Licence or certificate?

If you work in private security you need either a company licence, an individual licence or a certificate of approval (COA). Learn who needs what.

If you are or will be:You will need:

a company

a company licence

Application for a company licence [PDF, 903 KB]

a sole trader

an individual licence

Application for an individual licence [PDF, 611 KB]

an employee

(everyone not a sole trader or company)

a certificate of approval (COA)

Application for a Certificate of Approval [PDF, 556 KB]

Company licences

If you run a company that provides private security or private investigation services for money, you must have a company licence.

If you don’t, you could be fined up to $40,000. Your company could be fined up to $60,000.

Your employees need certificates of approval

If you have a company licence, all your staff who provide private security or private investigation services must have a current certificate of approval.

If they don’t, you could be fined up to $20,000.

Temporary certificates to work while training

You can hire staff who haven’t completed their training. They need to apply for a temporary certificate.

Temporary certificate of approval

Emergency appointments without certificates

You can employ staff without certificates in an emergency.

Emergency appointments without certificates

Individual licences for sole traders

If you’re a sole trader who provides private security or private investigation services for money, you must have an individual licence.

If you don’t, you could be fined up to $40,000.

Your employees need certificates of approval

If you have an individual licence, and have staff who provide private security or private investigation services, they must have a current certificate of approval.

If they don’t, you could be fined up to $20,000.

Temporary certificates to work while training

You can hire staff who haven’t completed their training. They need to apply for a temporary certificate.

Temporary certificate of approval

Emergency appointments without certificates

You can employ staff without certificates in an emergency. Find out more about emergency appointments without certificates.

Emergency appointments without certificates

Certificates of approval (COA) for employees

If you are employed or contracted by a company providing private security services, you must have a certificate of approval.

If you don’t, you could be fined up to $20,000.

Temporary certificate of approval to work while training

You can work before you’ve done the training you need as a crowd controller, property guard or personal guard. To do this you need to apply for a temporary certificate.

Temporary certificate of approval

Crowd controllers and bar staff

If you are a crowd controller, you must have a certificate of approval. For example, if you work as a crowd controller for a bar, rather than a private security company, you need a certificate.

Bar managers and staff only need a certificate of approval if, as part of their job description, they act as a crowd controller by:

  • screening entry
  • keeping order
  • removing people.

Bar staff who mainly make drinks and clear tables are not crowd controllers, even if they occasionally remove people from the bar.

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