’t complete, all of your application will be returned to you, including your payment.

Step 3: Information gathered on your suitability to be licensed

The fee will be processed and background checks will be made. The purpose of the checks is to determine suitability to be licensed. The process will include the following checks.

  • Your criminal history and that of your company officers.
  • The Police will have one month to object to your being licensed.
  • Members of the public will also have one month opportunity to object to your being licensed. A notice that you’ve applied will be published on the ‘Notice of Intention Register’ on this website.
  • For a Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Application checks will be made with the relevant Authority in Australia.

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Step 4: Decision made on whether to issue a licence

Your application and the information gathered will be reviewed. That review will show either:

  • no issues with the application, or
  • issues with the application.

No issues

If no issues arise from the checks and no objections are raised, a licence will be issued unless the Licensing Authority is satisfied (due to other reasons) that you are not suitable to hold a licence.

Issues raised

There will be issues with the application if:

  • any of the disqualification criteria apply – for more information on disqualification criteria and eligibility.
  • if someone objects to your licence application, the Licensing Authority must consider the objection. The Licensing Authority will advise you of any objections. You’ll have an opportunity to respond with further information.
  • any other issues are raised by your application.

If there are issues with the application it will be referred to the Licensing Authority for decision. The Licensing Authority will make the decision by reviewing the papers or by holding a hearing.

As part of this process the Licensing Authority can ask for more information from any source. This might include you or the NZ Police or the Complaints, Investigations and Prosecutions Unit or any other person or organisation.

If the Licensing Authority decides to hold a hearing, you will be given at least 10 working days notice before you’re due to appear.

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Step 5: Advising the outcome of the application

The final step is letting you know the outcome of your application.

Application is successful

If your application is successful, the Licensing Authority will issue your licence with a new licence number.

  • Company licence -- Your nominated company officer will be informed by letter which will contain the licence.
  • Individual licence -- You will be informed by letter. This letter is an important document. You will need the letter when you pick up your licence and ID badge. Be sure to keep it safe so that you can produce it if asked. You must pick up your licence and your ID badge in person from the New Zealand Post Shop that you selected in the application. Take your letter, along with the photo ID you selected in your application (your passport or driver’s licence or HANZ 18+ card or firearms’ licence).
  • Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Individual Licence – You will be informed by letter. You will receive your licence in the post and will not need to pick it up at a New Zealand Post Shop.

Application is unsuccessful

If the Licensing Authority declines your application, you will be written to with the reasons for the decision. You will be advised of your rights of appeal, including the fact that you can apply to the District Court.

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Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time during the process.

Download Withdraw an application form (PDF, 507 Kb).

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What happens if you need to make an emergency appointment fast? 

Staff illness or an emergency (a real emergency) could mean that you don’t have enough certified staff to carry on your business. In that case, as an employer you can notify the Licensing Authority and then make an emergency appointment. You can do this in situations where you can’t wait 10 days for a temporary certificate to be processed.

Note - If there is no emergency or staff illness then your employee can apply for a temporary certificate in their application and must wait.

Note - Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Applications are not eligible for emergency appointments

Conditions for making an emergency appointment

You can make an emergency appointment, provided the following points apply.

  • You have a real need to engage someone because of a situation of illness or real emergency, and you don’t have enough certified staff.
  • The person you’re employing must already have applied for a certificate and paid the fee.
  • You should be satisfied that:
    • no grounds for disqualification apply to the employee
    • the employee is not currently charged with an offence that would be grounds for disqualification if they were convicted
    • to the best of your knowledge, the information supplied in the employee’s application is correct.
  • You notify the Licensing Authority before making the emergency appointment.
  • The person has not previously been employed on an emergency appointment for two weeks or longer (unless the Licensing Authority has approved the appointment beforehand).

You must immediately stop a person from undertaking any work for which a certificate is required if the Licensing Authority instructs you in writing.

How to make an emergency appointment

If making the emergency appointment email the Licensing Authority the attached form before the appointment starts.

Download the emergency appointment application form (PDF, 519 Kb).

If you need to extend an emergency appointment, you must apply to the Licensing Authority beforehand.  You might need to do this if the temporary certificate has not come through and the emergency situation still applies.

Download the application form to extend an emergency appointment (PDF, 519 Kb).

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Right of appeal 

The applicant can appeal to the District Court if

  • if their application is refused (whether in whole or in part).
  • if an applicant is dissatisfied with a condition imposed by the Authority under section 33(7) or 53(7).

For more information on the appeals process.

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