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Criminal Record and its Impact on Security Guard Licence in Sydney

Read how a criminal background affects your eligibility for a security guard licence in Sydney. Learn about the effects of previous offences on licensure attainment and maintenance, as well as ways for mitigating these effects. Understand the rules and regulations with expert insights and maintain legal compliance to advance your career in the security industry.


If you are interested in pursuing a career in the security industry, it’s crucial to understand the licensing requirements you need to meet. In Sydney, obtaining a security Licence is one of the primary prerequisites for most security-related roles. However, individuals with a criminal record may face significant obstacles when it comes to getting or maintaining a security Licence. This can be a daunting prospect, and it’s natural to feel uncertain about how your past convictions may impact your ability to pursue your career aspirations. 

That’s why in this blog, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the impact of criminal records on security guard licensing in Sydney. We’ll look into the challenges that individuals with past convictions often face while obtaining a security Licence, explain the regulations set forth by regulatory bodies, and explore opportunities for rehabilitation and second chances. 

We’ll also provide you with practical advice on how to navigate this challenging path, allowing you to make informed choices regarding your career. By the time you reach the end of this blog, you’ll have a better grasp of the genuine challenges and potential solutions for persons with a criminal past who wish to work as security guards in Sydney.

Understanding General Eligibility Criteria 

Before we determine whether someone with a criminal background may work as a security guard in Sydney, let’s go over what it takes to obtain a security Licence in the city.

What You Need to Get a Security Licence:

To even think about becoming a security guard, you need to meet certain requirements:

  • Firstly, candidates have to be at least 18 years old.
  • Having the right skills and experience is crucial.
  • You’ll have to go through training and pass some tests.
  • They need to see that you can handle security duties responsibly.
  • Most importantly, you’ve got to be seen as a decent, trustworthy person for the job.
  • You’ve got to have the right to work in Australia, whether you’re a citizen, permanent resident, or have the right visa.
  • And of course, you need to show some documents to prove who you are.

Things That Might Stop You:

  • If you’ve been convicted of certain crimes in the last 10 years, anywhere in Australia.
  • If you’ve been found guilty of certain crimes (even without a conviction) in the last 5 years.
  • If you’ve had big fines or penalties from a court or tribunal in the last 5 years.
  • If an individual has been dismissed from the police force anywhere in Australia within the past 10 years.
  • If you were involved in any corrupt activities.

Crimes That Could Be a Problem:

  • Crimes involving guns, drugs, violence, fraud, theft, robbery, rioting, or terrorism can make it hard to get a Licence.
  • If you got in trouble for something serious that could have sent you to jail or made you pay a big fine, it might affect your chances.

Can You Be a Security Guard in Sydney with a Criminal Record?

Individuals obtaining a security Licence in Sydney, Australia, face considerable challenges due to the presence of a criminal past. Let’s look at how each component of a criminal record affects eligibility for security guard licensing: 

Criminal Record SectionDescription
Section 10Records charges that were dropped or withdrawn. Includes any conditions related to the dismissal.
Section 14Contains details of spent convictions, which are minor crimes that don't need to be disclosed later.
Section 18Lists current criminal charges awaiting court resolution, providing information about the charge.
Section 23Includes all convictions and findings of guilt, regardless of whether they resulted in fines or not.

Let’s simplify the explanation of each section by including an example to make it easier for you to understand: 

Section 10: This section of the criminal record documents charges that were dropped or withdrawn. For example, suppose someone was falsely accused of shoplifting, but upon further investigation, it was revealed to be a case of mistaken identity. In such instances, where charges are dismissed due to lack of evidence or misidentification, this information would be recorded under Section 10.

Section 14: In Section 14, you’ll find details of spent convictions, which are minor offences that no longer need to be disclosed after a certain period of time. For instance, if someone received a fine for littering five years ago and has remained law-abiding since then, that littering offence would be considered “spent” and wouldn’t appear on their criminal record any more.

Section 18: This section contains information about current criminal charges that have yet to be resolved by a court. For instance, if someone was recently arrested for vandalism and is awaiting their court date, that arrest and the details surrounding the alleged offence would be recorded in Section 18 until the legal proceedings are concluded.

Section 23: Section 23 encompasses all convictions and findings of guilt, regardless of whether they resulted in fines or other penalties. For example, if someone was convicted of drunk driving two years ago and was required to pay a fine, that conviction would be documented in Section 23, along with any other guilty verdicts or cautions they may have received in the past. This section provides a comprehensive record of an individual’s past convictions and findings of guilt, serving as a critical component in assessing their criminal history.

Criminal Background Checks for Security Licence Sydney

As part of the process of obtaining a security guard Licence in Sydney, applicants must undergo a rigorous background check conducted by the Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED). The purpose of this check is to evaluate the suitability and reliability of applicants for obtaining a security Licence, with a particular focus on their criminal history.

The background check is essential to ensure that individuals who are entrusted with security roles have a commendable character, as a criminal history could potentially hinder the issuance of a security Licence. The police check, also known as a nationally coordinated criminal history check (NCCHC), is a crucial aspect of this process. It reveals an applicant’s disclosable criminal history, including arrests, convictions, and court proceedings.

Passing a police check is a prerequisite for obtaining a security Licence, as it assists the licensing body in determining whether an applicant’s past criminal record may compromise their ability to fulfil the responsibilities of a security guard. Certain criminal offences, such as illegal possession of firearms, drug-related crimes, armed robbery, terrorism-related offences, and offences of a sexual nature, could disqualify applicants from obtaining a security Licence.

The primary objective of this background and police check is to assess whether an applicant’s criminal history poses any risk to public safety or undermines the essential trustworthiness required for the security role. This ensures that individuals who are entrusted with safeguarding others meet the necessary standards of integrity and trustworthiness mandated for the security industry in Sydney.

Overcoming Criminal Records with Legal Support

Having a criminal record can make it difficult for you to obtain a security Licence in Sydney, which can limit your job opportunities in the field. However, if you are facing criminal charges and aspire to become a security guard, seeking legal counsel from a lawyer can be a great option. An experienced lawyer can defend your case, which may result in dropped charges or a reduction in the severity of the offence. This legal assistance can increase your chances of obtaining a security Licence, even if you have a criminal record. 

It is also important to be familiar with the specific rules set by the authorities. You should understand what is required to obtain a security Licence and take action to address any issues from your past. Demonstrate that you have learned from your mistakes and are committed to moving forward. With perseverance and dedication, it is possible to overcome the hurdles caused by a criminal record and pursue a fulfilling career in security.


The process of obtaining a security Licence in Sydney can be a challenging task, especially for those who have a criminal record. However, it is crucial to understand that past mistakes do not necessarily limit our future opportunities. While authorities conduct strict background checks to ensure trustworthiness in the security industry, these checks also provide an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate rehabilitation and personal growth.

At MultiSec Training, we understand the difficulties that individuals with criminal records may face when pursuing careers in security. Therefore, we offer comprehensive training programs that aim to empower aspiring security professionals with the necessary skills and certifications to succeed. We provide personalised support and are committed to excellence, and we are always here to help individuals overcome any barriers and embark on a fulfilling career in the security industry.

Please do not hesitate to contact us today at 1300 891 503 and discover how MultiSec Training can help you achieve your career aspirations.

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