Door Supervisor

    If you are wondering how to become a door supervisor, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers as security staff, as well as job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Door supervisors, sometimes known as door stewards or bouncers, are responsible for the security of customers and staff in pubs, bars and nightclubs, and other licensed premises and public events. They keep order and make sure that people are safe.

    One of their main duties is to check the suitability of people coming into the venue. They may check that the person is not underage and that they are suitably dressed, and they may search people for harmful objects such as drugs or weapons. They may refuse entry to anyone they consider unsuitable.

    Typical responsibilities:

    managing crowds to avoid crushing and queue jumping
    collecting tickets from people coming in
    patrolling inside and outside the venue, watching people’s behaviour and dealing with conflict
    restraining and escorting people out of the venue, if necessary
    dealing with emergencies
    supervising people as they leave the building
    co-operating with the police, first aiders and management.
    Door supervisors usually work in teams of two or more, depending on the size of the venue. They may keep in contact with each other by using radio equipment.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of good door supervisors include:

    be physically fit
    be able to make decisions quickly
    have good customer service skills
    have a knowledge of health and safety regulations
    have a knowledge of licensing laws
    be able to defuse potentially violent situations.

    How to become a door steward
    To work as a door supervisor you must be aged 18 or over, and you must apply for a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) after taking a Level 2 National Certificate in Door Supervision. See the SIA website (in Further Information) for a list of approved qualifications and training providers.

    It is now illegal to work as a door supervisor in England and Wales without an SIA licence. Door supervisors in Scotland will need a licence from November 2007. To apply for the licence, contact the SIA, or visit their website for an application pack (see Further Information). Applications are checked by the Criminal Records Bureau.

    You do not need any academic qualifications to get a Level 2 National Certificate in Door Supervision.

    If you already hold another door supervisor qualification, you may be able to exchange your previous qualification for the new certificate. These other qualifications include awards made by:

    Security Industry Training Organisation (SITO)
    National Open College Network (NOCN)
    British Institute of Innkeeping (BIIAB)
    Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE).
    Check the SIA website to see if your previous qualification will count towards the new certificate.

    Some employers may employ you as a trainee door supervisor and support you through the training and licensing process.

    Training and Development
    The Level 2 National Certificate in Door Supervision is a 30-hour course, which could be run part-time over a few evenings or weekends, or as an intensive four-day full-time course.

    During your course you will cover two main sections:

    role and responsibilities of a door supervisor
    communication skills and conflict management.
    You will take an exam on each section.

    When you have passed the certificate course you will be issued with a door supervisor licence, which must be renewed every three years.

    You could choose to take further training courses, such as the first aid and physical intervention courses provided by the Door Supervisor Training Organisation (DSTO). See contact details in Further Information.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    Door supervisors are usually paid on an hourly basis.
    Door supervisors earn around £7 to £12 per hour; some earn more, depending on the venue and location.

    Job Prospects
    As a door supervisor, you could work directly for a venue such as a pub or nightclub, or you may work on contract for an agency.

    Jobs may be advertised in the local press or Jobcentre Plus, or you could approach employers directly to ask about work.

    With experience, you could progress to team leader and area supervisor if you work for a large venue or security company. Alternatively, you could move into other types of security-related work, for example retail security (see Security Officer and Store Detective profiles), or you could set up your own agency that provides venues with door staff.

    Useful security or armed forces resources:
    Door Supervisor Training Organisation (DSTO)
    Maurice House
    2 Iddesleigh Road
    BH3 7JR
    Tel: 01202 299969

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