How to become a security system installer in Australia

Security systems are big business. Master Electricians Australia breaks down the paperwork you need to add security systems to your workload state by state.

All security installers need a licence but it’s based on a criminal check, not trade qualifications.
There are different licences for each state and territory.
You should think about public liability and professional indemnity insurance if you want to offer security system installation.

 

Security equipment is a growing electrical sector with increasingly complex technology behind it.

Any company that is relied on to install and maintain a security system is placed in a position of trust. In most Australian states and territories, to install some security equipment, you will need a security licence, though specific requirements differ between jurisdictions.

You will need a security licence if you install, repair, service or maintain any of the following items:

  • Alarms.
  • Alarm monitoring system.
  • Audio and or visual recording system (CCTV).
  • Electro, electro-magnetic, or biometric, access control devices (door locks).
  • Motion, infrared detectors connected to an alarm.

You don’t need a license to install:

  • A motion sensor light that does not set off an alarm.
  • Basic electronic or mechanical locks installed during construction, repair, or renovation, or for a domestic property.
  • A basic video intercom that does not record.

 

How do the different states and territories license security work?

All Australian states and territories require licensing for security installation work. This is specific to installing security systems and cameras and does not cover providing security guards or other security work.

There are two basic types of licences: one for the security installer – the employee licence, and one for the business – the firm licence. Licence names vary depending on each jurisdiction but generally, you can expect these to be called a ‘Security Installer’ or ‘Security Equipment’ licence.

 

Each state or territory’s police issues the licence if the applicant passes a criminal history check that demonstrates they are a fit and proper person.

 

Licence renewal periods vary from a year to five years.

 

Western Australian licensing includes four classes of the Security Installer licence, and classification depends on the equipment you’re installing.

Class 1: Safes, vaults, and locks.

Class 2: Security alarms, CCTV for security purposes, electric fences.

Class 3: Security doors.

Class 4: Locks.

In WA, an applicant needs to pass a training course relevant to the equipment they are installing, or pass a practical test.

 

In Queensland, a sole trader can operate under their worker licence and a business licence isn’t required. However, this changes if they employ someone. Queensland will not issue a business licence to a trust. These applications are managed by the Office of Fair Trading and each business is required to belong to an approved security industry association.

Queensland requires businesses to pass a three-yearly audit to ensure they are complying with a Security Code of Conduct. These audits are administered by approved security industry associations. MEA is an approved association and can help provide Master Electricians with a security audit. Queensland is currently the only state with this requirement.

 

In New South Wales, a Class 2C Security Equipment Specialist licence is required to sell, install, maintain, repair, service and provide advice in relation to security equipment. This includes electronic security equipment like CCTV cameras and alarm systems and barrier equipment like fencing and security roller doors.

 

Victorian security installers must be registered with Victoria Police. Private security individual registration is required to install security equipment. The registration includes criminal history and character checks. This will be monitored throughout the three-year duration of the licence.

 

South Australia’s Security Agent Licence is required for the installation of security systems, or advice around them. Sole traders, partners, and companies (including directors) can apply unless they have legal restrictions on their work or business, such as bankruptcy, financial receivership, or a suspended or disqualified trade licence.

 

Should I have special insurance to work in security?

Security installations introduce unique challenges from an insurance perspective.

 

Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance is important for every business, but more specialised insurance may be needed for the security industry.

 

Public Liability insurance is designed to cover interactions with members of the public. It aims to cover you and your business if a member of the public alleges you are legally liable for injury or for property damage.

Professional Indemnity insurance is designed to cover any business providing a professional service or any professional advice. It aims to ensure you and your business are covered if a client alleges your work or advice caused a financial loss.

For those working with security installations, cyber insurance could be of use. If there is any remote monitoring or remote assistance being performed as part of the security systems, cyber insurance could help cover any concerns.

A security business will want to look at a full cyber event coverage rather than a cyber extension under their liability insurance. This will help ensure their business is the first party covered, as well as any third parties that may be impacted by a breach through security networking.

You can ensure your business’ equipment (for example, tools, stock, mobile phones) is covered, with general property insurance.

This can include any equipment that may be transported or owned by an external party – either stock on consignment or equipment already purchased by a customer – that the installer is responsible for transporting and/or is having transported by another party to the site.

Most liability covers will also include a sub-limit for ‘Goods in Care, Custody or Control’ or ‘Goods in Physical or Legal Control’. As this is a sub-limit under the liability section, the cover will only apply in the event of loss or damage to this equipment due to your deemed negligence.

If you were transporting goods owned by someone else and were involved in a motor vehicle accident, this section of cover will only apply if you were at fault for the accident. You would need inland cargo insurance in place to adequately protect these goods.

 

If you are interested in moving into the security installation sector but have questions about licensing, insurance or more, phone Master Electricians on 1300 889 198.

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Comments (6)

Connor Ross July 16, 2023
Hello, Im from Scotland in the UK. And I’m moving over to Australia in a couple months on a working holiday visa. I have over five years of relevant experience in the fire alarm and security industry as an installer, and wondering if you could provide me with any advice on how to get the required licenses to work. Thank you In advance for your support.
Nicky Oliver July 18, 2023
Hi Connor, I'd recommend you check out https://www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au/, which outlines the process you need to take to get your skills overseas recognised here. I believe there's also a short course you must complete to understand all the Australian standards and regulations. All the best for your upcoming move! Gemcell team
Richard December 29, 2023
Hello, Im from UAE. And I’m moving over to Australia in a couple months. I have over 7 years of Fire Fighter and security systems experience in the industry as an installer, and wondering if you could provide me with any advice on how to get the required licenses to work. Thank you.
Sonia Irani January 12, 2024
Hi Richard, We recommend you check out this website that will give you a head start on the information you need to get a license: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/sled/security_licences/class_2_licences Wishing you all the best. The Gemcell Team
jovabe January 24, 2024
If I only want to specialise in wireless security systems do I need a licence?
Sonia Irani January 25, 2024
Hi Jovabe, We recommend you check out this website that will give you a head start on the information you need to get a license: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/sled/security_licences/class_2_licences Wishing you all the best. The Gemcell Team

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