There is no licensing regulation for these occupations in the ACT. A number of ACT governments have worked on and considered various licensing models to adopt but to date none have been enacted as legislation.
This absence of licensing is widely regarded by industry practitioners in the ACT as deeply regrettable. ACT practitioners in their desire to demonstrate their commitment to proper regulation of their activities choose to maintain licences issued pursuant to the NSW industry legislation.
Since 1 May 2006 persons in NSW involved in these occupations have been licensed under the Commercial Agents & Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 (CAPI Act) which is governed by the Security Licensing and Enforcement Directorate - NSW Police Force. This regulatory regime is soon to change with the NSW Government introducing the Security Industry Amendment (Private Investigators) Bill 2016 which was passed without amendment in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council on 10 August 2016.
This Bill will remove the regulation of private investigators from the CAPI Act and provides for them to be licensed under the NSW Security Industry Act 1997. The NSW Government is expected to introduce a further standalone bill to regulate commercial agents and to repeal the CAPI Act – such bill is expected to move oversight of commercial agents away from the Police to the Office of Fair Trading. The Security Industry Amendment (Private Investigators) Bill 2016 and the future bill for commercial agents will commence at the same time on a date yet to be proclaimed.
Currently, under the CAPI Act licences are placed into two groups:
Holders of Operator licences must be employed by the holder of a Master licence (not subcontracting), or hold an Individual Master licence themselves.
Operator licences may be issued for a period of 1 or 5 years and Master licences may be issued for 5 years, unless suspended or cancelled by the NSW Police Commissioner; e.g. if the conditions of a licence are not satisfied or the licensee is convicted of a prescribed offence.
A person's first operator licence is probationary and the holder must work under the immediate supervision of a fully licensed operator or master licence holder.
An Operator licence is a 'photograph' licence, approved by NSW Police and issued by the Roads & Marine Services (RMS).
A Master licence (for businesses) is a certificate style, paper licence, approved and issued by the CAPI Unit, Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate - NSW Police Force (SLED).
All licences are subject to conditions. It is a responsibility of licensees to be familiar with and comply with all conditions.
Licence fees must accompany all applications. Unsuccessful applications incur a non-refundable processing fee. Completed licence applications are processed centrally by the CAPI Unit at SLED which can be contacted as follows:
Security Licensing and Enforcement Directorate, Locked Bag 5099, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: 1300 362 001 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)
Fax: 1300 362 066
SLED does not have facility for personal lodgement - applications and payments will only be accepted by post. For further information see www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/security_licensing_and_enforcement_directorate.