Security guards who work on live events have been fraudulently obtaining work licences after attending sham training courses, an investigative report from the BBC has found.

An undercover reporter from the BBC’s documentary series File on 4 paid extra to complete a mandatory six-day course in a day and a half, therefore missing crucial first-aid training.

File on 4 approached 12 companies offering Level 2 SIA door supervisor courses for between £200-£300. According to the report, four of the firms offered the undercover journalist shortened courses, which is against regulations, ranging from one-and-a-half to three days.

On one course the reporter said he was told to fill in timesheets for all six days and given answers to multiple-choice questions.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) said it is working with organisations which oversee these training companies to further investigate the BBC material. It said it would refer the matter to the police.

Completion of the six-day training course allows people to apply for an SIA licence, subject to identity and criminal record checks.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has responded to the report. NTIA CEO Michael Kill, who is also chairperson of the UK Door Security Association, said, “The door security sector has, for a considerable period, raised questions concerning security training, from the point of facilitation, accessibility and content. The necessary qualifications for obtaining an SIA License to work within the sector have been overshadowed by a small number of unscrupulous training operators.

“In light of the compelling evidence presented by the BBC today, I strongly encourage the SIA to reconsider their current process for accrediting training providers. This is a pivotal moment to revamp the system and restore public trust in the sector.”