Cross-border Security Licensing – It Can Be Better

Jan 17, 2018 Industry News

As individuals, we are all increasingly ‘time poor’, while as businesses we strive to achieve more and more ‘efficiencies’, but for the Australian security industry there is one area that just won’t allow us to make the most of our resources – licensing.

MSS Security operates nationally, like many other security companies, so we have to hold eight different security licences – one for every state and territory of Australia – as none are transferrable between jurisdictions.

Eight licences means eight sets of compliance criteria, eight renewal processes, eight fees and eight different renewal dates to provide the same range of quality services to all our clients nationally. It is the same time-consuming process for every other security business with a national footprint.

The time has come for the industry and regulators to work together to review the security licensing systems and consolidate to a single national licensing solution that allows transferability between jurisdictions.

Australia regularly hosts international events that require a comprehensive security presence necessitating a workforce beyond the scope of the host state or territory. For such events it would make economic and logistical sense for everyone involved – individuals, security companies and host organisations – to have cross border licensing recognition, even for a limited window.

However, none of the individual state security licences are presently automatically recognised across borders, and few people are going to be willing to go through the time and cost involved in acquiring a valid licence solely for a job that is only going to last a short (albeit exciting) period.

There is a precedent – a driver licence.

When travelling interstate, a valid driver licence is recognised and accepted for a period before requiring an official transfer; the holder has been through a similar testing process to prove their suitability to drive a car, so why not security licences too? After all, individuals must all complete the same nationally standardised training before they are able to apply for a security licence.

There are also everyday examples of where this type of transferability would be useful.

MSS Security personnel working in border areas, such as Canberra and Queanbeyan or Albury and Wodonga, must hold two security licences just in case their duties require them to, even briefly, cross between jurisdictions. For instance, an officer on mobile patrols for an ACT-based client who needs to inspect a site in Queanbeyan must hold a NSW, as well as the Territory licence, even though they may only be across the border for a short period.

It is time to reform all levels of security licensing in Australia. While the shift to a single national system will require negotiation, planning and implementation, and will take time, a shift to limited recognition of licences across borders would be a sound first step to a more efficient system and a better use of everyone’s time and resources.

Teaser:

The time has come for the industry and regulators to work together to review the security licensing systems and consolidate to a single national licensing solution that allows transferability between jurisdictions.

 

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