These days, the image of a door supervisor is a world away from the ‘bouncers’ of 15 or 20 years ago. The laws in the UK require anyone working on door supervision to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority. The SIA is the regulatory body, and it is they that ultimately determine who can and who can’t ÔÇÿsupervise’ doors.
What it takes to be a door supervisor
The role of a door supervisor is more complex and in-depth than many members of the general public would imagine; it is not just a case of standing at the entrance to a pub or club and telling someone they have the wrong sort of shoes on.
Supervising the door of a bar or nightclub often calls for great skills of communication and diplomacy. One regularly needs a thick skin to listen to abuse from drunk potential customers at the venue. Guards in all major cities will face violent scenes at some point in their career, security guards in London maybe more than others. It can be a dangerous job, with reports every year of guards being attacked or even killed for something as trivial as refusing entry to someone.
A strong, resilient personality is essential. Anyone considering being a door supervisor must be 18 years old or more, with a basic level of fitness. It goes without saying that a willingness to work ÔÇÿout of hours’ is essential. Pay can range from between ┬ú7 and ┬ú15 per hour, with ┬ú10 being the average, though it is dependent on the venue and its location in the country. There are also companies that employ door supervisors, who have a range of venues on their books, such as Cuffgroup, and it suits some guards to be employed by a third party better than by a venue directly.
Getting the licence
It is always worth checking your eligibility prior to spending money on training courses. Each applicant must go through a criminal records and other eligibility checks, which the Security Industry Authority can help with.
There are various courses that can help you reach licensing stage and it is worth choosing the right provider, one that will actually train you to do the job. Once you encounter your first tricky situation, you will be glad of it! Beware companies promoting a 100% pass rate; as the old saying goes, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Expect to sit an exam at the end of the training.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) outlines the roles that can be licensed. The SIA also offers information on how to renew your licence. The licence can take a few weeks to arrive, but once you have it, you can start applying for door security jobs, taking your pick from pubs and clubs to events and festivals.
Further training, covering crowd control, can be undertaken should you wish to work at large stadium events.