What is a door supervisor?
A door supervisor is a security guard who monitors the entrance to ensure that no one without permission enters or leaves. They are often employed in nightclubs, bars, restaurants and other locations where there is a high volume of traffic for which security is needed.
Door supervisors typically wear bright clothing so they stand out as well as maintain a visible presence. This can be contrasted to in-house security staff who tend to wear plain clothes and are typically stationed inside the building, often near doorways or within other areas where their behaviour is more difficult to observe.
To become a Door supervisor they have to go through rigorous tests and an exam to qualify for their SIA licence, and as of 2021, they are also required to have a qualification in First Aid. The training course which lasts 6 days is a Level 2 Award for Working as a Door Supervisor within the Private Security Industry and is recognised throughout the UK regulated by the SIA and Ofqual.
What are the duties of a door supervisor?
Door supervisors have many roles and responsibilities, which depend on their position within a company or establishment.
For example, a Door Supervisor may be responsible for monitoring queues at the entrance to prevent queuing jumping or arguments that might break out; ensuring no disruptive behaviour is tolerated by removing people who refuse to comply; and escorting people from the premises for various reasons, such as those who are drunk or disorderly or threatening others.
What are the responsibilities of a door supervisor?
-Making sure all who enter and exit have permission to do so, including checking ID cards or other identification documents.
-Maintaining control of any queues at the entrance by regulating the number of people waiting in line and ensuring that nobody jumps ahead when it is their turn.
-Watching for any signs of trouble such as fights or public drunkenness and breaking up the fight if necessary.
-Responding to emergency situations, including fire alarms, security breaches, bomb threats and medical emergencies in order to protect people inside the building.
-Interacting with the police, building relationships with them and speaking about issues or problems that have occurred that night.
What skills are required for a door supervisor?
Must be able to communicate effectively and have excellent interpersonal skills. Door supervisors will need to talk with customers on an almost constant basis so this skill is vital!
-Good listening skills.
-Good communication skills, both verbal and written so they can issue instructions to customers on an individual basis, as well as in a group setting.
-Tolerance for working with the public and dealing calmly with stressful situations such as emergency alarms or unhappy customers who have been asked to leave the premises. Door supervisors are typically seen as authority figures and so must have a confident, in-control persona.
-Good problem solving skills for dealing with difficult customers who refuse to leave or are being disruptive.
Door supervisors may be required to occasionally escort people from the premises for various reasons, such as those who are drunk and disorderly, threatening others or carrying dangerous weapons.
The Modern Misinterpretation
The common stereotype of a Bouncer (or door supervisor) is of a thuggish brute, power crazy and actively looking for a fight, This couldn’t be further from the truth. Gone are the days of the local hardman running the doors of their local town, lording over those he likes or dislikes.
The modern door supervisor is more concerned about the welfare and security of people inside their venue. With the arrival of the Security Industry Association in 2001, their licencing and checks and balances made sure that the wrong people were taken out of the industry.
The Modern door supervisor is adept at communication and will try to control a situation by talking and reducing the need for any physical intervention. It isn’t in the door supervisors interest to get into a fight, they would prefer to keep the peace and make sure everyone has a good time.
Their ability to judge and communicate well and to be able to detect the early warning signs of a potential confrontation, by observing crowds and individuals and spotting the signs of any interaction that could become a fight is an important part of a modern door supervisor’s job.
Another important part of being a door supervisor is to work within a team, which involves using two way radio to stay in contact and communicate, particularly between the inside and outside of a club. They must be aware of the location of the other door supervisors, and ensure that when one relocates, a gap is not left in the venue security and it’s important that if one is involved in a situation then the team can quickly be alerted to it and can respond.
What powers do door supervisors have?
Door supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that no disruptive or disorderly behaviour is tolerated and can use their powers to remove people who refuse to comply.
Door supervisors may be required to occasionally escort people from the premises for various reasons, such as those who are drunk and disorderly or threatening others. A Door Supervisor has a variety of skills they can use in order to ensure the safety and security of both customers and staff.
Door supervisors may also escort trespassers from the premises for various reasons, such as those who are drunk and disorderly or threatening others. They have a variety of powers they can use in order to ensure that no disruptive or disorderly behaviour is tolerated. It’s important that door supervisors are impartial and do not take sides in disputes.
How much do door supervisors earn
Door supervisors earn an hourly rate that varies depending on the industry. In nightclubs, bars and restaurants they typically earn between £9-£12 per hour while in casinos or other gambling establishments their wage is usually higher at around £10-£13 per hour. The level of experience also affects earnings as more head door supervisors can command up to £15 per hour.
Door supervisors typically earn between £20,000 – £35,000 per year in the UK depending on experience and the place in which they work.
Can door supervisor work as security guard?
Yes! Door supervisors may also work as security guards, often for the same company.
The duties are similar but door supervisors typically have more interaction with customers and so will be responsible for monitoring queues at the entrance of a building to prevent queuing jumping or arguments that might break out. Security guards usually focus on patrolling construction sites, shopping centers and office buildings, where door supervisors have a variety of roles.
Door supervisors may also escort people from the premises for various reasons, such as those who are drunk and disorderly or threatening others.
How many door supervisors do you need?
This depends on the size of your building and how many visitors you anticipate at any given time, so it’s difficult to say definitively without a full risk assessment.
But in most cases it’s wise to have two door supervisors per entrance plus one for patrolling inside that is required. Peak periods may require up to four or five on each floor. A Door supervisor is also trained to manage the gender and number of people coming into a venue, so they aren’t outnumbered by a group of males or females.
Can you be a door supervisor with a criminal record
No. Door supervisor licences are not available to individuals with criminal convictions who do not have a clean record for at least three years before the date of application, as determined by the Court system or when their sentence has expired.
The door supervisors licence is only valid if the individual meets all other requirements and will need to renew it every three years.
Can you be a door supervisor if you are not 18?
No, the minimum age for holding the door supervision licence is 18 years old and individuals must have their eighteenth birthday before they can apply.
Can a door supervisor search someone?
Door supervisors may search a person’s personal belongings if they believe the individual has committed an offence or is in possession of stolen goods, weapons or illegal substances.
The door supervisor will need to have reasonable grounds for suspicion before searching someone and can only do so with consent unless there are circumstances that allow them not to ask permission first (e.g., in the case of a riot).
Door supervisors may also search an individual if they suspect them to have committed another offence on or near their premises, such as theft, assault and public disorder offences (e.g., drunk and disorderly) before allowing them onto the premises again.”
Door Supervisors are not allowed to search individuals without reason and for those who are drunk and disorderly or threatening others, door supervisors may escort them from the premises.
What do door supervisors wear?
Door supervisors wear a uniform and an earpiece that reflects the company they work for and the job they are doing, which means it’s often easy to identify them. For example, in nightclubs and bars a Door Supervisor will typically wear black trousers or skirt with matching shirt that has pockets on both sides of the chest.
Can a door supervisor use CCTV?
Yes, door supervisors are often in charge of monitoring CCTV to maintain safety and security. They may have access to a number of cameras from which they can monitor the building’s entrances or inside for any signs of trouble.
They are more commonly wearing body worn cameras and are entitled to record any interaction they have with customers and the public.
If you’d like to become a Door Supervisor, see our guide How to get an SIA Licence.