Focus on South Africa’s PSIRA

Focus on PSIRA


In this article we focus on PSIRA, but first the background to Controlling and Registration Bodies (CRBs) of which PSIRA is the South African equivalent.

The security industry is an indispensable pillar in maintaining public safety and safeguarding assets.

Security personnel bear the critical responsibility of protecting people, property, averting crime, and responding promptly to emergencies.

South Africa’s security industry stands as a major employer, with over 2,7 million registered security guards.

The industry’s growth has spurred concerns about the quality of security services, underscored by reports of security personnel involved in illicit activities and security companies failing to uphold industry standards.

Consequently, to tackle these concerns, the South African government established the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) in 2001.

Why is a Controlling and Registration Body Essential?

A Controlling and Registration Body (CRB) is a foundational pillar of any well-regulated security industry. The CRB provides a suite of indispensable functions, including:

The CRB’s vital role ensures that security services maintain high standards and protects the public by ensuring that security personnel are thoroughly trained and vetted.

What Does a Controlling and Registration Body Do?

While the specific functions of a CRB may vary from country to country, typically, CRBs are tasked with:

  • Setting industry standards and codes of conduct
  • Licensing and registering security personnel and companies
  • Enforcing compliance with industry standards
  • Investigating complaints against security personnel and companies
  • Providing training and education to security personnel

Additionally, CRBs are instrumental in promoting the security industry and enhancing public awareness about the importance of security services.

Where and When is a Controlling and Registration Body Established?

The establishment of a CRB such as PSIRA is generally a government-led initiative.

A board of directors, typically appointed by the government, oversees the CRB’s operations, and is responsible for setting the CRB’s policies and procedures.

The geographical jurisdiction of a CRB can range from national to regional or even local, depending on the specific country.

Who Manages and Comprises the Controlling and Registration Body?

A board of directors, comprising representatives from the government, the security industry, and the public, typically manages the CRB.

The board sets the CRB’s policies and procedures while overseeing its operations to ensure it fulfills its objectives.

How Does a Controlling and Registration Body Function?

The CRB’s functions are executed through various mechanisms:

  • Licensing and registration: The CRB issues licenses to security personnel and companies, ensuring they meet the CRB’s standards.
  • Compliance enforcement: The CRB enforces compliance with industry standards, investigates complaints against security personnel and companies, and takes disciplinary action against rule violators.
  • Training and education: The CRB ensures that security personnel receive proper training and are equipped to perform their duties.
  • Promotion and awareness: The CRB promotes the security industry and raises public awareness about the importance of security services.

Focus on PSIRA

What is PSIRA?

We focus on PSIRA because The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority is a testament to South Africa’s commitment to regulating and upholding safety standards within its private security industry.

Established under the Private Security Industry Regulation Act, 2001 (Act No. 56 of 2001), this statutory body regulates the private security industry, exercising control over the practice of security service providers in the public and national interest.

PSIRA performs a wide range of functions, from registering and regulating security service providers to issuing and renewing security officer permits.

Its role in investigating complaints against security service providers, enforcing compliance with the Private Security Industry Regulation Act, and promoting the transformation of the private security industry underscores its commitment to enhancing industry standards and practices.

PSIRA, headquartered in Pretoria, extends its influence throughout the country with regional offices in all nine provinces.

The private security industry in South Africa employs nearly 3 million people, and within this vast landscape, PSIRA’s role is critical for effective regulation and accountability of security service providers.


In an era where safety and security concerns are paramount, the role of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) becomes crucial.

By regulating South Africa’s private security industry, it ensures service providers are accountable, operate ethically and professionally, and safeguard the public from crime and violence.

For additional information about PSIRA or its various initiatives, please visit the PSIRA website at