Frequently Asked Questions

CAPI NEW APPLICATION FAQS

Who is eligible to apply for a CAPI licence in NSW?

If you wish to apply for a NSW CAPI licence, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • be a fit and proper person to hold the class of licence sought;
  • be an Australian citizen, permanent Australian resident or hold a Visa that entitles you to undertake employment in Australia.

What offences will disqualify me from holding a licence?

The following offences are grounds for mandatory refusal of an application for a CAPI licence (including a CAPI Master licence)
If the applicant (or close associate in the case of a Master Licence) was convicted within the last ten years or found guilty (with no conviction recorded) within the last 5 years of:

  • offences involving violence, fraud, dishonesty or theft, being an offence punishable by imprisonment
  • offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other weapon
  • offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a drug
  • offences under Part 2 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007, or under corresponding provisions of the law of the Commonwealth or of another State or Territory
  • offences under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 of the Commonwealth


In the case of a Master licence holder, an application may also be refused if the licence holder, close associates or company named on the application has been found guilty of any of the above offences.

How can I get an application form for a new licence?

To obtain an application, you can either:
1. download the relevant application form and schedule of fees from the 'Application Forms ' webpage.
2. call the Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED) on 1300 362 001 between 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday to have the application form and schedule of fees posted to you.

I want to talk to someone personally about my application. Where do I go?

You can call the SLED Contact  Centre on 1300 362 001 for phone enquiries. In addition, e-mail facilities are also available with the address sled@police.nsw.gov.au. The SLED does not have facility for personal lodgement. Applications and payments will only be accepted by post.

What happens if I send my application form without all of the relevant information or certified copies of documents?

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned to you. The SLED will not commence  processing of your application until it is fully completed and accompanied by the correct fee. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have provided all necessary information set out in the checklist of your application form.

What documents do I need to provide to prove that I am an Australian citizen/permanent Australian resident/holder of a visa that entitles me to undertake employment in Australia?

When you submit your application you must include a certified copy of ONE of the following:

  • full Australian birth certificate (Extracts and Commemorative certificates are NOT acceptable)
  • certificate of Australian Citizenship
  • Australian passport  (or an acceptable Australian travel document)
  • non-Australian passport and visa pages (clearly showing name, date of birth, photograph, passport number, expiry date, country of issue and relevant visa)


Note: If the name on your evidence of permanent residency document is different to your current name, you must provide an original certified copy of acceptable documentary evidence of your change of name.

What is an acceptable change of name document?

Acceptable change of name documents must show a clear link between each of your names. Acceptable documents are limited to certified copies of the following:

  • marriage certificate(s) issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages or, if you were married elsewhere within Australia, a certified copy of the marriage certificate issued by the celebrant or church
  • change of Name certificate issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 
  • full birth certificate from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages showing your name at birth and your new name (Extracts and Commemorative certificates are NOT acceptable) 
  • divorce decree showing both names
  • deed poll registered with the relevant authority 
  • instrument evidencing change of name form registered in the Land Titles Office

What documents need to be certified?

When providing ANY of the following documents, only certified copies will be accepted:

  • Australian citizenship/ permanent Australian residency documents /evidence that you hold a Visa that entitles you to undertake employment in Australia.
  • change of name document
  • any copies of original documents submitted with your application

Why must I submit certified copies?

You must supply a certified copy of all supporting documents for the following reasons:

  • You should always retain your original documents for safe keeping. However, as you are required to provide documentary evidence of proof of identity in support of your application, a photocopy of the original is required.
  • Copies must be certified to prove that the photocopy is an exact copy of the original and has not been altered in any way.
  • Only an Authorised Person has the legal authority to certify that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original.

How do I obtain certified copies?

When having documents certified, you should:

  • take a CLEAR photocopy of all documents, ensuring that the details on the copy are easily visible.
  • take the photocopies AND the original documents to an Authorised Person.
  • have the Authorised Person compare the copy against the original.
  • the Authorised Person must certify EVERY photocopied page.  If you have photocopied documents on BOTH sides of a page, BOTH sides MUST be certified.
  • once all photocopied documents are certified, submit ONLY these certified copies.


Note: Photocopies of certified documents will not be accepted.

Who can certify documents?

Documents may be certified by any one of the following Authorised Persons:

  • Justice of the Peace 
  • Legal Practitioner 
  • Notary Public


The person certifying the documents must:

  • compare the original document to the copy of the document to be submitted and ensure it is identical. 
  • write (or stamp) on the copy "I certify this to be a true copy of the original document sighted by me". 
  • sign the statement. 
  • print the following details: 
    • name 
    • contact telephone number
    • profession or occupation
    • date certified


In addition, a Justice of the Peace must also print their registration number and the State in which they are registered.

Do I have to get my fingerprints taken?

Yes. It is a requirement that fingerprints are taken before a licence is issued. If you have previously had your fingerprints taken in connection with a CAPI or security licence in NSW, you will not need to have them taken again. Further information in relation to the fingerprinting procedure will be provided to you once your application has been received by the SLED. You must take the SLED issued fingerprint letter with you when having your fingerprints taken.

How long after I send in my application will I get my licence?

Provided you have correctly completed your application form and there is no criminal history recorded against you, you may expect to receive your "Photograph Advice" within approximately six weeks of having your fingerprints taken. However, should the SLED requireme further information, or if you are an ex-police officer, your applicantion may be further delayed.

What will happen to my licence fee if I withdraw my application?

If a licence application is withdrawn prior to the licence being approved, the SLED will retain a non-refundable administration cost. This fee can be found in the 'Schedule of Fees' available on our website.

However, once a licence has been issued there is no provision under the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 for the refund of any fees paid.

What happens after I receive the Photographic Advice letter?

When you receive your Photographic Advice (PA) letter you will need to personally attend a Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) Office to collect your  CAPI licence.  You will need to take with you the PA letter and proof of identity.

You will have your photo taken for your CAPI  licence card to be issued to you.

It is a requirement under Clause 17 of the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Regulation 2006 that the person making the application collect their CAPI  licence within 60 days of receiving the PA letter.

This date appears on your PA letter as the ‘final date of acceptance’. The RMS cannot issue you with a photo-licence after that date.

If you do not collect your photo licence by the final date of acceptance, your application will be refused.

NOTE: If you lose or misplace your Photographic Advice BEFORE the final date of acceptance of the Photographic Advice letter, please contact  the SLED Contact  Centre on 1300 362 001 between 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

I have not yet collected my photo licence from the Roads and Maritime Services. Can I commence working with my photo advice?

No. You cannot work until you have your photo licence in your hand.

I hold an interstate licence for CAPI activities, can I work in NSW with this licence?

If you hold a current equivalent licence in another State or Territory or  New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for a NSW CAPI licence under  mutual recognition principles. You will need to complete form P616 'Application for a CAPI Operator licence under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992' from the 'Application Forms ' webpage. Alternately, you may  request for this form to be mailed out to you by calling the SLED Customer  Contact Centre on 1300 362 001.

CAPI REAPPLICATION FAQS

My licence is due to expire and I want to renew it. What should I do?

A courtesy reapplication package will be sent to you approximately eight to ten weeks prior to the expiry of your current licence. Provided that you lodge a duly completed application with the SLED prior to the expiry date of the existing licence, you can continue to work beyond that date, awaiting the outcome of your application.

When should I lodge my reapplication?

The SLED recommends that a reapplication is lodged a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the expiry of the existing licence, to avoid disruption of your CAPI activities.  

What happens if I send my application form without all of the relevant information or certified copies of documents?

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned to you. The SLED will not commence the processing of your application until it is duly completed and accompanied by the correct fee. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have provided all necessary information set out in the checklist of your application form.

In the instance where  an application is lodged after the expiry of the existing licence, you will not be authorised to work until the new licence has been collected.

Why do I need to provide all my documents again?

The Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 does not allow for the renewal of a licence. All licence holders wishing to continue to undertake CAPI activities are required to 'reapply' each time their licence is due to expire. As a result, all required information and documentation for an application must be supplied with each application, irrespective whether  this documentation has been supplied in previous years.

How much money do I send with my application?

The applicable licence fee is to be sent to the SLED along with your completed application form. The 'Schedule of Fees' provides you with the fees relevant to the licence classes sought.

Do I have to get my fingerprints taken again?

If your fingerprints have already been taken in relation to a NSW CAPI or security licence, you will not need to have them taken again.

How long after I send in my application will I get my licence?

Provided you have correctly completed your application form and there is no criminal history recorded against you, you may expect to receive your "Photograph Advice" within approximately six weeks of having your fingerprints taken. However, should the SLED require further information, or if you are an ex- police officer, you application may be further delayed.

What will happen to my licence fee if I withdraw my application?

If a licence application is withdrawn prior to the licence being approved, the SLED will retain a non-refundable administration cost. This fee can be found in the 'Schedule of Fees' available on our website.

However, once a licence has been issued there is no provision under the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 for the refund of any fees paid.

What happens after I receive the Photographic Advice letter?

When you receive your Photographic Advice (PA) letter you will need to personally attend a Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) Office to collect your CAPI  licence.  You will need to take with you the PA letter, and proof of identity.

You will have your photo taken for  your CAPI  licence card to be issued to you.

It is a requirement under Clause 17 of the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Regulation 2006 that the person making the application collect their  CAPI licence within 60 days of receiving the PA letter.

This date appears on your PA letter as the ‘final date of acceptance’. The RMS cannot issue you with a photo-licence after that date.

If you do not collect your photo licence by the final date of acceptance, your application will be refused.

NOTE:  If you lose or misplace your Photographic Advice BEFORE the final date of acceptance of the Photographic Advice letter, please call  the SLED  Contact Centre on 1300 362 001 between 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

I have not yet collected my photo licence from the Roads and Maritime Services. Can I work with my photo advice?

If you hold a licence that  has expired, but have confirmed with SLED that your reapplication was received prior to the date of expiry, you can continue to work with your acknowledgement letter until you get your new photo licence card.

If your photo advice expires, your authorisation to work will expire.

If you have not made a new application prior to the expiry date of your existing licence, you cannot work until you have your new photo licence in your hand.

TRAINING FAQS

What training am I required to complete?

CAPI training requirements are outlined on the training webpage and must be completed within 24 months of the grant of your CAPI licence.
Where can I complete my training?

Training for CAPI operatives must be conducted by a training organisation that has been registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
For a list of RTOs offering CAPI training in NSW, refer to www.training.gov.au and search by either the:

'Qualification title'
• certificate III in Investigative Services
• certificate III in Mercantile Agents

OR

'Qualification code'
• CPP30607 (Certificate III in Investigative Services)
• FNS30410 (Certificate III in Mercantile Agents)

NOTIFYING SLED FAQS

What are SLED's contact details?

SLED's contact details are listed on the SLED Contact Details webpage.

When do I need to notify SLED  of a change of my Master Licence details?

You must notify SLED, in writing, within 14 days of any changes to the Master licence. This includes change of contact details or change of close associates.

How do I change the details of my Master licence? Is there a charge for this?

You must complete the P614B "Application for Amendment or Replacement" form (available on the webpage) and post it to SLED along with the payment of the required fee (dependant on the type of amendment being made – refer to the Schedule of Fees for the required fee).

Note: Changes to contact details which do not appear on the licence certificate (i.e. postal address, contact phone numbers, telephone numbers, or personal details) do not incur a fee and can be emailed, faxed or posted to SLED (include licence number and full name of licence holder).

What happens if my CAPI operator photo licence is lost, stolen, destroyed, defaced, mutilated or becomes illegible?

If your licence is lost or stolen you must report the loss within 7 days to the Police Assistance Line (PAL), phone number 131444 and obtain the event (reference) number.

To comply with licensing requirements, you must then complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form (available on the webpage) for all licences that are lost, stolen, destroyed, defaced, mutilated or become illegible and lodge it with SLED along with the applicable fee, as soon as possible and within 14 days.

You may continue to work pending receipt of your new replacement licence, providing you keep the event number on you for quoting upon demand.  A "photographic advice" will be sent to you to take to the Roads and Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

I hold a CAPI operator licence and have recently moved. How do I inform you of my change of address?

To provide a change of residential or postal address and/or contact details you must notify SLED in writing via:

Please include your licence number, date of birth and your previous and new address in your written communication.

How do I alter the personal details shown on my CAPI operator licence (other than change of address)? Is there a charge for this?

You must complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form (link to webpage). This must be lodged by post within 14 days, along with required documentation (detailed on the application form) and the applicable fee.

Once your application is processed you will receive a Photographic Advice letter which you must present to the Roads &  Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

Upon receipt of your new  new licence you must surrender your previous licence in person at your local police station or via mail to SLED.

How do I add another activity to my Operator Licence?

You are required to complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled. You must send payment as per the Schedule of Fees with your application to the SLED.

A 'Photograph Advice' will be sent to you to take to the Roads & Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

When you receive your new licence you must surrender your previous licence in person at your local police station or via mail to SLED.

I hold a Master Licence. How do I upgrade it if I wish to employ extra staff?

You are required to complete a 'Change of Details of a Master Licence' (P614B) form available  from the 'Application Forms ' webpage or by requesting a form through the SLED Customer Contact  Centre on 1300 362 001 between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm. You must send payment of the applicable fee with your application to the SLED. Please refer to the 'Schedule of Fees' for the appropriate fee. A replacement Master licence certificate will be sent to you once your application is finalised. Once you have received the replacement Master licence Certificate, you can then employ additional staff.

When you receive your new licence certificate you must surrender your previous licence certificate by mailing that to SLED.

How do I surrender my old/previous licence?

Old/Previous licences must be surrendered by posting them to:

Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate
Locked Bag 5099
Parramatta, NSW, 2124

I hold a current Master licence and I am going to sell my business. Does this licence transfer to the new owner when the sale is completed?

No. The new owner will need to apply for a Master licence for that company. An issued licence confers no right of property and is non transferable.

I know a person who is working without a licence, what can I do about it?

Complaints in relation to an alleged breach of the CAPI laws can be made in writing to the SLED.

GENERAL FAQS

What are the applicable terms of licence for a CAPI licence?

Probationary CAPI operator licences are available for a 1 year term only*.
CAPI operator licences are available for a one or five-year term*.
Master licences are available for a five-year term only*.

* unless suspended or revoked during the licence period

I hold a current licence but I do not wish to work in the CAPI Industry again. Am I entitled to a refund?

No. There are no provisions in the Commercial Agents & Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 and Regulation for a pro-rata refund on any basis. This applies to both Operator and Master Licences.

I hold a Master Licence for my business. Do I require an Operator licence to carry out CAPI activities?

Yes. A Master licence is for the business only and allows the business to employ operators to carry out CAPI activities. If you are self-employed you must hold both a Master licence and the appropriate Operator licence.

Upon application for an Individual Master Licence (as a sole trader with nil employees), you will be issued with an Operator licence at no extra cost.

In the case of applicants for Individual Master Licences, who also employ staff, the application form has provisions for you to indicate if you are also intending to carry out any CAPI activities. If this is the case, you will also be issued with an Operator licence at no extra cost.

Do I need to hold an Operator licence to hold a Master licence?

An individual named as the licence holder on a Master licence does not need to hold an Operator licence, unless they perform CAPI activities.

What is a Close Associate?

A close associate is a person who holds a significant financial interest or any relevant power in the daily operations of the licence applicant's, or holder's, business. For further information, please refer to Clause 4: Meaning of a “close associate” in the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Regulation 2006.

Why do I need a Master licence when I already have an Operator licence?

An operator licence authorises a person to carry out CAPI activities whilst employed by a master licence holder. If you wish to carry on business in CAPI activities, including working as a subcontractor, you must hold a Master licence.

My employer wants to subcontract my services for financial reasons. What type of licence do I need?

Any person sub-contracting CAPI activities is required to hold a Master licence as well as an Operator Licence for the CAPI activities they undertake.

I hold a current Master licence and I am going to sell my business. Does this licence transfer to the new owner when the sale is completed?

No. The new owner will need to apply for a Master licence for that company. An issued licence confers no right of property and is non-transferrable.

Why do I need to put my Master licence number in advertisements?

It is a condition of a master licence to display the licence number on any advertisement or correspondence in relation to any CAPI activity carried on by the licensee. This demonstrates legitimacy to the general public and serves to distinguish and promote your business over other unlicensed CAPI businesses.

How do I get a copy of the Act/Regulation?

Copies of all NSW legislation can be obtained by accessing the web site www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.

Do CAPI licence holders get fined for breaches of the legislation?

The legislation provides for penalties for breaches of the legislation. Police have powers to issue on the spot penalties for some offences.

Are there persons who are exempt from holding a CAPI licence? Who are they?

Schedule 1 of the Act and Clauses 10 & 16 of the Regulation lists persons who are exempt from the requirement to hold licences.

I have an interstate licence; can I use it in NSW?

No, however you can apply for a NSW licence under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Commonwealth) provided your interstate licence is current, and is the equivalent licence in another state. You may still reside in another state.

Please refer to the New Applications FAQ’s for more information on applying.

What offences will disqualify me from holding a licence?

The following offences are grounds for mandatory refusal of an application for a CAPI licence (including a Master licence) if the applicant (or close associate in the case of a Master Licence) was convicted within the last ten years or found guilty (with no conviction recorded) within the last 5 years of:

  • Offences involving violence, fraud, dishonesty or theft, being an offence punishable by imprisonment
  • Offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other weapon
  • Offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a drug
  • Offences under Part 2 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007, or under corresponding provisions of the law of the Commonwealth or of another State or Territory
  • Offences under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 of the Commonwealth


In the case of a Master licence holder, an application may also be refused if the licence holder, close associates or company named on the application has been found guilty of any of the above offences.

My licence was refused/ /revoked. How can I appeal this?

If an application for a licence is refused, or a current licence revoked, the individual to whom the licence relates may request the SLED undertake an Internal Review of the decision within 28 days of being served with the notice of cancellation/revocation. This is conducted within the SLED by an officer other than the officer who refused/revocated  the licence. The individual may also choose to make application to have their decision reviewed at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

How do I apply for an Internal Review?

Application for an internal review must be in writing and sent via:

  • mail to , Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED), Locked Bag 5099 Parramatta NSW 2124 or
  • fax to  1300 362 066 or
  • email to sled@police.nsw.gov.au.

What is the time period for an Internal Review to be undertaken?

28 days from the date of the decision to refuse/revoke your licence.

What does an Internal Review cost?

There is no fee charged by the SLED for an internal review.

Am I entitled to a refund if my licence is revoked for the remaining term?

No.  Once a licence is granted, there is no provision for a refund for the remaining term of a revoked licence.