The Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010 (PSP&PI Act) covers the activity of those who provide security services either as a company, sole trader or employee. Compliance with the Act is the responsibility of the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA) – for more information refer to www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/licences-certificates/pspla/ or contact the PSPLA at 0800 4PSPLA or email PSPLA@Justice.govt.nz
The purpose of the Act is to ensure that companies and sole traders offering specified private security and investigation services for hire, and personnel providing those services:
- Are suitably qualified to carry out that work; and
- Do not behave in ways that are contrary to the public interest
Who needs to be licensed?
The PSP&PI Act applies to the following services:
Property Guard: guards property and/or monitors burglar alarms, warning devices and cameras (roles defined as Security Officer or Monitoring Officer)
Crowd Controller: screens entry, keeps order, and removes people if necessary
Personal Guard Service: guards a specific person
Security Technician: installs, removes, or repairs burglar alarms, warning devices, special locks, and cameras
Security Consultant: sells or gives advice on burglar alarms, warning devices, special locks, cameras and guarding services
Private Investigator: obtains and supplies information about another person such as financial position, occupation or business, identity or whereabouts or personal character, actions or behaviour
Repossession Agent: repossesses consumer goods on behalf of a creditor
Confidential Document Destruction: collects and destroys confidential documents
What licence is required?
Companies and Sole Traders
- Must hold a licence for each class of service provided
- All staff employed who provide a private security service must hold a Certificate of Approval (CoA) or licence for that class of service
- Cannot employ staff to perform private security services that are not covered by the Company/Sole Trader Licence
- Must file an Annual Return for each year licence held
- Must hold a valid CoA for the service provided
- Will need to demonstrate competency through training or skills
- The PSPLA can issue temporary CoA’s that last three months to allow staff to complete mandatory training
- Applications can be declined if training is not completed within the three month period
Must CoA’s be displayed?
- It is a requirement that CoA’s must be clearly displayed at all times when working, unless there is a reasonable and genuine reason to believe that it would make the wearer, or others, unsafe.
Do electricians installing alarms need a security licence?
- Under the Act, there is an exemption from licensing applied to companies, sole traders or employees who are licensed under alternate Acts of legislation. This covers the Police, Armed Forces and Electricians (covered by Electrical Workers Registration Board or EWRB). The exemption only applies to the service category of Security Technician so an Electrician who is registered with the EWRB can install security alarms or systems without requiring a CoA as a Security Technician. If however the electrician is selling the alarm or security system, or providing the customer with security advice, they must hold a CoA as a Security Consultant. Evidence of selling alarms or security systems includes promotion on websites and sign writing on vehicles. Where an electrician is required to hold a CoA as a Security Consultant, we would recommend as best practice that they also include the service Security Technician.
Do manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers of security equipment need to be licensed as Security Consultants?
- Manufacturers or distributors of security equipment are not required to be licensed as Security Consultants under the Act unless they are direct selling to either retailers, distributors or end users at the premises of those they are selling to. Sales Executives, Business Development Managers and similar working for security manufacturers, distributors or retailers are required to hold a CoA in the class of Security Consultant if they are going to other people’s premises to sell or attempt to sell security equipment. If people in these roles are required to hold a CoA, then it generally follows that their employer should also have a licence.
How long are licences valid for?
- Licences are valid for 5 years. Application for renewal must be submitted prior to expiry and once expired, a full application must be filed.
Can you check if a company or individual is licenced?
- Licence details can be checked on the Public Register of Licence Holders – justice.govt.nz/tribunals/licences-certificates/pspla/public-register-of-licence-and-certificate-holders/
What happens to those operating without the appropriate licence?
- The PSPLA can investigate complaints against unlicensed operators and has the power to impose fines of up to $20,000 against those found operating without a Individual Licence for Sole Traders or a CoA for employees, or up to $60,000 for a company operating without the appropriate licence.