Press Releases

Amendments to the Private Security Industry Act

Published: 13 September 2021

1.   The Private Security Industry (Amendment) Bill was introduced for the First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill introduces amendments to the Private Security Industry Act (“PSIA”) to: (a) enhance protection for security officers; and (b) remove persons who only provide security consultancy services from regulation under the PSIA.


2.   Enacted in 2007, the PSIA provides for the regulation of the private security industry, which includes private investigators, private investigation agencies, security officers, security agencies, and security service providers (SSPs).

Key Amendments

Enhancing Protection for Security Officers

3.   Security officers play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of the premises where they are deployed, and of the occupants. Due to the public-facing nature of their work, they face a greater risk of confrontation with people when carrying out their duties. In a joint survey conducted by the Union of Security Employees (USE) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) between September and November 2020, 40 per cent of the security officers surveyed had faced some form of abuse in the course of their work.

4.   The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) takes a serious view of the harassment and abuse of security officers. All cases are treated very seriously by the Police. There are existing laws which provide protection for all victims of harassment and abuse, such as the Protection from Harassment Act, and the Penal Code. However, there are no enhanced protection provisions specifically for security officers.

5.   Hence, MHA will broaden the scope of the PSIA to provide targeted protection for security officers performing security functions stipulated under the PSIA, to send a clear, deterrent signal against abuse and harassment of security officers. New offences to address common types of harassment and abuse faced by security officers in the course of their official duties will be introduced, with penalties pegged higher than if they were committed against members of the public.

6.   These offences are summarised as follows:


Current penalties in existing laws to protect members of public

New penalties in PSIA to protect security officers

Intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress

Protection from Harassment Act: Up to $5,000 fine and/or imprisonment of up to six months

Up to $5,000 fine and/or imprisonment up to 12 months

Assaulting or using criminal force

Penal Code: Up to $1,500 fine and/or imprisonment of up to three months


Up to $7,500 fine and/or imprisonment up to two years

Voluntarily causing hurt

Penal Code: Up to $5,000 fine and/or imprisonment of up to three years

Up to $10,000 fine and/or imprisonment up to five years


Shift Towards Industry-Led Accreditation of Security Consultants

7.   The industry-led Security Consultants Accreditation Programme (SCAP) was launched by the Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA) and Security Association Singapore (SAS) in January 2020. The development of SCAP is in support of the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) efforts to grow a pool of competent security consultants while ensuring that security consultants have a minimum level of skills and competency.[1]

8.   Currently, persons who provide security consultancy services (i.e. security consultants) need to be licensed as such services fall under the PSIA’s definition of SSPs.[2] MHA will be updating the regulatory regime to remove licensing requirements for security consultants (only). Following this change, security consultants will be strongly encouraged to be accredited under the SCAP. In line with the objective of the Security ITM to raise industry standards, accredited security consultants will be required to undertake Continuous Professional Development under the SCAP and renew their accreditation status annually to ensure the currency of their expertise. ACSA and SAS, being attuned to industry trends and needs, will be well poised to oversee the accreditation process via the SCAP.

9.   The risk of persons abusing their position as security consultants to commit security-related offences is low, as they do not supply the actual security systems or have access to premises for the installation and maintenance of security systems.[3] Nevertheless, safeguards are in place to ensure that the credibility of security consultants is maintained after deregulation from the PSIA, including a disciplinary process for infractions committed by accredited security consultants under the SCAP’s code of ethics. Should a security consultant abuse or disclose sensitive information obtained in the course of his work, he/she may still be prosecuted under other laws.

10.   To date, 17 security consultants have been successfully accredited under the SCAP. MHA will continue to work with industry partners on the accreditation programme.

[1] As part of the Security ITM’s initiatives, Temasek Polytechnic’s Specialist Diploma in Security Consultancy programme was launched in April 2019 to develop a pool of competent security consultants. The programme provides a formal training pathway to be a security consultant and graduates are encouraged to apply for the SCAP.

[2] Security consultants refers to persons who provide risk assessment for facilities, as well as security advice in relation to security measures and deployment of security resources to mitigate identified risks.

[3] There have been no reported cases of abuse in at least the past five years.