What are the SIA Standards of Behaviour for door supervisors?
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the body responsible for licensing individuals working within the Private Security Industry, including door supervisors. The SIA has set out standards of behaviour that they expect door supervisors to follow. The aim of the Standards of Behaviour is to set, raise and maintain national standards of behaviour for door supervisors and set out the rules that door supervisors should always follow.
The authority of door supervisors to carry out their duties comes from the premises licence holder, or the premises management acting on behalf of the premises licence holder, and they can ask door supervisors to follow additional rules. However these additional rules should never conflict with the SIA standards.
What do the SIA Standards of Behaviour cover?
The Standards of Behaviour cover four main areas:
Door supervisors should always:
- wear smart, presentable clothes that show clearly that they are a door supervisor. Clothing must also meet employer guidelines
- wear their SIA licence on the outside of their clothing, with the photograph displayed, at all times while on duty.
Professional attitude and skills
Door supervisors should always:
- treat people in the same way as they would like to be treated
- greet visitors in a friendly and polite manner
- act fairly and not discriminate on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, marital status or any other difference in individuals which is not relevant to the door supervisors’ responsibility
- carry out their duties in a professional and courteous manner with due regard and consideration to others
- behave with personal integrity and understanding
- use moderate language, which is not defamatory or abusive, when dealing with members of the public and colleagues
- be fit for work and remain alert at all times
- develop appropriate knowledge of local services and amenities.
Door supervisors should:
- never solicit or accept any bribe or other consideration from any person
- not drink alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst on duty
- not display preferential treatment towards individuals
- never abuse their position of authority
- never carry any item which is or could be considered threatening
- report all incidents to the management
- co-operate fully with members of the police, local authority, SIA and other statutory agencies such as Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs, who have an interest in licensed premises and the way they are run.
The learner will understand the behaviour
Organisation/company values and standards
Door supervisors should:
- adhere to the employing agency/company standards
- be perceptive of the employing organisation/company’s culture and values
- contribute to the goals and objectives of the employing agency/company.
SIA licensing of door supervisors
Under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, all door supervisors working in the United Kingdom must have a licence to practise issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
It is an offence:
- to work as a door supervisor if you do not have a licence
- to employ a door supervisor who does not have a licence.
The maximum penalty for a person found guilty of working as a door supervisor or employing a door supervisor without a SIA licence to practise is a £5,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment.
To get a licence to practise you have to:
- attend an approved accredited training course
- pass the examinations, and
- pass a criminal records check.
You need to make your application for a licence to the SIA.
What are the main roles and objectives of door supervisors?
As a door supervisor you may work at a variety of licensed premises such as pubs, nightclubs, casinos or maybe even big outdoor festivals such as Glastonbury or Reading.
Whatever the venue type, your main objectives are to ensure that customers have an enjoyable experience in a safe environment and to support the licensing objectives.
To meet these objectives, door supervisors have a number of roles that they must carry out as part of their duties. These include:
Delivering customer care by creating a safe and secure environment
To do this you need to have a professional and effective manner when:
- meeting and greeting your customers
- helping your customers
- dealing with customer concerns
- controlling the door
- controlling behaviour inside the premises.
Controlling entry to the premises
Door supervisors are responsible not only for who enters the premises, but also what enters the premises, such as drugs, weapons etc. When dealing with people, door supervisors are responsible for refusing entry to those who:
- are drunk or are under the influence of drugs
- do not follow the dress code
- have a reputation for criminal or bad behaviour
- exhibit aggressive behaviour
- refuse to be searched when requested by a door supervisor
Door supervisors are also responsible for controlling the number of people entering premises. Every licensed premises will have a permitted capacity limit i.e. the maximum number of people who can be on the premises at any one time. This limit will be set by the
premises licence holder and the relevant authorities, and will depend on factors such as the size of the premises, the number of fire exits etc. Once the number of people on the premises has reached this limit, it is the door supervisors’ job to not let any more customers in until some customers leave.
Monitoring behaviour inside the premises
Once inside the premises, most customers behave well and just want to have a good time. However, there are always the exceptions, and it is the job of the door supervisor to watch what is going on inside the premises and deal quickly with those who:
- threaten the safety of other customers
- spoil the enjoyment of other customers
- put the management’s premises licence at risk.
Enforcing the law and helping to prevent criminal offences
When working as a door supervisor part of your role will be to:
- explain to customers who breach house rules that their behaviour is unacceptable
- handle complaints and disputes over service (e.g. between customers and bar staff)
- defuse domestic disputes between customers
- handle other arguments and fights
- encourage customers to finish drinks and leave the premises at closing time.
Refusing entry, searching, evicting and arresting
To make sure that the majority of your customers enjoy their time at your premises and to help the premises licence holder to work towards the licensing objectives of the Licensing Act 2003, you may need to:
- politely refuse entry
- search people for drugs, weapons and other prohibited items
- evict people – for example, for fighting, being drunk and disorderly or for other unacceptable behaviour
- possibly arrest people.
Door supervisors do a great deal more than just look after the door and you may be asked to do any or all of the following as part of your role:
- pre-entry safety checks
- emergency and evacuation procedures
- first aid
- health and safety
- assisting in the normal operation ofthe premises.
Key qualities of a door supervisor
From what you have read so far you know that there are SIA Standards of Behaviour which door supervisors have to follow in order to carry out their duties to nationally recognised standards. However, in order to be a successful and professional door supervisor, an individual needs to have certain personal qualities and posses a wide range of skills.
Professionalism is key
In order to appear professional you must have the right attitude about your role – you need to be interested in what you are doing and want to do a good job. Door supervisors work in the public eye and for this reason their attitude is a key part of their professionalism.
Door supervisors with a positive attitude towards their job will behave in a positive, professional way when dealing with members of the public; they will also take pride in their appearance and how they dress.
It is essential that as ‘authority figures’ door supervisors also remain approachable and have a customer friendly attitude so that members of the public will not be frightened to speak to them should the need arise.
First appearances matter
You, the door supervisor, are the first person customers see when deciding whether to come to your premises or to go somewhere else. So, it matters how you look and how you speak to people right from the start. You will set the tone for the evening. If you look
smart and behave in a professional and friendly manner, customers will treat you and your premises with respect.
When speaking to customers it is essential that a door supervisor is polite and that the customer clearly understands what is being said. To achieve this, there are some basic rules to follow:
- use plain language
- be tactful and straight forward
- speak clearly and without hesitation
- pay equal attention to all members of a group.
- make jokes or use sarcasm (this risks misunderstandings arising)
- use jargon or unfamiliar words
- appear bored, impatient or hostile
- talk too much or fill a silence too quickly
- jump to conclusions before a speaker has finished
- swear, use offensive words or be rude
- make racist remarks or any comments that might exclude or upset any particular group
- lean on a customer’s wheelchair, it is part of their personal space
- allow a customer to feel humiliated.
Body Language – read the signs
As a door supervisor, you need to learn to read other people’s body language. It is often this that gives you a ‘gut feeling’ about someone – you may feel suspicious because you have picked up signals from a person’s body language. Fidgeting, eyes darting around and guarded body posture can all be signs of unease. However, some people are just nervous.
Being able to read body language can help you to spot difficult situations before they become real problems.
Leave a good impression
As well as being the first point of contact with customers, door supervisors are usually the last people customers see when they leave a premises and you want them to leave feeling that they have been treated fairly and with respect. Be a good representative of your profession and give customers a positive impression of the door supervisor’s role.
REMEMBER – you are in a good position to influence whether customers return to your premises or go somewhere else.