Can I Get a License With a Criminal Record?

Firstly, it should be stated that the SIA conducts criminal record checks on all SIA licence applicants.

Having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that you will not be eligible for a front line licence. However, all convictions, warnings, cautions, community resolutions, absolute/conditional discharges, admonishments or charges awaiting trial for offences will be considered by the SIA.

According to the SIA document “Get Licensed 2019”, if you have a criminal record, the SIA will decide on whether to grant you a licence based on:

  • whether the offences are relevant
  • the actual sentence or disposal given to the applicant for the offence
  • how recent the violations occurred

SIA’s Criminal Records Indicator – How to check if you are eligible?

If you have a criminal record and are concerned that it may prevent you from getting a licence, then you may want to run a check before investing in training and before paying the non-refundable application fee.

The SIA provides an online service known as the Criminal Records Indicator. The service is free and allows applicants to get an indication of whether they meet the criteria to obtain a licence before going through the formal application.

Applicants are asked to provide information about all cautions, warnings, absolute/conditional discharges, community resolutions, admonishments and convictions they may have. All the information you provide is anonymous.

Applicants can access the criminal records indicator on the SIA’s website at

Remember, results are an indication only and not a guaranteed predictor of the actual criminal check.

Criminal Offences Assessment Grid – Adult Offences

You can use the below chart for an overview of how a criminal record affects the SIA’s decision on licence applications. It shows how the SIA assesses single offences relevant to a particular licence.

This assessment is based on the length of time since the sentence restrictions ended and the type of caution, warning, fine, discharge or sentence the applicant received.

Criminal Offences Assessment Grid

For more information on how the SIA evaluates offences when making licensing decisions visit:

Consider Additional Factors (CAF)

Sometimes the SIA will inform an applicant that their application is a CAF case or you may discover that your application is a potential CAF case by using the SIA’s Criminal Records Indicator.

In such circumstances, you can submit additional evidence of factual errors by the SIA or mitigation to the SIA to help the SIA decide on the case.


Types of mitigation the SIA will consider:

• Character references, which are signed, dated and include a contact number

• Evidence of rehabilitation since an offence (for example, proof that an individual has undertaken voluntary training concerning the original offence or taken part in other community activities)

• Mitigation concerning any violation(s) on an applicant’s record, which the applicant feels may affect the SIA’s decision.

Staying Informed

Please remember that the information provided in this article is always subject to change and updated from time to time. You can always find the latest information by visiting the SIA website.

For more detailed information on licensing, visit the SIA website or call the SIA helpline on 0844 892 1025. 

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