With the relaxation of Government restrictions looming, the UK Door Security Association has today raised huge concerns over the state of the industry and the current licensed resource security numbers available once businesses open over the coming months.

As a result of the Covid pandemic and the extended period of restrictions on licensed premises/events, the trade body fears that 6 in every 10 late night/pub/bars/club door supervisor positions are at risk of not being filled upon reopening this year.

Although there have been over 14,000 applications and renewals being submitted each month to the Security Industry Authority, new Door Supervisor SIA Licence applications in the past 12 months are significantly down on previous years. The UKDSA found many Door Supervisor licence renewals have actually been utilised in alternative roles.  For example, where a guard is carrying out a static security guard job with a door supervisor licence.  This is because many security professionals have had to seek other sources of employment during the pandemic and no longer wish to work short hours, with increased risk to health, at low rates of pay.

This leaves door security companies needing to fill significant staff shortages ahead of the reopening of night time events as planned under the Government’s roadmap.

The situation is set to become more acute with upcoming changes from regulators  that would see the costs to become a licensed door supervisor increase due to extended training requirements.

The UKDSA are therefore calling on the SIA to act now and postpone its plans to introduce additional training and costs, which are due to come in to force in April 2021, and reduce the current costs of new door supervisor licences and renewals significantly, so that the sector will be able to meet the unprecedented demand surge expected for the relaxation of restrictions. Having sufficient security staff in place will be crucial in allowing the night time economy sector to reopen safely.

A spokesperson for the UK Door Security Association Commented: 

‘The UKDSA fully supports all the additional elements included within the new SIA door supervisor licence qualification. However, our members are deeply concerned about the timing of these changes and the impact on front line staffing levels.

Our members have carried out comprehensive research within their businesses which shows a loss of around 40% of their front-line Door Supervisors.

The pandemic has resulted in a large-scale permanent displacement of Door Supervisors to different roles within the private security industry and into other industries. Brexit may also have had an impact with members reporting a number of European staff have returned to their home countries.

The events sector is planning to condense a traditionally long spring and summer calendar into the late summer period, which will add further resourcing pressures to the security sector.

In normal times there is a lead in of twelve months for any changes to sector qualifications. In these extraordinary circumstances the UKDSA is seeking the support of our regulator, the SIA, to delay the introduction of the Door Supervisor qualifications for new entrants and renewals to April 2022. This will allow the sector time to recover and recruit in unprecedented numbers.’

Michael Kill CEO NTIA Statement

“We rely heavily on licensed door supervisors to keep our staff and customers safe. With the additional responsibility of public health within these unprecedented times, it is even more important that we remove barriers to ensure that we are able to fulfil the resource requirement”

“Additional barriers will present further issues, limiting businesses from opening if they are reliant on this resource as part of their licensing conditions.”

“This will need a Government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff. While the training is welcomed, it is not timely given the current economic situation across most of the sector, and consideration needs to be given to it being pushed back to 2022.”

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Security Business Survey – Case Study

Approximately 40% of our Door Supervisor guards were furloughed by the end of April 2020.

18-20% of our Door Supervisor guards have been redeployed to other Security Guarding positions.

40% were either not eligible for furlough, or we didn’t hear back from them despite reaching out to them using multiple channels.

Feedback gathered from 100 Door Supervisors, estimates 35% of our March 2020 workforce are now working in other areas of security or in other industries altogether and aren’t sure if they will return to Door Supervisor positions.

Only 5% of the redeployed Door Supervisors have said they want to return to the night time economy positions.

11% of our March 2020 workforce have returned to family in Europe, and are unsure if they will return, or if they are able to return due to Brexit, we have been actively promoting the applications for settlement and pre-settlement status since Jan 2020.

30% of the Door Supervisors workforce have been unreachable.