The Security Industry Authority has released the following update on their new licensing system.
“This update is about the latest week of activities connected to the SIA new digital licensing system. We’d like to start by thanking people in the industry for their continued patience and forbearance. We know that for a number of people this continues to be a frustrating process and we do assure you that we are doing everything that we can to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
“We have received a new software release from our supplier that addresses a number of areas.
“We have taken on further temporary staff to deal with customer enquiries. Our staff are working extra hours, including at weekends, to deal with the enquiries that are coming in as well as to progress applications. At the moment – as we know many of you are aware – we are not able to answer all the enquiries that we receive on a daily basis.
“For individual licence applications we ask that people only contact us after they have checked the SIA website to see whether the answer to the question is on there. If individuals have been asked to carry out certain actions, such as going to the post office, paying, or sending us documents, please make sure that these have all been done before contacting us.
“There is a large number of applications in the Next Steps part of the system that have been started but where payment has not yet been made. There may be other reasons why these applications will not move forward, but they cannot be processed until payment is received.
“We are currently dispatching documents back to people after no more than 16 working days.
“The latest fixes from our suppliers included items to help the links between the SIA system and Experian and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), plus other technical items which have prevented the system from working properly. We expect a further series of fixes next week. As certain fixes go in, staff are able to stop using time-consuming workarounds, which improves efficiency.
“We know that the system does work for many people. We have issued over 15,000 licences since the new system started. One person contacted us on social media this week to say that their renewal had taken 8 hours from online payment to being granted. Unfortunately, we also know that this is not the case for a number of people.
“The SIA aims to deal with 80% of applications within 25 days from the point that payment is received and identity confirmed. This is not from the date that a person submits their application; the measure starts when the things we request individuals at the start of the application have been completed.
“Some applications are more complex, for instance where an applicant has moved a number of times in the last five years, or where an overseas criminality check is required. The complexity of some cases means that there will always be applications that take longer than 25 days.
“We will continue working to resolve the problems that people are experiencing as quickly as possible. Please refer to the application guides when completing an application: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing-applying.aspx“.