Thousands of security guards responsible for protecting Britain’s most sensitive sites could have purchased their qualifications, it has been claimed. Undercover reporters found tutors helping candidates sitting official security-related tests only too willing to give students the answers to exam questions. Prospective guards must sit mandatory exams to get a Security Industry Authority card. The BBC reported that one researcher was offered a job at a power station while another was offered an interview to guard Canary Wharf with their fraudulently obtained SIA license.
Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP, called it “a major scandal”. He said: “It is one of the most shocking things I’ve seen in all the years I’ve chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee”. Industry insiders have claimed that large numbers of colleges were willing to help students cheat security exams. One former SIA employee, speaking anonymously, alleged that a high number of colleges were breaking the rules. He said: “Thousands of people [are] working in the industry illegally, having obtained accreditation illegally.”