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 Why do I need a licence?

 

​The Private Security Act requires security providers to be licensed. That is, you will need a licence if you are going to:

  • be paid to patrol or guard another person’s property, or
  • work at a licensed liquor venue, an entertainment venue, a place where the public has access, or at a public or private function to:
    • control or monitor people’s behaviour
    • screen people at entry, or
    • remove people because of their behaviour.

The Private Security Act was introduced in 1995 amid concerns surrounding public safety, especially around licensed premises.

Fines of up to 100 penalty units may apply for working as a security provider without a licence.

Fines of up to 500 penalty units may apply to persons or organisations employing unlicensed crowd controllers.

The Penalty Units Act prescribes the monetary value of a penalty unit, its indexation and change of value by regulation. As at 1 July 2013, a penalty unit means $144.

 

 What is the difference between a private security officer and a crowd controller?

 

​A security officer is someone who patrols or guards another person’s property.

A crowd controller is a person who in respect of a licensed premises, a place of entertainment, a place to which the public has access to or a private or public event performs the duties of:

  • controlling or monitoring the behaviour of persons
  • screening persons seeking entry
  • removing persons because of their behaviour, or
  • any other prescribed function.
 

 What types of licence will I need to do security work?

 

​The different types of licences are:

  • Security officer licence - allows a person to work as a security officer
  • Crowd controller licence - allows a person to work as a crowd controller, or
  • Combined crowd controller / security officer licence - allows a person to work as both a crowd controller and a security officer.
  • Provisional crowd controller and / or security officer licence - allows a person to perform the functions of a licensed officer while they are completing their training.
 

 What should I be aware of before applying for a licence?

 

​Applicants for crowd controller licences and security officer licences must meet stringent criteria relating to their character and background. They must have either completed or be willing to complete a specified training course.

Applicants must consider:

  • their willingness to undergo a criminal history check and finger printing
  • whether he / she will satisfy the Commission of his / her integrity and honesty, and
  • his / her fitness to do the security work.

A licensed security officer or crowd controller must also:

  • comply with all provisions of the Private Security Act
  • comply with the Code of Practice approved under the Private Security Act  (the code is issued with the licence)
  • immediately report any loss or damage to the licence, and
  • report change of residential address within 30 days of the change.
 

 Do I need any special knowledge, experience or training?

 

​There is specified training for licensed security officers and crowd controllers as part of the CPP07 Property Services training package or the former PRS03 Asset Security training package. This nationally accredited course is delivered by a number of registered training providers in the Northern Territory. Refer to training for crowd controllers and security officer for information on the competency requirements.

Security officers and crowd controllers are also required to have a current senior first aid certificate. The first aid course can be completed as part of the security operations course or separately undertaken through an accredited senior first aid training provider such as St Johns Ambulance.

The contact information for training providers is available at Territory Business Centres and Gambling and Licensing Services offices.

 

 What if I am offered work but the relevant training is not available immediately?

 

​A provisional crowd controller licence or security officer licence is available for people the Licensing Commission considers are appropriate to work in the industry but have yet to complete the necessary training.

A provisional licence is usually granted to those who have enrolled or commenced a training course but are yet to complete it. However, special consideration may be given to people in remote localities or regional centres where training is not run regularly.

Before your provisional licence is approved you must complete a fingerprint check with the NT Police, using the approved forms.

Where a provisional licence is issued, the person is required to complete the necessary training within three months of the commencement of their provisional licence issue date. A provisional licence is only valid for three months and it will only be extended or re-issued to the same person once. The person must complete required training to attain a full licence.

A person holding a provisional licence will also need to be supervised by a qualified person when on duty.

On presentation of evidence that the required training has been successfully completed before the provisional licence expires, a full licence will be issued for the reminder of the year without further cost or application being lodged. 

 

 What would prevent me from being licensed?

 

​A person who, in the last 10 years, has been convicted of a disqualifying offence cannot be issued a licence according to Private Security Act.

A person whom the Licensing Commission considers to be inappropriate will also not be granted a licence by the Commission. This means that if the person does not satisfy the criminal history check or if there is concern over the person’s fitness to perform the security function, the Licensing Commission will not issue that person with a licence.

Where the concern is minor and can be resolved with the Commission, the Commission may grant a licence with conditions attached.

 

 What are disqualifying offences?

 

​If you are applying for either a crowd controller licence and / or a security officer licence you must meet stringent criteria relating to your character and background before the Licensing Commission will approve your application.

Under the Private Security Act, you will not be granted a licence if you have committed a disqualifying offence within the last 10 years. Being charged with a disqualifying offence is also grounds for suspension of an existing licence.

As of 8 March 2007, the following offences are prescribed as disqualifying:

​Act Disqualifying offences​
Criminal Code​ S69 - Going armed in public
S132 - Indecent dealing with a child under 16 years
S156 - Murder
S160 - Manslaughter
S165 - Attempt to murder
S166 - Threats to kill
S177 -  Acts intending to cause grievous harm or prevent apprehension
S181 - Grievous harm
S182 - Attempting to injure by explosive substances
S186 - Bodily harm
S188(2) - Common assault with specified circumstances of aggravation
S189A - Assaults on police
S189 - Unlawful stalking
S192 -  Sexual intercourse and  gross​
​S192B - Coerced sexual self manipulation
S193 - Assaults with intent to commit an offence
S194 - Kidnapping for ransom
S195 - Kidnapping
S196 - Deprivation of liberty
S210 - Stealing (where a custodial sentence is imposed that is wholly or partially served)
S211 - Robbery
S212 - Assault with intent to steal
S233 - False accounting
S227 - Criminal deception
S228 - Blackmail and extortion
S229 - Receiving stolen property
S231 - Taking reward for recovery of property obtained by means of crime
S239 - Arson
Firearms Act S59 - Firearms to be registered
S61 - Manufacture of firearms
S63A - Trafficking in firearms
S74 - Alteration of identification marks
S77 - Silencers and machine guns​
S82 - Discharge of firearms on roads, & c.
S83 - Prohibited use of firearms
S84 - Discharge of firearms causing danger, & c.
S85 - Breach of conditions
S86 - Persons under influence of alcohol or drugs​
Misuse of Drugs Act S5 - Supplying dangerous drug
S6 - Receiving or possessing tainted property
S7 - Cultivation
S8 - Manufacture and production​
S9(1) - Possession
S16 - Obtaining prescription by deception
S17 - Obtaining dangerous drug or precursor by deception
Weapons Control Act S6 - Prohibited weapons
S7 - Controlled weapons​
S8 - Offensive weapons
S9 - Body armour​

Other: Any conviction under Commonwealth legislation where the penalty for the offence is imprisonment for two years or more.

 

 What are the initial costs involved in obtaining my licence?

 

​Please refer to the relevant schedule of fees for further details regarding the grant and renewal of security licences.

The option of a one, two or three year licence is only available to applicants for a full licence.

A person holding a provisional licence who completes the necessary training prior to the licence expiring does not have to re-submit an application for a full licence. Nor will the person be required to pay for the transfer to a full licence. On presentation of evidence that the required training has been successfully completed, a full licence will be issued for the remainder of the year.

A person already holding a security officer licence or a crowd controller licence wishing to obtain a combined licence need only pay the difference between the single licence and the combined licence.

 

 Are there any ongoing costs to having a licence?

 

​Yes, there will be ongoing costs associated with the licence:

  • police name check (each time you renew your licence)
  • keeping the first aid training and certificate updated, and
  • the renewal fee for your licence.

A full licensee has the option of renewing their licence for one, two or three years. Refer to the schedule of fees.

 

 How long is my licence valid for?

 

​A crowd controllers or security officers’ provisional licence is valid for three months. Special consideration may be given to allow an extension of the licence until the conclusion of the next available training course, if the training is expected to be completed outside the three-month period.  The provisional licence can only be extended once should an applicant fail to successfully complete the training.

A full crowd controller, security officer and dual licence are valid for one, two or three years. To renew your licence, complete the renewal form pay the relevant fee, provide evidence that your First Aid Certificate is current and conduct a police name check.

Note: Under the Private Security Act a licence can be suspended, cancelled or refused renewal on the grounds of:

  • the licence being obtained on the basis of incorrect or misleading information
  • contravening a condition
  • committing an offence against the act
  • an officer is no longer deemed an appropriate person to be in possession of the licence, or
  • being charged with a disqualifying offence.
 

 What is the application process?

 

​Download the application forms or they may be obtained from a Territory Business Centre or a Gambling and Licensing Services office. 

The criminal history check application form must be attached to your application.

When initially applying for a licence, the applicant must submit to a fingerprint check by attending a police station.

At the police station:

  • submit your completed criminal history check application form
  • pay the prescribed fingerprinting fee, and
  • undergo fingerprinting.

When renewing a licence the same process applies, however a fingerprint check is not necessary. A name check by the police will be required to ensure the on-going integrity of the licensee. Your signature on the name check form must be witnessed by an authorised person (in the NT a member of the NT Police).

You may then submit your completed application form along with the relevant fees at the Territory Business Centre.

 

 What if I have a comparable licence from interstate?

 

If you hold a current licence equivalent to a crowd controller licence or private security officer licence issued in another State or Territory, you are entitled to receive a licence under the Mutual Recognition Act without further examination or training.

You must still complete a mutual recognition registration form.​

 

 Is my NT licence recognised interstate?

 

​Mutual recognition arrangements across States and Territories allows recognition of your current Northern Territory licence by relevant private security and crowd controller licensing authorities throughout Australia and New Zealand. This means that you are entitled to a like-kind licence in another jurisdiction and the training and experience will be recognised. Licences obtained through mutual recognition may be subject to conditions to address differences in the licensing regime between jurisdictions.

 

 Where can I lodge my application forms?

 

​Forms must be lodged at a Territory Business Centre together with payment of the relevant fees.

 

 What if I breach a condition of my licence or the Private Security Code Of Conduct?

 

​A major breach of a licence will result in a hearing before the Northern Territory Licensing Commission where a person may have their licence suspended or cancelled.

A minor breach of a licence will result in an infringement notice issued by either police or licensing inspectors. An infringement notice will consist of an on-the-spot fine, which a licensee will have to pay through the Fines Recovery Unit or challenge by seeking a hearing with the Licensing Commission.

An infringement notice may be issued if you commit one of the following offences:

​Infringement notice ​Fine
Wear a security firm’s uniform or use an employee’s equipment without authority​ ​5 penalty units
Failing to produce a security licence at the request of a member of the police force or licensing inspector​ ​2 penalty units
Failing to wear appropriate ID on the outside of clothing so that it is clearly visible whilst performing duties​ ​2 penalty units
​Failing to return to the licensing authority a licence within 14 days on notification of suspension, cancellation or conviction ​2 penalty units
Failure to report to employer any incident where physical force was used by or against a security licensee​ ​2 penalty units
Failure to notify licensing authority of change of residential address within 30 days​ 1 penalty unit

The Penalty Units Act prescribes the monetary value of a penalty unit, its indexation and change of value by regulation. As at 1 July 2013, a penalty unit means $144.

 

 What is the infringement notice scheme?

 

​Infringement notices were introduced to uphold the professionalism and standard of the private security industry. Licensing inspectors and police officers can issue infringement notices for offences against the Private Security Act or Regulations.

An infringement notice consists of a fine which is paid through the Fines Recovery Unit in the same way you would pay a parking fine. 

 

 What if I have trouble paying or dispute an infringement notice?

 

​If you require additional time to pay the fine you can arrange this by contacting the Fines Recovery Unit on 1800 111 530.

If you want to dispute the fine you must write to the Licensing Commission within 28 days of receiving the notice. The alternative is to elect to have the matter heard by a court. The directions and contact details for the Licensing Commission are on the back of the infringement notice.

 

 If I have any further questions or concerns who can I talk to?

 
​For general questions about the private security licensing and the process, contact a Territory Business Centre. For questions about a specific application, contact Gambling and Licensing Services.

 

 

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